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Protein Restores Hematocrit in Anemic Mice

May be target for patients resistant to erythropoietin

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The Gas6 protein enhances the response of erythroblasts to erythropoietin and restores hematocrit levels in anemic mice, which may have implications for patients hyporesponsive or resistant to erythropoietin, according to a report published online Jan. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Anne Angelillo-Scherrer, M.D., from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues investigated the role of Gas6 in murine erythroblasts.

The researchers found that the erythroblasts released Gas6 in response to erythropoietin and that Gas6 enhanced erythropoietin receptor signaling. The ability of erythropoietin to support the survival of erythroblasts and erythroid progenitors and restore hematocrit levels in response to anemia was reduced in the absence of Gas6. Gas6 restored hematocrit levels in mice with acute anemia and synergized with erythropoietin in a mouse model of chronic anemia.

"These findings may have implications for the treatment of patients with anemia who fail to adequately respond to erythropoietin," Angelillo-Scherrer and colleagues conclude.

One of the study authors discloses financial support from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.

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