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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2007 Oct;109(8):639-44. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The role of erythropoietin in central and peripheral nerve injury.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece.


Erythropoietin (Epo) is a cytokine which controls red cell production. Apart from the red cell surface, erythropoietin's receptor (Epo-R) is also expressed in a large variety of normal tissues. Erythropoietin, as well as its receptor, is present in the central and peripheral nervous system. As erythropoietin having direct and indirect effect on nerve cells, enhances antioxidotic enzyme production, antagonizes glutamate's cytotoxic action, metabolizes free radicals, normalizes cerebral blood flow, affects neurotransmitters release and stimulates neoangiogenesis. After injury of the central as well as the peripheral nervous system, Epo presents an anti-apoptotic action. In combination with its anti-apoptotic effect, Epo, by reducing the inflammatory response plays a crucial role in neuroprotection in many types of injury in the central and the peripheral nervous system. Epo's administration contributes to the recovery of mechanical allodynia and may be effective in peripheral nerve regeneration after neurorrhaphy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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