Therapy for unhealed gastrocutaneous fistulas in rats as a model for analogous healing of persistent skin wounds and persistent gastric ulcers: stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157, atropine, ranitidine, and omeprazole

Dig Dis Sci. 2009 Jan;54(1):46-56. doi: 10.1007/s10620-008-0332-9. Epub 2008 Jul 23.


Objective: This study focused on unhealed gastrocutaneous fistulas to resolve whether standard drugs that promote healing of gastric ulcers may simultaneously have the same effect on cutaneous wounds, and corticosteroid aggravation, and to demonstrate why peptides such as BPC 157 exhibit a greater healing effect. Therefore, with the fistulas therapy, we challenge the wound/growth factors theory of the analogous nonhealing of wounds and persistent gastric ulcers.

Methods: The healing rate of gastrocutaneous fistula in rat (2-mm-diameter stomach defect, 3-mm-diameter skin defect) validates macro/microscopically and biomechanically a direct skin wound/stomach ulcer relation, and identifies a potential therapy consisting of: (i) stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 [in drinking water (10 microg/kg) (12 ml/rat/day) or intraperitoneally (10 microg/kg, 10 ng/kg, 10 pg/kg)], (ii) atropine (10 mg/kg), ranitidine (50 mg/kg), and omeprazole (50 mg/kg), (iii) 6-alpha-methylprednisolone (1 mg/kg) [intraperitoneally, once daily, first application at 30 min following surgery; last 24 h before sacrifice (at postoperative days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, and 21)].

Results: Greater anti-ulcer potential and efficiency in wound healing compared with standard agents favor BPC 157, efficient in inflammatory bowel disease (PL-14736, Pliva), given in drinking water or intraperitoneally. Even after 6-alpha-methylprednisolone aggravation, BPC 157 promptly improves both skin and stomach mucosa healing, and closure of fistulas, with no leakage after up to 20 ml water intragastrically. Standard anti-ulcer agents, after a delay, improve firstly skin healing and then stomach mucosal healing, but not fistula leaking and bursting strength (except for atropine).

Conclusion: We conclude that BPC 157 may resolve analogous nonhealing of wounds and persistent gastric ulcers better than standard agents.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Atropine / therapeutic use
  • Cutaneous Fistula / drug therapy*
  • Cutaneous Fistula / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gastric Fistula / drug therapy*
  • Gastric Fistula / pathology
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Male
  • Omeprazole / pharmacology
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use*
  • Proteins / pharmacology
  • Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Ranitidine / pharmacology
  • Ranitidine / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Ulcer / pathology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteins
  • Atropine
  • Ranitidine
  • BPC 157
  • Omeprazole