Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 343–347 | Cite as

Erythropoietin concentration in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • P. Janik
  • H. Kwiecinski
  • B. Sokolowska
  • I. Niebroj-DoboszEmail author
Basic Neurosciences, Genetics and Immunology - Original Article


Erythropoietin (EPO) acts as a neuroprotective factor and is upregulated after neuronal injury. It has been reported that in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, the EPO concentration is decreased. In this study, EPO levels in serum and CSF of 30 patients with ALS and in 15 controls, using an ELISA technique, were estimated. EPO level in serum was decreased, especially in patients with bulbar onset ALS. A trend toward a progressive EPO decline with the duration of the disease in the mild + moderate ALS cases was observed. In severe cases, a tendency towards a positive correlation of EPO and duration of the disease was present. Serum EPO values were age related only in mild + moderate ALS in patients below 40 years of age. In CSF, the EPO levels were significantly decreased. Lower EPO values in the bulbar onset ALS when compared with the spinal onset ALS were present. The EPO decrease did not correlate with the severity and duration of the disease. Age relation of the EPO level only in the mild + moderate ALS cases more than 40 years was present. Lack of differences in EPO levels between patients with ALS of rapid and slow progression indicates that EPO concentration cannot be used as a prognostic factor. Nevertheless, the decreased serum and CSF EPO concentration and the known EPO neuroprotective action may indicate that EPO administration can be a new promising therapeutic approach in ALS.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Erythropoietin Cerebrospinal fluid Serum 



The study protocol was approved by the Bioethics Committee for Human Research of Medical University of Warsaw. All patients received information about the study and gave written personal consent for participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Janik
    • 1
  • H. Kwiecinski
    • 1
  • B. Sokolowska
    • 2
  • I. Niebroj-Dobosz
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory Research, Institute of Experimental and Clinical MedicinePolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  3. 3.Neuromuscular Unit, Medical Research Center, Institute of Experimental and Clinical MedicinePolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland

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