Erythropoietic agents and the elderly

Seminars in Hematology
Neeraj Agarwal, Josef T Prchal


Erythropoietin (Epo) is a peptide hormone that stimulates erythropoiesis. There are several agents in clinical use and in development that either act as ligands for the cell surface receptors of Epo or promote Epo production, which stimulates erythropoiesis. These are known as erythropoietic agents. The agents already in use include epoetin alfa, epoetin beta, and darbepoetin alfa. Newer agents under active investigation include continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) or proline hydroxylase inhibitors that increase hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), thereby stimulating Epo production and iron availability and supply. Erythropoietic agents have been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and to decrease post-stroke infarct size in mouse models. They have also been reported to shorten survival when used to treat anemia in many cancer patients and to increase thromboembolism. In contrast, rapid decrease of Epo levels as observed in astronauts and high-altitude dwellers upon rapid descent to sea level leads to the decrease of erythroid mass, a phenomenon known as "neocytolysis." The relative decrease in the serum Epo level is known to occur in some subjects with otherwise unexplained anemia of aging. Anemia by itself i...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

EPO mimetic peptide 1
Epoetin delta
Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents
Kidney Failure, Chronic

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