A neuroprotective derivative of erythropoietin that is not erythropoietic

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2004 Nov;13(11):1517-9. doi: 10.1517/13543784.13.11.1517.


In addition to its well-known erythropoetic effect, erythropoietin (EPO) has also been shown to be neuroprotective in various animal models. In contrast to EPO, carbamylated EPO (CEPO) does not bind to the EPO receptor on UT7 cells or have any haematopoietic/proliferative activity on these cells. In vivo studies in mice and rats showed that even high doses of CEPO for long periods are not erythropoietic. However, in common with EPO, CEPO does inhibit the apoptosis associated with glutamate toxicity in hippocampal cells. Like EPO, CEPO is neuroprotective in a wide range of animal models of neurotoxicity: middle cerebral artery occlusion model of ischaemic stroke, sciatic nerve compression, spinal cord depression, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and peripheral diabetic neuropathy. To date, EPO and CEPO have been exciting developments in the quest for the treatment of various types of neurotoxicity. The development of CEPO should continue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects
  • Erythropoietin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / adverse effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • carbamylated erythropoietin
  • Erythropoietin