Background: The development of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) with extended serum half-lives has allowed marked prolongation of the administration intervals. The level of oxidative stress is increased in chronic kidney disease, and is reportedly decreased after long-term ESA treatment. However, the effect of different dosing regimens of ESAs on oxidative stress has not been elucidated.
Methods: Five-sixths nephrectomized (NX) rats received either 0.4 μg/kg darbepoetin alfa (DA) weekly or 0.8 μg/kg DA fortnightly between weeks 4 and 10. NX animals receiving saline and a sham-operated (SHAM) group served as controls. The levels of oxidized and reduced glutathione (GSSG, GSH) were followed from blood samples drawn fortnightly.
Results: During the follow-up, the ratios GSSG/GSH showed similar trends in both DA groups, levels being significantly lower than those in the SHAM group at weeks 8 and 10. GSSG levels were lower than the baseline throughout the study in all groups except for NX controls. The GSH levels were increased in all three NX groups (weeks 6-10) compared with both the baseline and the SHAM group
Conclusion: Our results suggest that the extent of oxidative stress is similar in response to different dosing regimens of DA in 5/6 NX rats when comparable hemoglobin levels are maintained. These findings remain to be confirmed in chronic kidney disease patients.