Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a monophasic immune neuropathic disorder in which a significant proportion of patients have incomplete recovery. The patients with incomplete recovery almost always have some degree of failure of axon regeneration and target reinnervation. Anti-ganglioside antibodies (Abs) are the most commonly recognized autoimmune markers in all forms of GBS and specific Abs are associated with the slow/poor recovery. We recently demonstrated that specific anti-ganglioside Abs inhibit axonal regeneration and nerve repair in preclinical models by activation of small GTPase RhoA and its downstream effectors. The objective of this study was to determine whether erythropoietin (EPO), a pleiotropic cytokine with neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties, enhances nerve regeneration in preclinical cell culture and animal models of autoimmune neuropathy/nerve repair generated with monoclonal and patient derived Abs. Primary neuronal cultures and a standardized sciatic crush nerve model were used to assess the efficacy of EPO in reversing inhibitory effects of anti-ganglioside Abs on nerve repair. We found that EPO completely reversed the inhibitory effects of anti-ganglioside Abs on axon regeneration in cell culture models and significantly improved nerve regeneration/repair in an animal model. Moreover, EPO-induced proregenerative effects in nerve cells are through EPO receptors and Janus kinase 2/Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 pathway and not via early direct modulation of small GTPase RhoA. These preclinical studies indicate that EPO is a viable candidate drug to develop further for neuroprotection and enhancing nerve repair in patients with GBS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)