Erythropoietin improves neuronal proliferation in dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease


1 Physiology Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Basic Sciences, Payame Noor University, Shahin Shahr Branch, Iran

5 Physiology; Applied Physiology Research Center and Biosensor Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a prevalent disorder with severe learning and memory defects. Because it has been demonstrated that erythropoietin (EPO) has positive effects on the central nervous system, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of EPO on neuronal proliferation in dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation in a well-defined model for AD.
Materials and Methods: A rat model of sporadic dementia of Alzheimer's type was established by a bilateral intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin (ICV-STZ). Impairment of learning and memory was confirmed 2 weeks after ICV-STZ injection by passive avoidance learning test and then rats were divided into fourgroups:Control, control-EPO, Alzheimer and Alzheimer-EPO. EPO was injected intraperitoneally every other day with a dose of 5000 IU/kg and, finally, the rats were anesthetized and decapitated for immunohistochemical study and neurogenesis investigation (by Ki67 method) in dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation.
Results: The results driven from the histological study showed that EPO significantly increases neuronal proliferation in dentate gyrus of hippocampus in the Alzheimer-EPO group compared with the control, control-EPO and Alzheimer groups; however, there were no differences between the other groups.
Conclusion: Our results show that even though EPO in intact animals doesnot change neurogenesis in dentate gyrus, it can nonetheless significantly increase neurogenesis if there is an underlying disorder like neurodegenerative diseases.


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