Authors: Maurice T, Mustafa MH, Desrumaux C, Keller E, Naert G de la C García-Barceló M, Rodríguez Cruz Y, Garcia Rodríguez JC.


Abstract :  Erythropoietin (EPO) promotes neurogenesis and neuroprotection. We here compared the protection induced by two EPO formulations in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD): rHu-EPO and a low sialic form, Neuro-EPO. We used the intracerebroventricular administration of aggregated Aβ₂₅₋₃₅ peptide, a non-transgenic AD model. rHu-EPO was tested at 125-500 µg/kg intraperitoneally and Neuro-EPO at 62-250 µg/kg intranasally (IN). Behavioural procedures included spontaneous alternation, passive avoidance, water-maze and object recognition, to address spatial and non-spatial, short- and long-term memories. Biochemical markers of Aβ₂₅₋₃₅ toxicity in the mouse hippocampus were examined and cell loss in the CA1 layer was determined. rHu-EPO and Neuro-EPO led to a significant prevention of Aβ₂₅₋₃₅-induced learning deficits. Both EPO formulations prevented the induction of lipid peroxidation in the hippocampus, showing an antioxidant activity. rHu-EPO (250 µg/kg) or Neuro-EPO (125 µg/kg) prevented the Aβ₂₅₋₃₅-induced increase in Bax level, TNFα and IL-1β production and decrease in Akt activation. A significant prevention of the Aβ₂₅₋₃₅-induced cell loss in CA1 was also observed. EPO is neuroprotective in the Aβ₂₅₋₃₅ AD model, confirming its potential as an endogenous neuroprotection system that could be boosted for therapeutic efficacy. We here identified a new IN formulation of EPO showing high neuroprotective activity. Considering its efficacy, ease and safety, IN Neuro-EPO is a new promising therapeutic agent in AD.

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