Pharmacodynamic model for chemotherapy-induced anemia in rats

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2008 Jun;62(1):123-33. doi: 10.1007/s00280-007-0582-9. Epub 2007 Sep 22.


Anticancer agents often cause bone marrow toxicity resulting in progressive anemia which may influence the therapeutic effects of erythropoietic-stimulating agents. The objective of this study was to develop a pharmacodynamic (PD) model to describe chemotherapy-induced anemia in rats. Anemia was induced in male Wistar rats with a single intravenous (i.v.) injection of 60 mg/kg carboplatin. Hematological responses including reticulocytes, red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin, and endogenous rat erythropoietin (EPO) were measured for up to 4 weeks. A catenary, lifespan-based, indirect response model served as a basic PD model to represent erythroid cellular populations in the bone marrow and blood involved in erythropoiesis. The model assumed that actively proliferating progenitor cells in the bone marrow are sensitive to anti-cancer agents and subject to an irreversible removal process. The removal rate of the target cells is proportional to drug activity concentrations and the cell numbers. An additional RBC loss from the circulation resulting from thrombocytopenia was described by a first-order process. The turnover process of rat EPO and EPO-mediated feedback inhibition mechanism regulated by hemoglobin changes were incorporated. Reticulocyte counts decreased rapidly and reached a nadir by day 3 after administration of carboplatin and returned to the baseline by day 13. This was followed by a gradual increase and the rebound peak occurred at about day 15. The hemoglobin nadir was approximately 9 g/dl observed at about 11-13 days compared to its normal value of 13 g/dl and hemoglobin returned to the baseline by day 30. The increase in endogenous rat EPO mirrored inversely hemoglobin changes and the maximum increase was observed soon after the hemoglobin nadir. The carboplatin-treated rats exhibited progressive anemia. The proposed model adequately described the time course of hematological changes after carboplatin in rats and can be a useful tool to explore potential strategies for the management of anemia caused by chemotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / chemically induced*
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Carboplatin / toxicity
  • Cell Count
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Platelet Count
  • Rats
  • Stem Cells / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Carboplatin