BPC 157, a pentadecapeptide derived from human gastric juice, has been demonstrated to promote the healing of different tissues, including skin, muscle, bone, ligament and tendon in many animal studies. However, the underlying mechanism has not been fully clarified. The present study aimed to explore the effect of BPC 157 on tendon fibroblasts isolated from Achilles tendon of male Sprague-Dawley rat. From the result of cDNA microarray analysis, growth hormone receptor was revealed as one of the most abundantly up-regulated genes in tendon fibroblasts by BPC 157. BPC 157 dose- and time-dependently increased the expression of growth hormone receptor in tendon fibroblasts at both the mRNA and protein levels as measured by RT/real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. The addition of growth hormone to BPC 157-treated tendon fibroblasts dose- and time-dependently increased the cell proliferation as determined by MTT assay and PCNA expression by RT/real-time PCR. Janus kinase 2, the downstream signal pathway of growth hormone receptor, was activated time-dependently by stimulating the BPC 157-treated tendon fibroblasts with growth hormone. In conclusion, the BPC 157-induced increase of growth hormone receptor in tendon fibroblasts may potentiate the proliferation-promoting effect of growth hormone and contribute to the healing of tendon.
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