Erythropoietin and the Sex-Dimorphic Chemoreflex Pathway
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During hypoxic or hypoxemic conditions, tissue oxygenation and arterial O2 carrying capacity are upregulated by two complementary systems, namely the neural respiratory network (central and peripheral) that leads to increased minute ventilation thereby increasing tissue oxygenation, and erythropoietin (Epo) release by the kidney that activates erythropoiesis in bone marrow to augment arterial blood O2 carrying capacity. Despite the fact that both neural respiratory control and Epo-mediated elevation of red blood cells are responsible for keeping arterial O2 content optimal, no interaction between these systems has been described so far. Here we review data obtained in our laboratory demonstrating that ventilatory and erythropoietic systems are tightly connected. We found Epo is the key factor mediating this relationship through modulation of the chemoreflex pathway. Moreover, we showed that this interaction occurs in a sex-dependent manner.
KeywordsBrainstem Carotid body Hypoxia Hypoxic ventilatory response Gender Respiration
JS is supported by the Respiratory Health Network of the FRSQ (Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec), the Foundation of Stars for the Children’s health research, the CHUQ Research Center direction and axis on Reproduction, perinatal health, and child health, and Faculty of Medicine of Laval University. We apologize to the many researchers who contributed importantly to the field of research and whose works were not cited due to space restriction.
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