Erythropoietin Production in the Kidney

C Bauer, A Kurtz

ABSTRACT

The hormone erythropoietin stimulates erythrocyte production and therefore regulates the oxygen capacity of the blood. Hypoxia promotes erythropoietin formation by stimulating the transcription of the erythropoietin gene in the kidney and, to a lesser extent, in the liver. Chemical signals involved in the activation of the erythropoietin gene seem to be prostaglandins and cyclic AMP. The cells that serve as oxygen sensors may be mesangial cells of the glomerulus;in culture these cells release erythropoietin when oxygen tension is lowered.