Research Article: Effects of Erythropoietin on Gliogenesis during Cerebral Ischemic/Reperfusion Recovery in Adult Mice

Date Published: July 21, 2017

Publisher: JKL International LLC

Author(s): Rongliang Wang, Jincheng Li, Yunxia Duan, Zhen Tao, Haiping Zhao, Yumin Luo.


Erythropoietin (EPO) promotes oligodendrogenesis and attenuates white matter injury in neonatal rats. However, it is unknown whether this effect extends to adult mice and whether EPO regulate microglia polarization after ischemic stroke. Male adult C57BL/6 mice (25–30g) were subjected to 45 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). EPO (5000 IU/kg) or saline was injected intraperitoneally every other day after reperfusion. Neurological function was evaluated using the rotarod test at 1, 3, 7 and 14 days after MCAO. Brain tissue loss volume was determined by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Immunofluorescence staining and Western blot were also used to assess the severity of white matter injury and phenotypic changes in microglia/macrophages. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected intraperitoneally daily for 1 week to analyze the number of newly proliferating glia cells (oligodendrocytes, microglia, and astrocytes). We found that EPO significantly reduced Brain tissue loss volume, ameliorated white matter injury, and improved neurobehavioral outcomes at 14 days after MCAO (P<0.05). In addition, EPO also increased the number of newly generated oligodendrocytes and attenuated the rapid hypertrophy and hyperplasia of microglia and astrocytes after ischemic stroke (P<0.05). Furthermore, EPO reduced M1 microglia and increased M2 microglia (P<0.05). Taken together, our results suggest that EPO treatment improves white matter integrity after cerebral ischemia, which could be attributed to EPO attenuating gliosis and facilitating the microglial polarization toward the beneficial M2 phenotype to promote oligodendrogenesis.

Partial Text

The current study demonstrated the neuroprotective effects of EPO associated with its ability to attenuate I/R-induced rapid hypertrophy and hyperplasia of microglia and astrocytes as well as the facilitation of microglial polarization toward the M2 phenotype, which promotes mature myelinating oligodendrocyte regeneration to result in white matter reparation and the observed improvement in neurological functional outcomes 14 days after cerebral ischemia in adult mice.




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