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clinically significant nonregenerative anemia. 14 , 15 Anemia secondary to CRD is a result of decreased production of kidney-associated erythropoietin (EPO), the principal hormonal regulator of erythropoiesis. Spliced feline EPO (feEPO) mRNA is 579

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To produce recombinant canine erythropoietin (rcEPO) and compare its biological activity with that of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO).

Animals

C57BL/6J mice.

Procedure

The gene encoding cEPO was isolated from a genomic library and subcloned into an eucaryotic expression vector. Production of rcEPO was achieved by stable transfection of the expression construct into Chinese hamster ovary cells. Biological activity was evaluated in vitro by analyzing the mitogenic activity of rcEPO on murine erythroid progenitor cells. In vivo bioactivity was assessed in mice by measuring the ability of rcEPO to increase blood reticulocyte counts.

Results

Size and glycosylation of rcEPO expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells were similar to values for commercial rhEPO. Canine and human EPO stimulated proliferation of murine erythroid progenitor cells in vitro and murine reticulocytosis in vivo in a dosedependent manner.

Conclusions

Comparable biological activity was observed for rcEPO and rhEPO in the 2 murine-based assay systems studied. By avoiding interspecies variation in protein structure and the resulting potential for immunogenicity, rcEPO should represent a better option than rhEPO for treatment of dogs with erythropoietin-dependent anemia.

Clinical Relevance

Therapeutic use of rhEPO in companion animals is limited by its immunogenicity and the resulting potential to induce pure red cell aplasia. Development and availability of species-specific EPO preparations should avoid this problem. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1144-1148)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the activity of recombinant feline erythropoietin (rfEPO) in murine bioassays and evaluate its efficacy and safety in cats with erythropoietin-dependent nonregenerative anemia.

Animals—26 cats (group 1, 19 cats with anemia attributed to chronic kidney disease [CKD]; group 2, 7 cats with CKD and recombinant human erythropoietin [rhEPO]-induced red cell aplasia [RCA]).

Procedure—The rfEPO was synthesized by use of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with feline erythropoietin complementary DNA. Preclinical assessments of rfEPO included an erythroid cell proliferation assay and measurements of reticulocytosis in Balb/C mice. Clinical assessments of cats included hematologic, biochemical, and clinical examinations during 12 (group 1) or 6 (group 2) months of rfEPO treatment.

Results—Biological activity of rfEPO was broadly equivalent to rhEPO in preclinical murine bioassays. Median Hct and absolute reticulocyte count in cats increased significantly during the first 3 weeks of rfEPO treatment, and median Hct generally could be maintained within a target range of 30% to 40% with periodic adjustments of rfEPO doses. Unexpectedly, 5 cats in group 1 and 3 cats in group 2 that initially responded to rfEPO treatment again developed anemia that was refractory to additional rfEPO treatments, even at higher doses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with rfEPO can reestablish active erythropoiesis in most cats with CKD, even those with anemia attributable to rhEPO-induced RCA. Unfortunately, development of RCA during treatment with CHO cell-derived recombinant erythropoietin proteins was not eliminated as a serious safety concern, even for this feline-specific preparation. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1355–1366)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether recombinant canine erythropoietin (rcEPO) stimulates erythropoiesis in dogs without causing the immunogenicity problem (ie, erythroid hypoplasia) associated with recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO).

Animals

13 clinically normal dogs.

Procedure

Dogs were randomly assigned to 2 groups; 1 group (n = 6) received rhEPO, whereas the other group (7) received rcEPO. Both groups received SC injections of diluent for 4 weeks before initiating treatment with erythropoietin (100 U/kg of body weight, SC, 3 times/wk). Hematocrit and absolute reticulocyte count were monitored weekly, CBC were done monthly, and bone marrow aspirates for cytologic evaluation were obtained before and at 4, 8, 16, and 24 weeks during treatment.

