Erythropoietin: a new perspective in cardiovascular therapy
AbstractErythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidney, which regulates proliferation, differentiation and maturation of red cells. Recombinant human EPO (rH-EPO) is well known to correct anaemia in patients with chronic renal failure in terminal stage. However, recent studies showed the existence of several not haematopoietic effects of erythropoietin. EPO receptors have been found to be expressed in several tissues, included the cardiovascular system. An increase in cardiac systolic function has been observed in patients with chronic heart failure treated with EPO. Other beneficial effects appear to be related to the pro-angiogenic properties on endothelial cells and could be useful for treatment of ischemic heart disease. These findings suggest that EPO could provide potential therapeutic benefits in the management of cardiovascular diseases beyond anaemia correction. This review focuses its attention on the pleiotropic effects of EPO and its future promising applications in cardiovascular pathology.
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