HDCN Article Review/Hyperlink

Ammarguellat F, Gogusev J, Drueke TB

Direct effect of erythropoietin on rat vascular smooth muscle cells via a putative erythropoietin receptor

Nephrol Dial Transplant (Apr) 11:687-692 1996

It is fairly well established that at least some uraemic patients manifest a BP rise after starting rHuEPO treatment. Several factors may contribute to raise systemic vascular resistance during rHuEPO therapy including a direct vasoconstrictor effect, loss of hypoxic vasodilatation, increased blood viscosity, increased intracellular Ca++ content, activation of the renin-angiotensin and the sympathetic systems and the release of endothelin (see review by Nowicki, J Human Hypertension 9:81,1995).

Receptors for erythropoietin have already been demonstrated on endothelial cells where this autocoid exerts mitogenic and chemotactic effects. At present, however, the link between erythropoietin and hypertension has remained poorly defined.

Ammarguellat and co-workers have now further explored the possibility of a direct effect of rhEPO on the vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). In this preliminary study they have demonstrated that rHuEPO promotes the mRNA expression of the EPO receptor in VSMC of both SH and WKY rats. However, VSMC growth rate was enhanced (to a moderate degree) only in the SHR while binding studies failed to show specific binding of radiolabelled rHuEpo by VSCM in both strains.

Comment: This study is of great potential interest but many grey areas remain in this interesting issue. (Carmine Zoccali, M.D., Reggio Calabria, Italy)