Progression of anemia and its relationship with renal function, blood pressure, and erythropoietin in rats with chronic kidney disease

Jacqueline K. Phillips*, Rochelle Boyd, Mark B. Krockenberger, Gaetan Burgio

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: In chronic kidney disease (CKD), anemia and hypertension are significant co-morbidities that contribute to cardiovascular and renal disease progression. Objective: The purpose of the study was to identify correlations between changes in hematologic variables against markers of renal function, blood pressure, and erythropoietin (EPO) in a naturally occurring hypertensive model of CKD, the Lewis polycystic kidney (LPK) rat. Methods: Complete blood count, systolic blood pressure, urea and creatinine concentration, urinary protein to creatinine ratio, and plasma EPO concentration were determined in control Lewis (n = 51) and LPK rats (n = 56) aged 6-24 weeks. Renal EPO gene expression and RBC osmotic fragility were also documented. Hematopoiesis in spleen and bone marrow were assessed. Results: Lewis polycystic kidney rats had increasing urea and creatinine concentrations, concurrent with the development of a nonregenerative normocytic/normochromic anemia and hypertension, with a significant negative correlation between both HGB and HCT with urea concentration and blood pressure (P <.01). HCT was also significantly negatively correlated with creatinine concentration (P =014). WBC was significantly negatively correlated with urea (P <.01). Plasma EPO concentration was increased and renal EPO mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in LPK animals. The former was significantly positively correlated with blood pressure and platelet count (P <.05). RBC osmotic fragility was normal in LPK rats and there was no evidence for increased RBC elimination or extramedullary hematopoiesis. Conclusions: Marked anemia in the LPK CKD rodent model in the presence of elevated EPO suggests inefficient erythropoiesis that is correlated with plasma urea concentration and blood pressure.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342-354
    Number of pages13
    JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


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