Erythropoietin against infarction
After a heart attack, two processes occur in the heart tissues – necrosis (normal cell death) and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Japanese doctors have discovered that a single intravenous injection of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) immediately after an attack can minimize the process of apoptosis and thereby limit damage to cardiac tissues.
"The concept of the study is very original," said study co–author Dr. William Strauss. We wanted to find out if it was possible to reduce the area of cell death after acute coronary occlusion with a single EPO injection. Bloodless cells quickly begin to die. By introducing 99mTc-annexin V, a radioactive indicator attracted by apoptotic cells, we were able to track the effect of erythropoietin on heart cells immediately after blood flow restriction due to a heart attack."
In the study, 18 laboratory rats were randomly divided into two groups. In both groups of rats, arteries were clamped to cause a heart attack. After 20 minutes, the arteries were released. Immediately after that, the rats of one group were injected with EPO, and the other with a neutral saline solution. Then both groups of rats received an injection of 99mTc-annexin V, the distribution of which in the heart tissues was recorded using autoradiography. In rats injected with the hormone, the concentration of the indicator, and hence the degree of damage to cardiac tissues, was 2.7 times lower than in the second group. A smaller number of dead heart cells was also expressed in blood supply indicators, which were significantly better in the group that received EPO.
This experiment showed that erythropoietin can help prevent long-term damage to the heart and cardiac function after an attack.
According to Dr. Strauss, substances that can interfere with apoptosis have been studied before, but none of them was as effective as a single dose of erythropoietin.
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone naturally produced by the body that promotes the formation of blood cells in the bone marrow. It was first produced artificially for the treatment of anemia. Cardioprotective properties of this hormone, consisting in the ability to suppress apoptosis, have been discovered recently.
Apoptosis is often called "cell suicide" because a biochemically programmed mechanism gives the damaged cells the command to self-destruct. The process of apoptosis is studied by specialists in various fields of medicine, especially oncologists and cardiologists.
Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru10.10.2008