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Toxicol Pathol. 2014;42(3):524-39. doi: 10.1177/0192623313486319. Epub 2013 May 14.

Dose-related differences in the pharmacodynamic and toxicologic response to a novel hyperglycosylated analog of recombinant human erythropoietin in Sprague-Dawley rats with similarly high hematocrit.

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1Comparative Biology Safety Sciences, Pathology, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, USA.


We recently reported results that erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA)-related thrombotic toxicities in preclinical species were not solely dependent on a high hematocrit (HCT) but also associated with increased ESA dose level, dose frequency, and dosing duration. In this article, we conclude that sequelae of an increased magnitude of ESA-stimulated erythropoiesis potentially contributed to thrombosis in the highest ESA dose groups. The results were obtained from two investigative studies we conducted in Sprague-Dawley rats administered a low (no thrombotic toxicities) or high (with thrombotic toxicities) dose level of a hyperglycosylated analog of recombinant human erythropoietin (AMG 114), 3 times weekly for up to 9 days or for 1 month. Despite similarly increased HCT at both dose levels, animals in the high-dose group had an increased magnitude of erythropoiesis measured by spleen weights, splenic erythropoiesis, and circulating reticulocytes. Resulting prothrombotic risk factors identified predominantly or uniquely in the high-dose group were higher numbers of immature reticulocytes and nucleated red blood cells in circulation, severe functional iron deficiency, and increased intravascular destruction of iron-deficient reticulocyte/red blood cells. No thrombotic events were detected in rats dosed up to 9 days suggesting a sustained high HCT is a requisite cofactor for development of ESA-related thrombotic toxicities.


erythropoiesis; iron; pathology; polycythemia; rat; reticulocytes.; thrombosis

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