Chapter 14. Erythropoietin


Zuzanna Kawa, Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher and David Aebisher
Medical College of The University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland

Part of the book: The Biochemical Guide to Hormones


Erythropoietin plays an important role in the human body, it takes part in hematopoietic processes, stimulating erythropoiesis in hypoxic states. The erythropoietin molecule consists of amino acids, carbohydrates and sialic acid residues, responsible for maintaining the proper activity and stability of the hormone. Erythropoietin in adults is produced in small amounts in the liver and to a large extent in the kidneys, specifically in the vascular endothelial cells surrounding the renal tubules in the cortex of this organ. In the pharmaceutical industry, for therapeutic purposes, recombinant human erythropoietin is used as a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Testing the level of erythropoietin is used to select the therapy in anemia and in the case of kidney diseases. The analysis of the results allows you to control the effectiveness of the implemented treatment, for example in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Monitoring the level of erythropoietin is also used in doping control among athletes. Carried out to break out the illegal use of doping substances.

Keywords: erythropoietin (EPO), hormone, cytokine, tissue hypoxia


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