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Erythropoietin mimics ischemic preconditioning. Vascul Pharmacol 2005 Apr-May;42(5-6):233-41



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-19444372033   63 Citations


Ischemic preconditioning is a powerful endogenous phenomenon in which brief periods of a sub-toxic ischemic insult induce robust protection against future, lengthy, lethal ischemia. The cardioprotective effects of ischemic preconditioning are manifest in all species studied so far, including humans. The ability to reproduce the cardioprotective effects of ischemic preconditioning with pharmacological agents raises the possibility that a drug may ultimately be introduced into clinical practice to treat human hearts undergoing ischemia/reperfusion. This chapter focuses on erythropoietin (Epo), a drug that has already been approved for humans and is in current use for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure, HIV infection, cancer patients on chemotherapy, and to reduce allogenic blood transfusion in surgery patients. Several recent studies have suggested that this cytokine possesses properties far beyond its capacity to produce red blood cells such as the ability to protect tissues including brain, kidney and heart against injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion. Cardioprotection conferred by Epo has been shown to be equal in magnitude to that conferred by ischemic preconditioning. However, the underlying mechanisms by which Epo protects the heart against injury caused by ischemia remain unknown.

Author List

Baker JE


John E. Baker PhD Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial
Signal Transduction
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a