In the last 10 years, intensive investigation has been centered on the problem of the regulation of red blood cell production in man and experimental animals. Primarily as a result of advances in experimental methods employing radioisotopes and biochemical fractionation procedures, a substance obtained from plasma, referred to as erythropoietin, has been defined and its biological properties have been examined. In addition to increased knowledge relating to the fundamentals of red blood cell production, certain clinical problems have also derived illumination from these studies.
Erythropoietin probably is a glycoprotein, the presence of which has been demonstrated repeatedly in very low concentration in the plasma of normal animals and man. In the plasma of a large variety of anemic patients, the erythropoietin titer is markedly elevated, and it decreases rapidly following restoration of the hemoglobin to near normal levels. This humoral factor appears to act on the bone marrow
Gurney CW. ERYTHROPOIETIN, ERYTHROPOIESIS, AND THE KIDNEY. JAMA. 1960;173(16):1828–1829. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020340003013
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