Erythropoietin accelerates functional recovery after moderate sciatic nerve crush injury

Michael B. Geary, Haiyan Li, Alissa Zingman, John Ketz, Michael Zuscik, Karen L. De Mesy Bentley, Mark Noble, John C. Elfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Introduction: Erythropoietin (EPO) has been identified as a neuroregenerative agent. We hypothesize that it may accelerate recovery after crush injury and may vary with crush severity. Methods: Mice were randomized to mild, moderate, or severe crush of the sciatic nerve and were treated with EPO or vehicle control after injury. The sciatic function index (SFI) was monitored over the first week. Microstructural changes were analyzed by immunofluorescence for neurofilament (NF) and myelin (P0), and electron microscopy was used to assess ultrastructural changes. Results: In moderate crush injuries, EPO significantly improved SFI at 7 days post-injury, an effect not observed with other severity levels. Increases in the ratio of P0 to NF were observed after EPO treatment in moderate crush injuries. Electron microscopy demonstrated endothelial cell hypertrophy in the EPO group. Conclusions: EPO accelerates recovery in moderately crushed nerves, which may be through effects on myelination and vascularization. Injury severity may influence the efficacy of EPO. Muscle Nerve 56: 143–151, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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