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What is BPC-157?

BPC-157, short for Body Protection Compound-157, is a derivative of body protection compound (BPC). BPC is a protein found naturally in the human digestive tract. It plays a significant role in protecting the lining of the gastrointestinal tract from damage, promoting healing, and encouraging blood vessel growth. 

 

Synthetic BPC-157, a pentadecapeptide comprising 15 amino acids isolated from the much larger BPC protein, has been found to retain many of the healing properties of its parent molecule. In particular, BPC-157 has been shown to have effects on:

  • Wound Healing
  • Immune System
  • Gene Expression
  • Hormone Regulation
  • Blood Vessel Growth
  • Coagulation Cascade
  • Nitric Oxide Generation

BPC-157 Peptide Research

1. Wound Healing

The natural function of BPC in the GI tract is to maintain the integrity of the mucosal barrier that protects underlying tissues from the harmful actions of gastric acid, bile, and other compounds necessary for digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. At least part of this function is mediated through the recruitment of fibroblasts. BPC-157 has a dose-dependent effect on the spread of fibroblasts in culture and in vivo, causing the cells to both proliferate and migrate faster. [1] Fibroblasts are integral to wound healing as they are the cells responsible for laying down extracellular matrix proteins like collagen, fibrin, elastin, and more.

2. Vascular Growth

BPC-157 is a potent angiogenic factor, increasing the rate at which endothelial cells (the cells that line blood vessels) proliferate and grow. [1-3] Research in rats shows that the peptide substantially increases the rate of collateral blood vessel growth in the setting of ischemia. [4] While this effect has been primarily observed in the GI tract, there is evidence for similar benefit in cardiovascular, neurological, and muscle tissues, suggesting that BPC-157 may be used as both a therapy in the setting of stroke and heart attack as well as a probative peptide for understanding how to promote healing following ischemic injury. [5-6]] Studies in chicken embryos suggest that at least part of the mechanism by which BPC-157 promotes vascular growth is through the stimulation of VEGFR2, a cell surface receptor active in the nitric oxide signaling pathway.[4],[7],[8] VEGFR2 is thought to play an important role in endothelial cell growth, proliferation, and longevity.

BPC-157 concentration versus vascular endothelial cell growth. Source:  PubMed

3. Tendon Healing

Given its roles in fibroblast recruitment and blood vessel growth, it should come as no surprise that BPC-157 has shown positive findings in animal models of tendon, ligament, bone, and other connective tissue injuries. Tendon and ligament injuries are slow to heal, in large part, due to poor blood supply in these tissues. Poor blood supply slows the rate at which fibroblasts and other wound-healing cells can reach the area of injury and, ultimately, restricts the overall level of repair that can take place. Both in vitro and in vivo research involving rat tendons has shown that BPC-157 promotes collateralization and boosts fibroblast density in the setting of tendon, ligament, and bone injury. This research indicates that BPC-157 is more effective than bFGF, EFG, and VGF hormones in promoting healing in these tissues. [10] Experiments using FITC-phalloidin staining have revealed that BPC-157 is a potent stimulator of F-actin formation in fibroblasts. [11]  F-actin is critical to cell structure and function, playing an important role in cell migration. Analysis via western blotting indicates that BPC-157 increases phosphorylation of paxillin and FAK proteins, which are critical proteins in the cell migration pathway. [12]

4. Antioxidant Properties

Research in rats has shown that BPC-157 can neutralize certain oxidative stress markers like nitric oxide and malondialadehyde (MDA). [3] . This makes BPC-157 a powerful antioxidant, a property of the peptide that is further supported by research showing that it can reduce the production of reactive oxygen species in the gastrointestinal tract. Research investigating whether modified lactococcus lactis bacteria can deliver BPC-157 to the GI system shows that the bacteria increases levels of the peptide dramatically in cell culture. [13]

5. Side Effects

Often, the limiting factor in medical pharmaceutical use is side effects. NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, for instance, cannot be used for long periods of time because they increase gastric bleeding as well as the risk for heart attack. The ability to counteract side effects while leaving desired effects intact is a holy grail of modern medical research as it would improve therapeutic benefits for a number of drugs. BPC-157 has been found to counteract side effects of NSAIDs, medications used in psychiatric conditions, and a number of heart medications.

