Erythropoietin attenuates inflammatory factors and cell death in neonatal rats with intracerebral hemorrhage

Monica Chau, Dongdong Chen, Ling Wei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Stroke affects infants at a rate of 26/100,000 live births each year. Of these strokes, approximately 6.7 are hemorrhagic strokes. Erythropoietin (EPO) is an anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective hormone. In adult rodents, EPO attenuates inflammatory factor expression and blood-brain barrier damage after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). However, the effect of EPO in neonatal ICH stroke remains unexplored. This investigation aimed to elucidate the underpinnings of inflammation after ICH in postnatal day 7 (P7) rats and the effect of human recombinant EPO (hrEPO) treatment on ICH-induced inflammation. The P7 rat pups were pretreated with hrEPO (5,000 U/kg i.p.) or saline vehicle 4 h prior to the induction of ICH by blood injection into the right cerebral cortex and basal ganglia. Supplemental half doses of hrEPO treatment or saline injections were subsequently given 16 h after ICH induction. Real-time PCR done 24 h after ICH showed reductions in interleukin1-β (IL1-β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) mRNA expression in the basal ganglia of the hrEPO-treated rats compared to saline-treated rats. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining indicated fewer dying cells in the hrEPO-treated brain. Our data suggest that hrEPO has an anti-inflammatory action in neonates after ICH. The suppression of inflammatory cascades likely contributes to hrEPO's neuroprotective effect, which may be explored as a therapeutic treatment for ICH.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntracerebral Hemorrhage Research
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Bench to Bedside
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
ISSN (Print)0065-1419
ISSN (Electronic)0001-6268

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants NS058710 and NS062097, NS045155 and NS045810, and the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.


  • Inflammatory factors
  • Interleukins
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Neuroprotection
  • Recombinant human erythropoietin
  • Tumor necrosis factor α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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