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Isocitrate treatment of acute anemia of inflammation in a mouse model


Acute and severe anemia of inflammation (AI) is a common complication of various clinical syndromes, including fulminant infections, critical illness with multiorgan failure, and exacerbations of autoimmune diseases. Building on recent data showing beneficial results with isocitrate treatment for chronic low-grade AI in a rat model, we used a mouse model of acute and severe AI induced by intraperitoneal heat-killed Brucella abortus to determine if isocitrate would be effective in this more stringent application. Inflamed mice treated with isocitrate developed an early but transient improvement in hemoglobin compared to solvent-treated controls, with a robust improvement on day 7, and only a trend towards improvement by day 14. Reticulocyte counts were increased in treated mice transiently, with no significant difference by day 21. Serum erythropoietin (EPO) levels were similar in treated versus control mice, indicating that isocitrate increased sensitivity to EPO. Serum and tissue iron levels showed no significant differences between the treated and control mice, ruling out improved iron availability as the cause of the increased response to endogenous EPO. Compared to the milder rat model, much higher doses of isocitrate were required for a relatively modest benefit.

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