Erythropoietin (EPO) fosters tissue oxygenation by stimulating erythropoiesis. More recently, EPO has been recognized as a tissue-protective cytokine. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) plays a key role in the vascular protective effect of EPO. A murine model of wire-induced injury of carotid artery was used to examine the effect of EPO on endothelial repair and arterial wall architecture. Recombinant human EPO (1000 U/kg, SC, biweekly) was administered for 2 weeks in wild-type and eNOS-deficient mice after which reactivity of isolated carotid arteries was studied in vitro, and the vasculature was histologically assessed. Injured arteries exhibited impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine (P<0.05). This was associated with increased medial cross-sectional area (P<0.05). EPO upregulated expression of phosphorylated Ser1177-eNOS and normalized the vasodilator response to acetylcholine (P<0.05). Furthermore, EPO prevented the injury-induced increase in medial cross-sectional area (P<0.05). The vascular protective effects of EPO were abolished in eNOS-deficient mice. Most notably, EPO significantly increased systolic blood pressure and enhanced medial thickening of injured carotid arteries in eNOS-deficient mice (P<0.05). Our results demonstrate that EPO prevents aberrant remodeling of the injured carotid artery. The protective effects of EPO are critically dependent on activation of eNOS.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - May 1 2007|
- Nitric oxide synthase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine