Darbepoetin alpha, a long-acting erythropoeitin derivate, does not alter LPS evoked myocardial depression and gene expression of Bax, Bcl-Xs, Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, and TNF-alpha.
ABSTRACT Darbepoetin alpha (DA), a long-acting erythropoietin derivative stimulating erythropoiesis, can, by antiapoptotic effects, mitigate myocardial I/R injury. We tested the hypothesis that DA treatment improves left ventricular function (LV) in LPS evoked cardiomyopathy and alters gene expression of apoptosis-regulating proteins (Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, Bax, and Bcl-Xs) and TNF-alpha. In a prospective, controlled, randomized study in Lewis rats (n = 56; 8 groups), myocardial depression was evoked by LPS administration (serotype O127:B8; 10 mg/kg, i.p.). Darbepoetin alpha or vehicle was injected either 24 h before (pretreatment) or 2 h after LPS injection (treatment). Hearts were isolated 8 h after LPS injection, perfused (Krebs-Henseleit solution) in a Langendorff apparatus, and LV developed pressure and its derivatives were measured. For gene expression analysis, real-time polymerase chain reaction of LV specimen was performed. LPS decreased LV developed pressure (-64.6 +/- 7.9 mmHg) and its derivates by more than 60% in comparison to vehicle (P < 0,01), but this effect was not attenuated by DA pretreatment or DA treatment. LPS administration increased gene expression of Bcl-Xs, Bax, and TNF-alpha, but this was not altered by DA pretreatment. Furthermore, there was no effect on Bcl-Xl and Bcl-2 expression by DA alone. Whereas proapoptotic genes of the myocardium are up-regulated in LPS-induced cardiomyopathy, neither DA pretreatment nor treatment has significant effects on LV function or gene expression. This may suggest cardiac resistance to darbepoetin in LPS-mediated sepsis.