The Drug Of Red Blood Cells

1568 Words Jul 13th, 2015 7 Pages
Erythropoietin is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys in response to a decrease in the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells in circulation (2). From the kidneys, erythropoietin (EPO) enters the blood stream and enters the bone marrow where it stimulates an increase in the production of red blood cells (1, 2). This mechanism functions as a negative feedback loop since the signaling of an increase in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood due to an increased number of red blood cells inhibits further production of EPO. The release of EPO is very sensitive to the level of oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood. The simple occurrence of red blood cells death will trigger its release to ensure normal levels are maintained (1). The process of restoring normal levels is not always quick. When an individual donates a pint of blood, EPO is released, but it may take a few weeks for levels to normalize (1). For an endurance athlete, an increase in oxygen-carrying capacity would help increase their ability to perform. For that reason, many athletes turned to synthetic EPO as a way to achieve it. Researchers had been working on isolating and synthesizing EPO since the early 1950s. Progress was made by scientists Miyake and Goldwasser and human EPO was able to be purified from the urine of aplastic anemia patients in 1977 (4, 5). EPO is able to be removed from an anemic or hypoxic individual, due to the increased amount of EPO in circulation (6). A normal individual does…
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