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Original Article

. 2013; 4(3): 164-169

Erythropoietin has a restorative effect on the contractility of arteries following experimental hypoxia

Sarah B Withers, Neha Passi, Alfred S Williams, Declan de Freitas,Anthony M Heagerty.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of erythropoietin on vascular contractility
using an in vitro model of hypoxia replicating the hypoxic environment of blood vessels and surrounding
adipose tissue in obesity.
Methods and results: Pharmacological in vitro studies were carried out on small mesenteric arterial
segments from male Wistar rats with and without perivascular fat and endothelium. Contractile responses
were investigated by wire myography under normoxia, experimental hypoxia  erythropoietin
and L-NNA. Perivascular fat exerted an anticontractile effect which was lost following the induction of
experimental hypoxia. Erythropoietin prevented the loss of the anticontractile capacity when vessels
were incubated for one hour before the induction of hypoxia or throughout the period of hypoxia; this
was found to be independent of the function of perivascular fat, as fat denuded arteries had a similar
reduction in contractility (artery no fat þ hypoxia vs. artery no fat þ hypoxia þ erythropoietin). The
mechanism by which erythropoietin was exerting its effect was found to be partially endothelium
dependent and associated with an increase of nitric oxide bioavailability as nitric oxide synthase inhibition
prevented the effect.
Conclusions: Whilst erythropoietin is working downstream from perivascular fat, it is possible that it
may be therapeutically useful in obesity when hypoxia and inflammation reduce the normal activity of
perivascular fat.

Key words: Myograph Microcirculation Obesity

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