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Clinics

Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322

Abstract

CARVALHO, Litia Alves de et al. Neuroprotective effects of erythropoietin on rat retinas subjected to oligemia. Clinics [online]. 2018, vol.73, e161.  Epub Apr 19, 2018. ISSN 1807-5932.  http://dx.doi.org/10.6061/clinics/2018/e161.

OBJECTIVES:

Erythropoietin may have neuroprotective potential after ischemia of the central nervous system. Here, we conducted a study to characterize the protective effects of erythropoietin on retinal ganglion cells and gliotic reactions in an experimentally induced oligemia model.

METHODS:

Rats were subjected to global oligemia by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion and then received either vehicle or erythropoietin via intravitreal injection after 48 h; they were euthanized one week after the injection. The densities of retinal ganglion cells and contents of glial fibrillary acidic protein (astrocytes/Müller cells) and cluster of differentiation 68 clone ED1 (microglia/macrophages), assessed by fluorescence intensity, were evaluated in frozen retinal sections by immunofluorescence and epifluorescence microscopy.

RESULTS:

Retinal ganglion cells were nearly undetectable one week after oligemia compared with the sham controls; however, these cells were partially preserved in erythropoietin-treated retinas. The contents of glial fibrillary acidic protein and cluster of differentiation 68 clone ED1, markers for reactive gliosis, were significantly higher in retinas after bilateral common carotid artery occlusion than those in both sham and erythropoietin-treated retinas.

CONCLUSIONS:

The number of partially preserved retinal ganglion cells in the erythropoietin-treated group suggests that erythropoietin exerts a neuroprotective effect on oligemic/ischemic retinas. This effect could be related to the down-modulation of glial reactivity, usually observed in hypoxic conditions, clinically observed during glaucoma or retinal artery occlusion conditions. Therefore, glial reactivity may enhance neurodegeneration in hypoxic conditions, like normal-tension glaucoma and retinal ischemia, and erythropoietin is thus a candidate to be clinically applied after the detection of decreased retinal blood flow.

Keywords : Hematopoietic Growth Factor; Retinal Ganglion Cells; Glial Cells; Neuroprotection; Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion.

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