Results

Weekly mean Hct and absolute reticulocyte count increased in both groups of dogs during the first 2 weeks of treatment. For dogs receiving rhEPO, precipitous decreases in reticulocyte number and more gradual decreases in Hct were associated with development of erythroid hypoplasia. Dogs receiving rhEPO developed erythroid hypoplasia by week 4 (n = 4), 8 (1), or 16 (1). With cessation of rhEPO treatment after diagnosis of erythroid hypoplasia, RBC production recovered 5 to 11 weeks (median, 7 weeks) later. In contrast, rcEPO treatment caused sustained increases in Hct and reticulocytosis. None of the dogs receiving rcEPO developed erythroid hypoplasia.

Conclusions

rcEPO stimulated erythrocyte production in clinically normal dogs during a 24-week period without causing the erythroid hypoplasia encountered in rhEPO-treated dogs.

Clinical Relevance

Because rcEPO did not cause erythroid hypoplasia, rcEPO may represent an improved option, compared with rhEPO, for treatment of erythropoietin-dependent anemia in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:636–642)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the clinicopathologic patterns of the erythropoietic response after renal transplantation in cats with chronic renal failure (CRF).

Animals—14 cats with CRF undergoing renal transplantation.

Procedure—Before and at intervals during a 6-month period after transplantation, serum creatinine and erythropoietin concentrations, Hct, erythrocyte indices, aggregate reticulocyte percentage, and iron variables were measured. Additionally, the number of transfusions administered to and any complications that developed in each cat were recorded.

Results—In all cats, preoperative azotemia resolved within 6 days after renal transplantation. Two cats had a temporary increase in serum creatinine concentration secondary to an acute graft rejection episode. Anemia (defined as Hct < 28%) resolved in 10 cats 3 to 49 days after surgery. Resolution of anemia was delayed in 2 cats that had acute rejection episodes. Serum erythropoietin concentration and reticulocyte percentage were low preoperatively; values after surgery were highly variable. Compared with preoperative values, serum erythropoietin concentration increased 1 to 4 days after surgery in 11 cats; between days 5 and 58, another increase was detected in 9 cats. Serum iron concentrations were generally low before and 14 days after transplantation.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—The erythropoietic response was highly variable in cats after renal transplantation, but anemia typically resolved within 1 month after surgery. A delay in resolution of anemia in cats may indicate poor graft function and inadequate iron stores, suggesting the need for further evaluation for concurrent illness. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64: 1248–1254)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To use transient and stable transfection of Chinese hamster ovary cells to clone the gene encoding feline erythropoietin (feEPO) protein, characterize the expressed protein, and assess its biological activity.

Sample Population—Cultures of Chinese hamster ovary or TF-1 cells.

Procedure—The gene encoding feEPO was cloned into a eukaryotic expression plasmid. Chinese hamster ovary cells were transiently or stably transfected with the plasmid. Expressed recombinant feEPO (rfeEPO) protein was purified from transiently transfected cells. The protein was characterized by use of SDS gel electrophoresis and western blot analysis. Biological activity was assessed by measuring thymidine incorporation by TF-1 erythroleukemic cells.

Results—Purified rfeEPO from supernatants of transiently transfected cells was determined to be 34 to 40 kilodaltons (kd) by use of SDS gel electrophoresis, whereas the molecular weight predicted from the amino acid sequence was 21.5 kd. The banding pattern and high molecular weight suggested the protein was glycosylated. The rfeEPO proteins derived from transient or stable transfections subsequently were determined to be biologically active in vitro.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The gene encoding feEPO can be transfected into eukaryotic cells, and the expressed rfeEPO protein is biologically active in vitro. Cats with chronic renal failure often are anemic as a result of reduced expression of erythropoietin (EPO). Treatment with human-derived EPO stimulates RBCs in anemic cats; however, treatment is often limited by the development of antibodies directed against the recombinant human protein, which can then cross-react with endogenous feEPO. Recombinant feEPO may prove beneficial for use in cats with chronic renal failure. (Am J Vet Res 2003; 64:1465–1471)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective

To test efficacy and safety of recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO) administration in dogs and cats with naturally developing chronic renal failure.

Design

Case series.

Animals

6 client-owned dogs and 11 client-owned cats with chronic renal failure.

