Erythropoietin reduces ischemia-reperfusion injury in the rat liver

M. Schmeding, U. P. Neumann, S. Boas-Knoop, A. Spinelli, P. Neuhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Human recombinant erythropoietin (Epo) has recently been shown to be a potent protector of ischemic damage in various organ systems. A significant reduction of stroke injury following cerebral ischemia has been postulated as well as improved cardiomyocyte function after myocardial infarction in tissue pretreated with Epo. It was the aim of this study to evaluate the effects of Epo in liver ischemia. Material and Methods: Rats were subjected to 45 min of warm hepatic ischemia. Animals were either pretreated with 1,000 IU of Epo in three doses or received 1,000 IU into the portal vein 30 min before ischemia. Control animals received saline at the same time points before ischemia. Animals were than sacrificed 6, 12, 24, 48 h and 7 days after surgery and transaminases were measured. Liver specimens were evaluated regarding apoptosis, necrosis and regeneration capacity. Results: Apoptosis rates were dramatically reduced in animals pretreated with Epo while mRNA of tumor necrosis factor-α and STAT-3 were upregulated in all groups. Intraportal venous injection displayed superiority to subcutaneous preconditioning. Transaminases were significantly reduced among the Epo-treated animals after 6 and 12 h. Conclusion: Our data suggests a protective effect of Epo in warm hepatic ischemia and reperfusion injury in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Surgical Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Erythropoietin
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Warm hepatic ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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