Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 1785–1789 | Cite as

EPO: renoprotection beyond anemia correction

  • Danilo Fliser
  • Ferdinand H. Bahlmann
  • Hermann Haller
Editorial Commentary


Until recently the major physiological function of erythropoietin (EPO) was thought to be the induction of erythropoiesis. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that EPO has tissue-protective properties and prevents ischemia induced tissue damage in several organs including the kidney. A pivotal intracellular pathway mediating the beneficial effects of EPO is the activation of Akt, i.e. serine/threonine protein kinase B. As a result, Akt phosphorylates the proapoptotic factor Bad, which in turn causes inhibition of programmed cell death (apoptosis). In the present article we review data on the non-hematological effects of recombinant human EPO (rHuEPO) in different experimental settings of acute and chronic kidney injury, and discuss clinical renoprotective strategies with rHuEPO or analogues substances that are not related to anemia correction.


Akt activation Apoptosis Erythropoietin (EPO) Renoprotection 



The study was supported by grants from Amgen and Roche AG.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danilo Fliser
    • 1
  • Ferdinand H. Bahlmann
    • 1
  • Hermann Haller
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal MedicineHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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