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PLoS One. 2010 Apr 9;5(4):e10093. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010093.

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor activating HIF-1alpha acts synergistically with erythropoietin to promote tissue plasticity.

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Center for Neuropsychiatry, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2010;5(10). doi:10.1371/annotation/433064f4-e30a-4000-8e5a-9e8d1775d820. Su, Ching-Yuan [added]; Li, Hung [added].


Stroke and peripheral limb ischemia are serious clinical problems with poor prognosis and limited treatment. The cytokines erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) have been used to induce endogenous cell repair and angiogenesis. Here, we demonstrated that the combination therapy of EPO and G-CSF exerted synergistic effects on cell survival and functional recovery from cerebral and peripheral limbs ischemia. We observed that even under normoxic conditions, G-CSF activates hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), which then binds to the EPO promoter and enhances EPO expression. Serum EPO level was significantly increased by G-CSF injection, with the exception of Tg-HIF-1alpha(+f/+f) mice. The neuroplastic mechanisms exerted by EPO combined with G-CSF included enhanced expression of the antiapoptotic protein of Bcl-2, augmented neurotrophic factors synthesis, and promoted neovascularization. Further, the combination therapy significantly increased homing and differentiation of bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) and intrinsic neural progenitor cells (INPCs) into the ischemic area. In summary, EPO in combination with G-CSF synergistically enhanced angiogenesis and tissue plasticity in ischemic animal models, leading to greater functional recovery than either agent alone.

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