Procedures

r-HuEPO was administered intravenously or subcutaneously. Erythropoietic effects were monitored by determining CBC, performing cytologic examination of bone marrow aspirates, and measuring serum iron concentration before and during treatment. Development of adverse effects was monitored by performing sequential clinical assessments, CBC, and serum biochemical tests and by measuring indirect blood pressure and anti-r-HuEPO antibody titers.

Results

Administration of r-HuEPO increased RBC and reticulocyte counts, hemoglobin concentration, and Hct comparably in dogs and cats. Assessments of clinical well-being, including appetite, energy, weight gain, alertness, strength, and playfulness, were improved variably. Adverse effects, including anemia, anti-r-HuEPO antibody production, seizures, systemic hypertension, and iron deficiency, were demonstrated inconsistently in dogs and cats.

Clinical Implications

Anemia contributes to clinical manifestations of chronic renal failure in dogs and cats. Administration of r-HuEPO has the potential to resolve anemia and improve clinical well-being. However, its administration poses risks of antibody production and adverse effects associated with correction of RBC mass. Use of r-HuEPO in dogs and cats requires conscientious assessment of risks and benefits until homologous forms of erythropoietin are available. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:521-528)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of equine erythropoietin (EPO) and to develop region-specific antibodies to differentiate equine EPO (eEPO) and human EPO (hEPO).

Sample Population—RNA and lysate extracted from renal tissues of an adult Thoroughbred.

Procedure—Full-length cDNA was determined by use of a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay and a rapid amplification of cDNA ends method. The deduced amino acid sequence was compared with sequences of EPO reported for other species. Furthermore, 4 synthetic peptides were designed in 2 distinctive parts of the eEPO and hEPO amino acid sequences to obtain antibodies specific for eEPO and hEPO. Specificity of the antibodies was tested against supernatant of homogenized equine kidney and recombinant hEPO (rhEPO) by use of western immunoblotting techniques.

Results—Analysis of the 1,181 bp in the nucleotide sequence revealed that eEPO was a residue of 192 amino acids. Similarity of eEPO with amino acid sequences of EPO from other species was 81.0% to 90.6%. Antibodies were specifically recognized by eEPO or rhEPO molecules. Anti-hEPO (161 to 165) antibody specifically recognized rhEPO. In contrast, anti-eEPO (133 to 144) antibody reacted with the equine kidney lysate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—We determined the cDNA and amino acid sequence of eEPO and developed region-specific antibodies that specifically recognized eEPO or rhEPO. These antibodies may be useful in distinguishing rhEPO from eEPO in a test to detect the misuse of rhEPO in racehorses. ( Am J Vet Res2004;65:15–19)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the biological effects of IM administration of a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (rAAV2) vector containing feline erythropoietin (fEPO) cDNA and determine whether readministration of the vector or removal of muscle tissue at the injection sites alters those effects.

Animals—10 healthy 7-week-old specific pathogenfree cats.

Procedure—Cats received 1 × 107 infective units (iU; n = 3), 1 × 108 iU (3), or 1 × 109 iU (2) of rAAV2-fEPO vector IM (day 0). Two control cats received an rAAV2 vector containing the LacZ gene (1 × 109 iU, IM). In all cats, hematologic variables and serum fEPO concentration were measured at intervals; anti-rAAV2 antibody titer was measured on day 227. In cats that did not respond to treatment, the rAAV2- fEPO vector was readministered. Injection sites were subsequently surgically removed.

Results—Compared with control cats, cats treated with 1 × 109 iU of rAAV2-fEPO vector had increased Hct and serum fEPO concentrations. One of these cats developed pure RBC aplasia; its Hct normalized following injection site excision. Cats receiving lower doses of vector had no response; on retreatment, 1 of those cats developed sustained erythrocytosis that persisted despite injection site removal and the others did not respond or responded transiently. Antibodies against rAAV2 were detected in all vector-treated cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gene therapy may be an effective treatment for cats with hypoproliferative anemia. However, rAAV2-fEPO vector administration may result in pure RBC aplasia or pathologic erythrocytosis, and injection site removal does not consistently abolish the biological response. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:450–456)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research