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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 968927, 9 pages
Research Article

Epoetin Alpha and Epoetin Zeta: A Comparative Study on Stimulation of Angiogenesis and Wound Repair in an Experimental Model of Burn Injury

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy
2Department of Dentistry and Medical and Surgical Experimental Sciences, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy
3Department of Paediatric, Gynaecological, Microbiological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy

Received 19 December 2014; Revised 2 April 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Themis R. Kyriakides

Copyright © 2015 Natasha Irrera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deep second-degree burns are characterized by delayed formation of granulation tissue and impaired angiogenesis. Erythropoietin (EPO) is able to stimulate angiogenesis and mitosis, activating vascularization and cell cycle. The aim of our study was to investigate whether two biosimilar recombinant human erythropoietins, EPO-α and EPO-Z, may promote these processes in an experimental model of burn injury. A total of 84 mice were used and a scald burn was produced on the back after shaving, in 80°C water for 10 seconds. Mice were then randomized to receive EPO-α (400 units/kg/day/sc) or EPO-Z (400 units/kg/day/sc) or their vehicle (100 μL/day/sc 0.9% NaCl solution). After 12 days, both EPO-α and EPO-Z increased VEGF protein expression. EPO-α caused an increased cyclin D1/CDK6 and cyclin E/CDK2 expression compared with vehicle and EPO-Z (). Our study showed that EPO-α and EPO-Z accelerated wound closure and angiogenesis; however EPO-α resulted more effectively in achieving complete skin regeneration. Our data suggest that EPO-α and EPO-Z are not biosimilars for the wound healing effects. The higher efficacy of EPO-α might be likely due to its different conformational structure leading to a more efficient cell proliferation and skin remodelling.