Long-Term Moderate Dose Exogenous Erythropoietin Treatment Protects from Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Spatial Learning Deficits and Hippocampal Oxidative Stress in Young Rats

Al-Qahtani, Jobran; Abdel-Wahab, Basel; Abd El-Aziz, Samy
January 2014
Neurochemical Research;Jan2014, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p161
Academic Journal
Exposure to intermittent hypoxia (IH) is associated with cognitive impairments and oxidative stress in brain regions involved in learning and memory. In earlier studies, erythropoietin (EPO) showed a neuroprotective effect in large doses. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of smaller doses of EPO, such as those used in the treatment of anemia, on IH-induced cognitive deficits and hippocampal oxidative stress in young rats. The effect of concurrent EPO treatment (500 and 1,000 IU/kg/day ip) on spatial learning and memory deficits induced by long-term exposure to IH for 6 weeks was tested using the Morris water maze (MWM) test and the elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Moreover, the effect on hippocampal glutamate and oxidative stress were assessed. Exposure to IH induced a significant impairment of spatial learning and cognition of animals in both MWM and EPM performance parameters. Moreover, hippocampal glutamate and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) increased while antioxidant defenses (GSH and GSH-Px) decreased. EPO in the tested doses significantly reduced the IH-induced spatial learning deficits in both MWM and EPM tests and dose-dependently antagonized the effects of IH on hippocampal glutamate, TBARS, GSH levels, and GSH-Px activity. Treatment with EPO in moderate doses that used for anemia, concurrently with IH exposure can antagonize IH-induced spatial learning deficits and protect hippocampal neurons from IH-induced lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress-induced damage in young rats, possibly through multiple mechanisms involving a potential antioxidative effect.


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