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Mol Cells. 2007 Feb 28;23(1):17-22.

Human erythropoietin induces lung failure and erythrocytosis in transgenic mice.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea.


We have expressed human erythropoietin (EPO) in transgenic mice using a recombinant EPO cDNA combined with a partial TPO construct. The gene was microinjected using standard techniques and five mice were detected as transgenic by PCR and further used as founders. The life span of the transgenic founders was much shorter than that of their normal littermates. Most of the tissues of the transgenic founders contained human EPO transcripts as judged by RT-PCR. Especially high expression levels were seen in the liver and lung. EPO protein levels in serum were examined by ELISA and ranged from 266, 414 mIU/ml. The number of red blood cell, white blood cell and hemoglobin in the hEPO transgenic mice was higher than in normal mice. These results indicate that overexpression of hEPO is deleterious and can provoke lung failure and erythrocytosis.

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