BackgroundPhlebotomy-induced anemia (PIA) is common in premature infants and affects neurodevelopment. PIA alters hippocampal metabolism in neonatal mice through tissue hypoxia and iron deficiency. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway senses the status of critical metabolites (e.g., oxygen, iron), thereby regulating hippocampal growth and function. We determined the effect of PIA and recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) treatment on mTOR signaling and expression of genes related to mTOR pathway functions.MethodsMice receiving an iron-supplemented diet were phlebotomized from postnatal day (P)3 to a target hematocrit of <25% by P7. Half were maintained at <25% until P14; half received rHuEpo from P7 to increase the hematocrit to 25-28%. Hippocampal phosphorylated to total protein ratios of four key mTOR pathway proteins were measured by western blotting at P14 and compared with non-phlebotomized, non-anemic control mice. mRNA levels of genes regulated by mTOR were measured by quantitative PCR.ResultsPIA suppressed phosphorylation of all mTOR proteins. rHuEpo restored AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and AKT status, and partially rescued the mTOR output protein S6K. PIA and rHuEpo treatment also altered the expression of genes regulated by S6K.ConclusionPIA compromises and rHuEpo treatment partially rescues a pathway regulating neuronal DNA transcription, protein translation, and structural complexity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the NIH Grant P01 HL046925 and NIH Grant R01 HD029421