Interaction between erythropoietin and peripheral polymorphonuclear leukocytes in hemodialysis patients

Nephron. 1999;81(4):406-13. doi: 10.1159/000045324.


The effect of erythropoietin (EPO) on the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs) in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients was investigated in vivo and in vitro. The studies were performed on isolated PMNLs from peripheral blood of healthy controls and HD patients before and following 6 weeks of EPO treatment. The oxidative stress was expressed by the rate of superoxide release from phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate stimulated PMNLs, and the inflammatory state was evaluated by in vitro PMNL survival, in addition to white blood cell and PMNL counts of the enrolled subjects. Following 6 weeks of EPO treatment, in HD patients, the rate of superoxide release from PMNLs as well as WBC and PMNL counts fell significantly when compared with the pretreatment values. PMNLs from HD patients and healthy controls incubated in vitro with increasing amounts of EPO displayed a significant reduction in their rates of superoxide release and a significant improvement in survival. We have concluded that EPO interacts with PMNLs, attenuating their primed state in HD patients, thus reducing oxidative stress and the extent of inflammation. To the best of our knowledge, this attenuation of the primed state of PMNLs by EPO is a new finding.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Kinetics
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Superoxides / blood
  • Time Factors


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Superoxides
  • Erythropoietin