Comparison of the Protective Effects of Erythropoietin and Melatonin on Renal Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury




Background: Renal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) contributes to the development of acute renal failure (ARF). Oxygen free radicals are considered to be the principal components involved in the pathophysiological tissue alterations observed during renal IR. Objectives: In this study, we compared the effects of melatonin (MEL) and erythropoietin (EPO), both known antioxidant and antiinflammatory agents, on IR-induced renal injury in rats. Materials and Methods: Wistar albino rats were unilaterally nephrectomized and then subjected to 45 minutes of renal pedicle occlusion followed by 24 hours of reperfusion. MEL (10 mg/kg, i.p) and EPO (5000 U/kg, i.p) were administered prior to the onset of ischemia. After 24 hours of reperfusion and following decapitation, blood samples were collected for the determination of the hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) levels. Additionally, renal samples were taken for histological evaluation. Results: Ischemia-reperfusion significantly decreased the observed Hb and Hct values. The histopathological findings in the IR group confirmed that there was an increase in the hyaline cast and thickening of the Bowman capsule basement membrane. Treatment with EPO or MEL significantly increased the Hb and Hct values. In the MEL + IR group, the histopathological changes were lower than those found in the EPO + IR group. Conclusions: Treatment with EPO and MEL had a beneficial effect on renal IR injury. The results may also indicate that MEL protects against morphological damage better than EPO in renal IR injury.