Erythropoietin protects the developing retina in an ovine model of endotoxin-induced retinal injury

Michelle L Loeliger, Anna Mackintosh, Robert M De Matteo, Richard L Harding, Sandra Rees

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Intrauterine infection is a common antecedent of preterm birth. Infants born very preterm are at increased risk of neurological dysfunction including visual deficits. With increasing survival of very preterm infants there is a need for therapies that prevent adverse neurological outcomes. Using an ovine model, we investigated the neuroprotective potential of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) on retinal injury induced by intrauterine inflammation. Methods: At 107+/-1 days of gestational age (DGA) chronically catheterized fetal sheep received on 3 consecutive days, either: 1) an i.v. bolus dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; approximately 0.9mug/kg; n=8); 2) i.v. bolus dose of LPS, followed at 1 hour by 5000IU/kg of rhEPO (LPS+rhEPO, n=8); 3) rhEPO alone (n=5). Untreated fetuses (n=8) were used for comparison with the 3 treatment groups. Fetal physiological parameters were monitored. At 116+/-1 DGA fetal retinae were assessed quantitatively for morphological and neurochemical alterations. Results: Exposure to LPS alone, but not to rhEPO alone, resulted in fetal hypoxemia and hypotension (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2656 - 2661
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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