gms | German Medical Science

21st Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society and 8th Symposium of the International Society of Ocular Trauma (ISOT)

German Retina Society
International Society of Ocular Trauma

19.06. - 22.06.2008, Würzburg

Trophic Effects of Erythropoietin on the Retinal Pigmentepithelium

Meeting Abstract

  • Oliver Zeitz - Hamburg/Germany
  • A. Gawad - Hamburg/Germany
  • L. Schlichting - Hamburg/Germany
  • G. Richard - Hamburg/Germany
  • O. Strauß - Regensburg/Germany

Retinologische Gesellschaft. International Society of Ocular Trauma. 21. Jahrestagung der Retinologischen Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit dem 8. Symposium der International Society of Ocular Trauma. Würzburg, 19.-22.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocISOTRG2008V107

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 18, 2008

© 2008 Zeitz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Oxidative damage of the retinal pigmentepithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the etiology of age related macula degeneration. In the following study trophic effects of erythropoietin (EPO) at oxidative stressed RPE cells are investigated and compared with the protective properties of scavenger molecules.

Methods: Hydroxylradicals are generated from the Fenton reaction. The radical concentration will be given as multiples of a reference concentration which was examined by NMR spectroscopy previously. Survival rate (life dead assay) and apoptosis rate (TUNEL assay and Annexin V labelling) was measured in cultured ARPE-19 cells. The experiments were done in absence and presence of pharmacological test compounds. The EPO-Receptor was detected by Western blotting.

Results: Several hours after radical exposure apoptosis can be observed. Apoptosis rate reaches its maximum after 6 hours (11.8±1.7% at 3x radical concentration; P<0.05). Scavengers like vitamin C do not have protective properties. Particularly in low concentrations below 1mM they may increase the oxidative damage (cell survival rate without vitamin C 87±1% to 89±2% vs. 79±2% to 82±3% in presence of 0.1 to 1mM vitamin C; n=6 each; P<0.05). EPO reduces apoptosis rate after 6 hours significantly (12.5±0.9% w/o EPO vs. 4.0±0.8% with 5U/ml EPO; P=0.02; n=3 each). EPO is still effective if i given after radical exposure. Western blot confirmed the presence of the EPO-receptor.

Conclusions: EPO prevents RPE cells from oxidative induced apoptosis, while prevention of radical induced cell death by administration of scavengers failed.