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Erythropoietin (rhEPO) is increasingly being used in the treatment of anemia caused by miscellaneous reasons. The aim of our research is to investigate the effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) on cellular growth and fibronectin (FN) expression in glomerular mesangial cells. Western blot was used to detect the expression of FN induced by rhEPO (1, 10, 100 and 1000U/mL). In vivo studies, male CD-1 mice were administered rhEPO subcutaneously at a single dose of 1000U/Kg. The cellular hypertrophy was quantified by counting cell number and calculating the ratio of cell protein to cell number. 1) Compared with the control group, the results of mesangial cells' growth stimulated by rhEPO were not significantly different; 2) RhEPO lead to hypertrophy of mesangial cells; 3) rhEPO induced FN expression of mesangial cell in a dose-dependent way. Compared to control, 100U/mL rhEPO enhanced the expression of FN significantly; 4) indirect immunofluorescence showed that rhEPO induced large amount deposition of FN in the intercellular space of mesangial cells; 5) in vivo studies, there were markedly increase of FN expression in mice received the injection of rhEPO. RhEPO could up-regulated the expression of FN and induced glomerular mesangial cells hypertrophy. These results suggested rhEPO could induce dysfunction of renal glomerulus through its influence on the function of mesangial cells.


S Q Zhou, P Wen, L Fang, L Jiang, M Xiong, F F Zhang, J W Yang. The association between RhEPO and FN expression in glomerular mesangial cells. Panminerva medica. 2012 Sep;54(3):205-9

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PMID: 22801437

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