Celecoxib-induced gastric lesions (black) in rats treated with BPC-157, saline (control), L-NAME, and L-arginine.

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology

6. Sources Cited

T. Huang et al., “Body protective compound-157 enhances alkali-burn wound healing in vivo and promotes proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis in vitro,” Drug Des. Devel. Ther., vol. 9, pp. 2485–2499, 2015.

D. Drmic et al., “Counteraction of perforated cecum lesions in rats: Effects of pentadecapeptide BPC 157, L-NAME and L-arginine,” World J. Gastroenterol., vol. 24, no. 48, pp. 5462–5476, Dec. 2018.

F. Amic et al., “Bypassing major venous occlusion and duodenal lesions in rats, and therapy with the stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157, L-NAME and L-arginine,” World J. Gastroenterol., vol. 24, no. 47, pp. 5366–5378, Dec. 2018.

A. Duzel et al., “Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in the treatment of colitis and ischemia and reperfusion in rats: New insights,” World J. Gastroenterol., vol. 23, no. 48, pp. 8465–8488, Dec. 2017.

J. Vukojević et al., “Rat inferior caval vein (ICV) ligature and particular new insights with the stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157,” Vascul. Pharmacol., vol. 106, pp. 54–66, 2018.

D. Drmic et al., “Celecoxib-induced gastrointestinal, liver and brain lesions in rats, counteraction by BPC 157 or L-arginine, aggravation by L-NAME,” World J. Gastroenterol., vol. 23, no. 29, pp. 5304–5312, Aug. 2017.

M.-J. Hsieh et al., “Therapeutic potential of pro-angiogenic BPC157 is associated with VEGFR2 activation and up-regulation,” J. Mol. Med. Berl. Ger., vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 323–333, 2017.

Z. Grabarevic et al., “The influence of BPC 157 on nitric oxide agonist and antagonist induced lesions in broiler chicks,” J. Physiol. Paris, vol. 91, no. 3–5, pp. 139–149, Oct. 1997.

P. Sikiric et al., “Novel Cytoprotective Mediator, Stable Gastric Pentadecapeptide BPC 157. Vascular Recruitment and Gastrointestinal Tract Healing,” Curr. Pharm. Des., vol. 24, no. 18, pp. 1990–2001, 2018.

S. Seiwerth et al., “BPC 157 and Standard Angiogenic Growth Factors. Gastrointestinal Tract Healing, Lessons from Tendon, Ligament, Muscle and Bone Healing,” Curr. Pharm. Des., vol. 24, no. 18, pp. 1972–1989, 2018.

C.-H. Chang, WFFFFFF151515.-C. Tsai, M.-S. Lin, Y.-H. Hsu, and J.-H. S. Pang, “The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration,” J. Appl. Physiol., vol. 110, no. 3, pp. 774–780, Oct. 2010.

Y.-L. Hu et al., “FAK and paxillin dynamics at focal adhesions in the protrusions of migrating cells,” Sci. Rep., vol. 4, p. 6024, Aug. 2014.

K. Škrlec et al., “Engineering recombinant Lactococcus lactis as a delivery vehicle for BPC-157 peptide with antioxidant activities,” Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., vol. 102, no. 23, pp. 10103–10117, Dec. 2018.

D. Strinic et al., “BPC 157 counteracts QTc prolongation induced by haloperidol, fluphenazine, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, sulpiride, and metoclopramide in rats,” Life Sci., vol. 186, pp. 66–79, Oct. 2017.

N. Jelovac et al., “Pentadecapeptide BPC 157 attenuates disturbances induced by neuroleptics: the effect on catalepsy and gastric ulcers in mice and rats,” Eur. J. Pharmacol., vol. 379, no. 1, pp. 19–31, Aug. 1999.

I. Tlak Gajger, J. Ribarić, M. Smodiš Škerl, J. Vlainić, and P. Sikirić, “Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 in honeybee (Apis mellifera) therapy, to control Nosema ceranae invasions in apiary conditions,” J. Vet. Pharmacol. Ther., vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 614–621, Aug. 2018.

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