The functional recovery following non-severing peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is often incomplete. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a pleiotropic hormone and it has been shown to protect peripheral nerves following mild and even moderate severity injuries. However, the effectiveness of EPO in severe PNI is largely unknown. In this study, we sought to investigate the neuroprotective effect of a new dose regimen of EPO in severe sciatic nerve crush injury (SSCI). Adult male mice (8 animals/group) were randomly assigned to sham (normal saline, 0.1 ml/mouse), SSCI (normal saline, 0.1 ml/mouse) and SSCI with EPO (5000 IU/kg) groups. SSCI was performed using calibrated forceps for 30 sec. EPO or normal saline was administered intraperitoneally immediately after the SSCI and at post-injury day1 and 2. The functional recovery after injury was assessed by sciatic function index (SFI), von Frey Test (VFT), and grip strength test. Mice were euthanized on day 7 and 21 and nerves at injury/peri-injury site were processed for gene (quantitative real-time PCR) and protein (immunohistochemistry) expression analysis. EPO significantly improved SFI, VFT, and hind limb paw grip strength from post-injury day 7. EPO demonstrated significant regulatory effects on mRNA expression of inflammatory (IL-1β and TNF-α), anti-inflammatory (IL-10), angiogenesis (VEGF and eNOS), and myelination (MBP) genes. The protein expression of IL-1β, F4/80, CD31, NF-κB p65, NF-H, MPZ, and DHE (redox-sensitive probe) was also significantly modulated by EPO treatment. In conclusion, the new dose regimen of EPO augments sciatic nerve functional recovery by mitigating inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, oxidative stress, angiogenesis, and myelination components of SSCI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy