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Brain Res. 2009 Jul 28;1282:57-66. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.05.062. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Erythropoietin pre-treatment prevents cognitive impairments following status epilepticus in rats.

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Department of Neurology, Xin Jiang Urumqi Military General Hospital, No.41, Ke La Ma Yi Road, Urumqi 830000, China.


Selective neuronal loss is closely associated with cognitive impairments that occur following status epilepticus (SE). Our previous study suggested that erythropoietin (Epo) pre-treatment suppressed hippocampal neuronal death in rats after 1 h of SE convulsions. However, the underlying protective mechanism remained unclear. In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic mechanism of Epo pre-treatment in the hippocampus using Li-pilocarpine-induced SE in rats. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining was performed to detect apoptosis and the Morris water maze was employed to assess spatial learning ability and to analyze the protective effects of Epo. Levels of Bcl-2 family (Bid, Bcl-2 and Bax) markers were examined via Western blot and immunofluorescence. We found that Epo pre-treatment prevented SE-induced cognitive impairments. The protection and cognitive effects were associated with higher levels of Bcl-2 and lower levels of Bax. The present results suggest that systemic Epo pre-treatment can confer neuroprotection following SE, and may provide novel insights into pathogenesis and treatment following SE injury.

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