Non erythropoietic effects of Erythropoietin

Abstract

Over the past two decades it has emerged that, in addition to erythropoietic activity, erythropoietin (EPO) has numerous other functions, including neuro-protective, anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, angiogenetic and immunomodulatory ones. EPO interacts with two different forms of its receptor (EPOR): a homodimer receptor, responsible for the erythropoietic effects, and a heterodimer receptor, responsible for the non-erythropoietic effects. The effects on the heterodimer receptor are responsible for EPO-induced prolongation of organ transplant survival in mice and humans.

The development of new molecules that selectively target the heterodimer EPOR is allowing to test the effect of long-term treatments, without the possible complications related to the increased hematocrit.

 

Keywords: erythropoietin, EPO, ARA290, EPOR

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Introduzione

All’inizio del XX secolo, due scienziati francesi osservarono che il plasma di conigli anemici era in grado di incrementare la produzione di globuli rossi quando iniettato in animali non anemici [1]. I ricercatori ipotizzarono che questa attività eritropoietica fosse causata da una singola proteina plasmatica, alla quale nel tempo vennero attribuiti vari nomi, tra cui “erythropoietic-stimulating factor” e, infine, “eritropoietina”. 

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