Background: Erythropoietin (EPO) is a cytokine primarily involved in the regulation of erythropoiesis. In response to hypoxia–ischemia, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 induces EPO production, which, in turn, inhibits apoptosis of erythroid progenitor cells. By the same mechanism and acting through other signaling pathways, EPO exerts neuroprotective effects. Increased resistance to hypoxia and decreased apoptosis are thought to be important mechanisms for tumor progression, including malignant glioma. Because recent studies have demonstrated that EPO and its receptor (EPOR) are expressed in several tumors and can promote tumor growth, in the present study, we investigated EPO and EPOR expression in human glioma and the effect of EPO administration in a rat model of glioma implantation. Methods: Using Western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis, we examined the expression of EPO, EPOR, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule, and Ki-67 in human glioma specimens and experimentally induced glioma in rats. In the experimental setting, a daily dose of recombinant human EPO (rHuEPO) or saline solution were administered for 21 days in Fischer rats subjected to 9L cell line implantation. Results: In both human and animal specimens, we found an increase in EPOR expression as long as the lesion presented with an increasing malignant pattern. A significant direct correlation was found between the expression of EPOR and Ki-67 and EPOR and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule in low- and high-grade gliomas. The rats treated with rHuEPO presented with significantly larger tumor spread compared with the saline-treated rats. Conclusions: The results of our study have shown that the EPO/EPOR complex might play a significant role in the aggressive behavior of high-grade gliomas. The larger tumor spread in rHuEPO-treated rats suggests a feasible role for EPO in the aggressiveness and progression of malignant glioma. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes