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Kidney Int. 1991 Feb;39(2):259-65.

Direct vasopressor effect of recombinant human erythropoietin on renal resistance vessels.

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Medical University-Poliklinik, University of Muenster, Germany.


The contractile properties of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) on isolated resistance vessels of renal and mesenteric vascular beds were studied in an in vitro model using a small vessel myograph. Under isometric conditions, rHuEPO caused a contraction of this vasculature in a concentration range between 10 U/ml and 200 U/ml. A maximal active wall tension of 1.52 +/- 0.19 mN/mm was obtained under a rHuEPO dose of 200 U/ml. In Ca2+ free solution, the pressor response to high rHuEPO-concentrations was attenuated, and the response to low rHuEPO concentrations was abolished. In the presence of verapamil, phentolamine and saralasin, rHuEPO-induced contractions were not affected significantly. A dose-dependent vasodilatation of mounted vasculature to acetylcholine (ACh) indicated that endothelium remained intact in our preparations. rHuEPO-induced vessel contraction was not abrogated after an enzymatical removal of endothelium by collagenase, confirming that the described contractile responses are endothelial independent. These findings suggest that a direct vasopressor effect of rHuEPO on proximal resistance vessels may contribute to development of hypertension seen in rHuEPO-treated hemodialysis patients.

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