Scientific Name: (EPO) – Erythropoietin
Clinical Test Expectation: Stimulates red blood cell production. Treat certain forms of anaemia
MG Strength: 3000iu per 1 lyophilised vial
Detailed Product Information
Erythropoietin (EPO), also known as hematopoietin or hemopoietin, is a glycoprotein cytokine secreted by the kidney in response to cellular hypoxia; it stimulates red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) in the bone marrow. Low levels of EPO (around 10 mU/ml) are constantly secreted sufficient to compensate for normal red blood cell turnover. Common causes of cellular hypoxia resulting in elevated levels of EPO (up to 10,000 mU/ml) include any anemia, and hypoxemia due to chronic lung disease.
Erythropoietin is produced by interstitial fibroblasts in the kidney in close association with peritubular capillary and proximal convoluted tubule. It is also produced in perisinusoidal cells in the liver. Liver production predominates in the fetal and perinatal period; renal production predominates in adulthood.
Note image is for illustrative purposes only - we will have this update this week with the right labels but we do have sufficient stock available.
Exogenous erythropoietin, recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) is produced by recombinant DNA technology in cell culture and are collectively called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA): two examples are epoetin alfa and epoetin beta. ESAs are used in the treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease, anemia in myelodysplasia, and in anemia from cancer chemotherapy. Risks of therapy include death, myocardial infarction, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and tumor recurrence. Risk increases when EPO treatment raises hemoglobin levels over 11-12 g/dl: this is to be avoided.
rhEPO has been used illicitly as a performance-enhancing drug. It can often be detected in blood, due to slight differences from the endogenous protein; for example, in features of posttranslational modification.
EPO is highly glycosylated (40% of total molecular weight), with half-life in blood around five hours. EPO’s half-life may vary between endogenous and various recombinant versions. Additional glycosylation or other alterations of EPO via recombinant technology have led to the increase of EPO’s stability in blood (thus requiring less frequent injections).
Red blood cell production
Erythropoietin is an essential hormone for red blood cell production. Without it, definitive erythropoiesis does not take place. Under hypoxic conditions, the kidney will produce and secrete erythropoietin to increase the production of red blood cells by targeting CFU-E, proerythroblast and basophilic erythroblast subsets in the differentiation. Erythropoietin has its primary effect on red blood cell progenitors and precursors (which are found in the bone marrow in humans) by promoting their survival through protecting these cells from apoptosis, or cell death.
Erythropoietin is the primary erythropoietic factor that cooperates with various other growth factors (e.g., IL-3, IL-6, glucocorticoids, and SCF) involved in the development of erythroid lineage from multipotent progenitors. The burst-forming unit-erythroid (BFU-E) cells start erythropoietin receptor expression and are sensitive to erythropoietin. Subsequent stage, the colony-forming unit-erythroid (CFU-E), expresses maximal erythropoietin receptor density and is completely dependent on erythropoietin for further differentiation. Precursors of red cells, the proerythroblasts and basophilic erythroblasts also express erythropoietin receptor and are therefore affected by it.
Erythropoietin was reported to have a range of actions beyond stimulation of erythropoiesis including vasoconstriction-dependent hypertension, stimulating angiogenesis, and promoting cell survival via activation of Epo receptors resulting in anti-apoptotic effects on ischemic tissues. However this proposal is controversial with numerous studies showing no effect. It is also inconsistent with the low levels of Epo receptors on those cells. Clinical trials in humans with ischemic heart, neural and renal tissues have not demonstrated the same benefits seen in animals. In addition some research studies have shown its neuroprotective effect on diabetic neuropathy, however these data were not confirmed in clinical trials that have been conducted on the deep peroneal, superficial peroneal, tibial and sural nerves.