Efficient breathing at neonatal ages: A sex and Epo-dependent issue.

TitleEfficient breathing at neonatal ages: A sex and Epo-dependent issue.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuteursIturri, P, Bairam, A, Soliz, J
JournalRespir Physiol Neurobiol
Date Published2017 Nov

During postnatal life, the respiratory control system undergoes intense development and is highly responsive to stimuli emerging from the environment. In fact, interruption of breathing prevents gas exchange and results in systemic hypoxia that, if prolonged, can lead to cardio-respiratory failure or sudden infant death. Moreover, in newborns and infants, respiratory disorders related to neural control dysfunction show significant sexual dimorphism with a higher prevalence in males. To this day, the therapeutic tools available to alleviate these respiratory disorders remain limited. Furthermore, the factors explaining the sexual dimorphism in newborns and during infancy remain unknown. Erythropoietin (Epo) was originally discovered as a cytokine able to increase the production of red blood cells upon conditions of reduced oxygen availability. We now know that Epo is a cytokine also secreted by neurons and astrocytes that protects the brain during trauma or hypoxic stress in a sex dependent manner. In this novel line of research, our previous studies demonstrated at adult ages that cerebral Epo acts as a respiratory stimulant in rodents and humans. These results provided a strong rationale for exploring the role of cerebral Epo in neuronal respiratory control during postnatal development. The objective of this review is to summarize our recent findings showing that cerebral Epo is a potent sex-specific respiratory stimulant at neonatal ages. Keeping in mind that Epo is routinely and safely administrated in newborn humans for anemia and neonatal asphyxia, we predict that our research provides the basis necessary to promote the clinical use of Epo against neonatal respiratory disorders related to neural control dysfunction.

Alternate JournalRespir Physiol Neurobiol
PubMed ID28041993