Erythropoietin: Recent developments in the treatment of spinal cord injury

Stephana Carelli, Giovanni Marfia, Anna Maria Di Giulio, Giorgio Ghilardi, Alfredo Gorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Erythropoietin (EPO), originally identified for its critical function in regulating production and survival of erythrocytes, is a member of the type 1 cytokine superfamily. Recent studies have shown that EPO has cytoprotective effects in a wide variety of cells and tissues. Here is presented the analysis of EPO effects on spinal cord injury (SCI), considering both animal experiments concerning to mechanisms of neurodegeneration in SCI and EPO as a neuroprotective agent, and some evidences coming from ongoing clinical trials. The evidences underling that EPO could be a promising therapeutic agent in a variety of neurological insults, including trauma, are mounting. In particular, it is highlighted that administration of EPO or other recently generated EPO analogues such as asialo-EPO and carbamylated-EPO demonstrate interesting preclinical and clinical characteristics, rendering the evaluation of these tissue-protective agents imperative in human clinical trials. Moreover the demonstration of rhEPO and its analogues' broad neuroprotective effects in animal models of cord lesion and in human trial like stroke, should encourage scientists and clinicians to design clinical trials assessing the efficacy of these pharmacological compounds on SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number453179
JournalNeurology Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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