Send to

Choose Destination
J Nephrol. 2013 Jan-Feb;26(1):219-27. doi: 10.5301/jn.5000177.

Erythropoietin protects against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis.

Author information

Department of Nephrology, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, PR China.



The anticancer drug cisplatin (CP)-induced nephrotoxicity associated with apoptosis plays crucial roles in tumor patients. Erythropoietin (EPO) has recently been shown to enhance recovery from CP-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) in rats by exerting anti-apoptotic effects. However, the molecular mechanisms of Erythropoietin protects against CP-induced AKI are not very clear. The present study investigated the protective effects of erythropoietin (EPO) against CP-induced nephrotoxicity and the possible mechanism in rats.


Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into four groups: (1) Control group (n=16): which received a single intraperitoneal injection of vehicle (0.9% saline; 5 mL/kg); (2) CP group (n=16): which received a single intraperitoneal injection of 10.0 mg/kg CP (previously dissolved at 2.0 mg/mL in 0.9% saline solution); (3) CP+rHuEPO group (n=16): which received rHuEPO (5000 U/kg) with co-injection of the LY294002 vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, 33.3 ┬ÁL/kg; Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA) by tail vein injection 2 days before CP administration, 15 min before CP administration, and 2 days after CP administration; (4) CP+rHuEPO+LY group (n=16): which received LY294002 (0.3 mg/kg) 10 min before rHuEPO administration by three injections into the tail vein at 2-day intervals beginning 2 days before CP administration. Apoptosis was assessed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. The expressions of C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), caspase-12, the phosphorylation of Akt, cleaved-caspase-3 and EPO receptor (EPOR) were measured after CP-treated. In addition, light microscopy and immunohistochemistry examinations were performed.


The levels of serum urea and creatinine were increased at 96 h after CP-administered group. The eHuEPO-administered group had significantly lower serum creatinine levels. CP caused an increase in TUNEL-positive cells that was accompanied and apoptotic cell death induced by CP was significantly abrogated by rHuEPO at 96h by morphological evidence of apoptosis. The over-expression of CP-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers (CHOP and GRP78) and activation of caspase-12 were suppressed by rHuEPO, which also attenuated the CP-induced suppression of phosphatidylinositol-3kinase/Akt (PI3K/Akt) signaling in rat kidneys. In addition, LY294002 diminished the effect of rHuEPO on renal protection and antiapoptosis.


Injection of rHuEPO enhance recovery from CP-induced AKI in rats by ameliorating renal functional impairment and exerting important anti-apoptotic effects. However, rHuEPO inhibited CP-induced AKI by a possible mechanism involving PI3K/Akt activation and the inhibition of ER stress-mediated apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center