Erythropoietin protects from post-traumatic edema in the rat brain

Olivier Verdonck, Hana Lahrech, Gilles Francony, Olivier Carle, Régine Farion, Yohan Van De Looij, Chantal Remy, Christoph Segebarth, Jean Francois Payen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Erythropoietin (Epo) is gaining interest in various neurological insults as a possible neuroprotective agent. We determined the effects of recombinant human Epo (rhEpo, 5000 IU per kg bw) on brain edema induced in rats by traumatic brain injury (TBI; impact-acceleration model; rhEpo administration 30 mins after injury). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a gravimetric technique were applied. In the MRI experiments, the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and the tissue T1 relaxation time were measured hourly in the neocortex and caudoputamen, during a 6 h time span after TBI. In the gravimetric experiments, brain water content (BWC) was determined in these two regions, 6 h after TBI. Apparent diffusion coefficient measurements showed that rhEpo decreased brain edema early and durably. Gravimetric measurements showed that rhEpo decreased BWC at H6 in the neocortex as well as in the caudoputamen. No significant differences in ADC, in T1, or in BWC were found between rhEpo treated-TBI rats and sham-operated rats. Our findings show that post-traumatic administration of rhEpo can significantly reduce the development of brain edema in a model of diffuse TBI. Further studies should be conducted to identify the biochemical mechanisms involved in these immediate effects and to assess the use of rhEpo as a possible therapy for post-traumatic brain edema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1376
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 27 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain edema
  • Erythropoietin
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroprotection
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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