Osteogenic effect of a gastric pentadecapeptide, BPC-157, on the healing of segmental bone defect in rabbits: a comparison with bone marrow and autologous cortical bone implantation

Bone. 1999 Mar;24(3):195-202. doi: 10.1016/s8756-3282(98)00180-x.


Gastrectomy often results in increased likelihood of osteoporosis, metabolic aberration, and risk of fracture, and there is a need for a gastric peptide with osteogenic activity. A novel stomach pentadecapeptide, BPC-157, improves wound and fracture healing in rats in addition to having an angiogenic effect. Therefore, in the present study, using a segmental osteoperiosteal bone defect (0.8 cm, in the middle of the left radius) that remained incompletely healed in all control rabbits for 6 weeks (assessed in 2 week intervals), pentadecapeptide BPC-157 was further studied (either percutaneously given locally [10 microg/kg body weight] into the bone defect, or applied intramuscularly [intermittently, at postoperative days 7, 9, 14, and 16 at 10 microg/kg body weight] or continuously [once per day, postoperative days 7-21 at 10 microg or 10 ng/kg body weight]). For comparison, rabbits percutaneously received locally autologous bone marrow (2 mL, postoperative day 7). As standard treatment, immediately after its formation, the bone defect was filled with an autologous cortical graft. Saline-treated (2 mL intramuscularly [i.m.] and 2 mL locally into the bone defect), injured animals were used as controls. Pentadecapeptide BPC-157 significantly improved the healing of segmental bone defects. For instance, upon radiographic assessment, the callus surface, microphotodensitometry, quantitative histomorphometry (10 microg/kg body weight i.m. for 14 days), or quantitative histomorphometry (10 ng/kg body weight i.m. for 14 days) the effect of pentadecapeptide BPC-157 was shown to correspond to improvement after local application of bone marrow or autologous cortical graft. Moreover, a comparison of the number of animals with unhealed defects (all controls) or healed defects (complete bony continuity across the defect site) showed that besides pentadecapeptide intramuscular application for 14 days (i.e., local application of bone marrow or autologous cortical graft), also following other pentadecapeptide BPC-157 regimens (local application, or intermittent intramuscular administration), the number of animals with healed defect was increased. Hopefully, in the light of the suggested stomach significance for bone homeostasis, the possible relevance of this pentadecapeptide BPC-157 effect (local or intramuscular effectiveness, lack of unwanted effects) could be a basis for methods of choice in the future management of healing impairment in humans, and requires further investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Bone Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fracture Healing / drug effects*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits
  • Radiography
  • Radius / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius / drug effects
  • Radius / injuries
  • Radius / pathology
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteins
  • BPC 157