Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) at a dose of 10 mg/kg was administered orally to beagles used in a study of rib fracture and drill hole defect healing. Double fluochrome labels were given prior to surgical manipulation and before necropsy at 30 days. Bone remodeling was evaluated in trabecular bone of the fourth lumbar vertebra. There was a decrease in the number and extent of posttreatment labels (P less than 0.05) in the controls, with decreased mineral apposition rate (P less than 0.05) and decreased active bone formation rate (P less than 0.01). In dogs given PGE2 for 30 days following surgery, the extent of posttreatment labels (P less than 0.05) and bone formation rate (P less than 0.01) were increased. There was no difference found, however, in static morphometric parameters, including osteoid and osteoblast-covered surface, indicating that the stimulation of bone formation may have been transitory and matrix synthesis had declined. In another group of dogs given PGE2 for 5 days prior to surgical manipulation and between the first and second pretreatment labels, the extent of the double-labeled surface was increased (P less than 0.05) indicating an acute PG effect to sustain formation at remodeling sites. These studies show that PGE2 given orally has a systemic effect on bone remodeling in vertebral trabeculae that involves the stimulation of formation activity.