Erythropoietin increases expression and function of vascular copper-and zinc-containing superoxide dismutase

Livius V. D'Uscio, Leslie A. Smith, Zvonimir S. Katusic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) exerts vascular protective effects. The exact mechanisms responsible for these effects are not completely understood. In the present study, we hypothesized that EPO stimulates expression and activity of copper-and zinc-containing superoxide dismutase (SOD1), thus protecting vascular tissue from oxidative stress induced by excessive concentrations of superoxide anions. EPO treatment of wild-type mice for 2 weeks (1000 U/kg, SC, biweekly) significantly increased aortic expression of SOD1. This effect resulted in a significant reduction of superoxide anion concentrations in aorta of treated mice. The ability of EPO to reduce vascular production of superoxide anions was abolished in SOD1-deficient mice. In a mouse model of wire-induced injury of the common carotid artery, treatment of wild-type mice with EPO prevented pathological remodeling, whereas the vascular effect of EPO was absent in SOD1-deficient mice. Our findings demonstrate that treatment with EPO increases vascular expression of SOD1. This effect appears to be an important molecular mechanism underlying vascular protection by EPO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1004
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Erythropoietin
  • Mice
  • Protein kinase B
  • Superoxide anions
  • Superoxide dismutase 1
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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