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BMC Neurosci. 2013 Mar 12;14:27. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-14-27.

Post-ischemic continuous infusion of erythropoeitin enhances recovery of lost memory function after global cerebral ischemia in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Perioperative Medicine and Intensive Care, Skane University Hospital, Malmö S-20502, Sweden.



Erythropoietin (EPO) and its covalently modified analogs are neuroprotective in various models of brain damage and disease. We investigated the effect on brain damage and memory performance, of a continuous 3-day intravenous infusion of EPO, starting 20 min after a transient 10 minute period of global cerebral ischemia in the rat.


We found no effect on selective neuronal damage in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, neocortical damage and damage to the striatum assessed at 7 days after ischemia. Also, no differences were observed in sensori-motor scores between EPO treated and saline treated ischemic animals. In contrast, memory performance was significantly improved in the EPO treated group. Saline treated injured animals (n = 7) failed in a test assessing recovery of spatial memory (6/6 and 5/6), while EPO treated animals had few and none failures (0/7 and 1/7).


We conclude that although post-ischemic treatment with EPO is not neuroprotective in a model of cardiac arrest brain ischemia, its markedly positive effect on brain plasticity and recovery of memory function warrants consideration as treatment of cardiac arrest patients.

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