Neuroprotection by erythropoietin administration after experimental traumatic brain injury.

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Neurosurgical Clinic, University of Palermo, Italy.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 11/2007; 1182:99-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.08.078
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A large body of evidence indicates that the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) exerts beneficial effects in the central nervous system (CNS). To date, EPO's effect has been assessed in several experimental models of brain and spinal cord injury. This study was conducted to validate whether treatment with recombinant human EPO (rHuEPO) would limit the extent of injury following experimental TBI. Experimental TBI was induced in rats by a cryogenic injury model. rHuEPO or placebo was injected intraperitoneally immediately after the injury and then every 8 h until 2 or 14 days. Forty-eight hours after injury brain water content, an indicator of brain edema, was measured with the wet-dry method and blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown was evaluated by assay of Evans blue extravasation. Furthermore, extent of cerebral damage was assessed. Administration of rHuEPO markedly improved recovery from motor dysfunction compared with placebo group (P<0.05). Brain edema was significantly reduced in the cortex of the EPO-treated group relative to that in the placebo-treated group (80.6+/-0.3% versus 91.8%+/-0.8% respectively, P<0.05). BBB breakdown was significantly lower in EPO-treated group than in the placebo-treated group (66.2+/-18.7 mug/g versus 181.3+/-21 mug/g, respectively, P<0.05). EPO treatment reduced injury volume significantly compared with placebo group (17.4+/-5.4 mm3 versus 37.1+/-5.3 mm3, P<0.05). EPO, administered in its recombinant form, affords significant neuroprotection in experimental TBI model and may hold promise for future clinical applications.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Erythropoietin (Epo) improves post-traumatic cerebral blood flow (CBF), pressure autoregulation, and vascular reactivity to l-arginine. This study examines the dependence of these cerebral hemodynamic effects of Epo on nitric oxide generated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Methods: Using laser Doppler flow imaging, CBF was monitored in wild-type (WT) and eNOS-deficient mice undergoing controlled cortical impact followed by administration of Epo (5000 U/kg) or normal saline. Results: Cerebral blood flow decreased in all groups post-injury with the greatest reductions occurring at the impact site. Epo administration resulted in significantly higher CBF in the peri-contusional sites in the WT mice [70.2 ± 3.35% in Epo-treated compared to 53 ± 3.3% of baseline in saline-treated mice (p < 0.0001)], but no effect was seen in the eNOS-deficient mice. No CBF differences were found at the core impact site where CBF dropped to 20–25% of baseline in all groups. Conclusion: These differences between eNOS-deficient and WT mice indicate that the Epo mediated improvement in CBF in traumatic brain injury is eNOS dependent.
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