Tesamorelin vs IGF-1 LR3: A Detailed Comparison

In this blog, we will be introduced to Tesamorelin and IGF1- LR3, two peptides with distinct uses in medicine. We will talk about their differences and similarities as well as separate functions.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.



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Comparing Tesamorelin and IGF-1 LR3

Tesamorelin and IGF-1 LR3 are both peptides used in the field of health, but they have distinct differences. Tesamorelin is primarily used to reduce excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy, while IGF-1 LR3 is used to understand the biology behind the IGF-1 system.

What is Tesamorelin?

Tesamorelin is a synthetic molecule acting as a human growth hormone-releasing factor (GFR). It stimulates the synthesis and release of endogenous growth hormone.

It serves as a potential treatment in conditions associated with a growth hormone deficiency, for instance, HIV related lipodystrophy [1]. For these patients, it is prescribed as a treatment for the reduction of excess abdominal fat and shown to decrease the visceral adipose tissue and waist circumference [2].

Tesamorelin showed to be effective in reducing liver fat in HIV- infected patients with abdominal fat accumulation [3].

In addition, it has also been determined to reduce the total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol [4].

Although Tesamorelin treatment is usually well-torelated amongst patients, some can experience adverse side effects [5]. Let’s use Medisearch to learn about the possible side effects:

What is IGF-1 LR3?

IGF-1 LR3, also known as Long-Arg3-IGF-I, is a synthetic peptide similar to Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). The function of IGF-1 is mainly in tissue growth, development and also cell metabolism, proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis (cell death) [5]. Therefore, IGF1 LR3, simulates these effects.

The "LR3" in IGF-1 LR3 refers to a specific modification in the protein structure, where an arginine (Arg) is substituted at the third position. This modification in the protein structure ensures a reduced binding affinity of IGF-1 LR3 for IGF-binding proteins in comparison to IGF-1 [6].

IGF1 LR3 normally binds to a tyrosine kinase receptor which is essential in cell proliferation [7]. Because of the reduced binding affinity, IGF-1 LR3 has a 5 to 10-fold greater potency and helps us to understand the complex biology of the IGF system better [6, 8].

What are the differences between Tesamorelin and IGF-1 LR3?

Both Tesamorelin and IGF-1 LR3 are substances used in medicine, however, they have different functions, structures and uses.

The medical use of tesamorelin is primarily in the treatment of deficiencies of GH, especially HIV. On the other hand, IGF-1 LR3 shows a role in biological ageing and helps us in understanding of IGF1 system []].

Structurally, Tesamorelin is a synthetic analog to GFR while IGF-1 LR3 is an analog to IGF-1 [7, 10]

In summary, while both Tesamorelin and IGF-1 LR3 are involved in growth processes, they have different structures and functions. Tesamorelin is a synthetic analogue of GRF used to increase GH and IGF-1, particularly in the context of HIV-related lipodystrophy. IGF-1 LR3, on the other hand, is a form of IGF-1 that plays a role in growth, differentiation, and potentially in slowing biological ageing.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.