Cytokine-mediated inhibition of erythropoietin synthesis by dexamethasone

J Pharm Pharmacol. 1996 Sep;48(9):971-4. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.1996.tb06015.x.


The effect of inflammatory cytokines on the in-vitro synthesis of erythropoietin by HepG2 cells was evaluated. Monocyte-conditioned medium, and the cytokines interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha all reduced synthesis of erythropoietin. The steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, did not affect cytokine-mediated erythropoietin inhibition. Dexamethasone did cause a reduction in the secretion of erythropoietin inhibitory cytokines from monocytes. These results point to a possible therapeutic approach in the treatment of anaemia caused by suppression of erythropoietin synthesis by monocytic cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Cytokines / pharmacology*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Erythropoietin / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Interleukin-1 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Cytokines
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Erythropoietin
  • Dexamethasone