The neuroprotective and neurorescue effects of carbamylated erythropoietin Fc fusion protein (CEPO-Fc) in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

Judith Thomas Tayra, Masahiro Kameda, Takao Yasuhara, Takashi Agari, Tomohito Kadota, Feifei Wang, Yoichiro Kikuchi, Hanbai Liang, Aiko Shinko, Takaaki Wakamori, Brigitta Vcelar, Robert Weik, Isao Date

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Parkinson's disease is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Thus the development of therapeutic neuroprotection and neurorescue strategies to mitigate disease progression is important. In this study we evaluated the neuroprotective/rescue effects of erythropoietin Fc fusion protein (EPO-Fc) and carbamylated erythropoietin Fc fusion protein (CEPO-Fc) in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats received intraperitoneal injection of EPO-Fc, CEPO-Fc or PBS. Behavioral evaluations consisted of rota-rod, cylinder and amphetamine-induced rotation tests. In the neuroprotection experiment, the CEPO-Fc group demonstrated significant improvement compared with the EPO-Fc group on the amphetamine-induced rotation test throughout the four-week follow-up period. Histologically, significantly more tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons were recognized in the substantia nigra (SN) pars compacta in the CEPO-Fc group than in the PBS and EPO-Fc groups. In the neurorescue experiment, rats receiving CEPO-Fc showed significantly better behavioural scores than those receiving PBS. The histological data concerning striatum also showed that the CEPO-Fc group had significantly better preservation of TH-positive fibers compared to the PBS and EPO-Fc groups. Importantly, there were no increases in hematocrit or hemoglobin levels in the CEPO-Fc group in either the neuroprotection or the neurorescue experiments. In conclusion, the newly developed CEPO-Fc might confer neuroprotective and neurorescue benefits in a rat model of Parkinson's disease without the side effects associated with polycythemia. CEPO-Fc might be a therapeutic tool for patients with Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2013



  • Carbamylated erythropoietin
  • Dopamine
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurorescue
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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