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Pediatr Nephrol. 2012 Jan;27(1):139-44. doi: 10.1007/s00467-011-1950-6. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

The influence of EPO and hypothermia on the kidneys of rats after perinatal asphyxia.

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Intensive Unit Care, Institute for Child and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia.


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of erythropoietin (EPO), moderate hypothermia, and a combination thereof on the kidneys of newborn rats damaged during perinatal asphyxia. An animal model of perinatal asphyxia (Wistar rats) was used in which after birth, newborn rats were divided into four groups of 15 animals each: G1, rats exposed only to asphyxia; G2, rats exposed to asphyxia and hypothermia (rectal temperature 32°C) and which received EPO (darbepoetin alpha) intraperitoneally; G3, rats exposed to asphyxia and hypothermia; G4, rats exposed to asphyxia and which received EPO. The rats were sacrificed on the 7th day of life and histopathological evaluation of kidneys was performed. Damage to the proximal tubules was significantly higher in group G1 rats than in groups G2, G3, and G4 rats (p < 0.01). Damage to the distal tubules was found only in group G1 rats. Histological changes in the proximal tubules were more prominent than in the distal tubules (p < 0.01). The immature glomeruli zone was less expressed in group G4 rats than in groups G1, G2, and G3 rats (p < 0.01). Based on these results, we conclude that EPO and hypothermia, as well as the combination thereof, have a protective effect on rats' kidneys damaged during perinatal asphyxia.

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