Recovery from experimental parkinsonism by intrastriatal application of erythropoietin or EPO-releasing neural precursors

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An extensive literature has shown a powerful neuroprotective action of Erythropoietin (EPO) both in vivo and in vitro. This study shows that EPO, whether ectopically administered or released by neural precursors, does reverse MPTP-induced parkinsonism in mice. Unilateral stereotaxic injection of 2.5 × 105 erythropoietin-releasing neural precursor cells (Er-NPCs) rescued degenerating striatal dopaminergic neurons and promoted behavioral recovery as shown by three independent behavioral tests. These effects were replicated through direct intrastriatal administration of recombinant human EPO. At the end of the observational period, most of the transplanted Er-NPCs were vital and migrated via the striatum to reach Substantia Nigra. The restorative effects appear to be mediated by EPO since co-injection of anti-EPO or anti-EPOR antibodies antagonized the positive outcomes. Furthermore, this report supports the neuroprotective action of EPO, which may also be achieved via administration of EPO-releasing cells such as Er-NPCs.

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