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Life Sci. 2004 Dec 3;76(3):345-57.

Effects of pentadecapeptide BPC157 on regional serotonin synthesis in the rat brain: alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan autoradiographic measurements.

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Cone Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 3801 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4.


A novel pentadecapeptide, BPC157, was recently reported to have a large spectrum of in vivo activities, from anti-ulcer to central action on the brain dopaminergic system. The mechanisms of these actions are not well understood. In this study, the evaluation of the effects of acute and repeated administration of BPC157 on serotonin (5-HT) synthesis in the rat brain is reported. The alpha-[14C]methyl-L-tryptophan (alpha-MTrp) autoradiographic method was used to measure regional 5-HT synthesis rates. In the first series of experiments, a single dose treatment of BPC157 (10 microg/kg) administered intraperitoneally 40 min before the alpha-MTrp tracer injection significantly reduced the regional rate of 5-HT synthesis in the dorsal thalamus, hippocampus, lateral geniculate body and hypothalamus. 5-HT synthesis rates in the substantia nigra reticulate and medial anterior olfactory nucleus in BPC157 treated rats were significantly higher than in the control rats. No significant change in the synthesis rate was observed in the raphe nuclei. In the second series of experiments, following a 7-day treatment with BPC157 (10 microg/kg; s.c.), a significant reduction in the 5-HT synthesis rate was observed in the dorsal raphe nucleus, and significant increases were observed in the substantia nigra, lateral caudate, accumbens nucleus and superior olive. This data suggests that BPC157, a gut peptide, influences brain 5-HT synthesis in rats, but we cannot determine, from this data, the mechanism of this action.

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