Deciphering the Intracellular Signaling of Erythropoietin in Neuronal Cells
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The search for potential drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases has been intense in the last two decades. Among many candidates, erythropoietin (EPO) was identified as a potent protectant of neurons suffering from various adverse conditions. A wide array of literature indicates that endogenous or exogenous recombinant human erythropoietin and its variants activate cell signaling that initiates survival-promoting events in neurons and neuronal cells. This chapter gives an overview of the pro-survival signaling induced by endogenous and exogenous erythropoietin in vitro and in vivo and provides methods to further investigate the intracellular signaling. It is important to know that EPO is neuroprotective, but it will greatly enhance our chances to establish EPO as a new drug candidate if we know how EPO protects neurons.
The descriptions below summarize our current knowledge in non-neuronal and neuronal signaling pathways induced by EPO. The signaling pathways involved in EPO are multiple; some are well known whereas others are still under intense investigation and few are observed in very specific cell types. It is important to note that neuronal signaling events triggered by EPO are still incomplete and require further research. Therefore, excellent review articles that explore specific EPO-signaling events are referenced.
Key wordsJAK2 Primary neuronal cultures Akt kinase assay Real time PCR Western blotting Immunoprecipitation
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