Context-Dependent Skeletal Effects of Erythropoietin

Sahar Hiram-Bab, Drorit Neumann, Yankel Gabet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Erythropoietin (Epo) is the main hormone that regulates the production of red blood cells (hematopoiesis), by stimulating their progenitors. Beyond this vital function, several emerging roles have been noted for Epo in other tissues, including neurons, heart, and retina. The skeletal system is also affected by Epo; however, its actions on bone are, as yet, controversial. Here, we review the seemingly contradicting evidence regarding Epo effects on bone remodeling. We also discuss the evidence pointing to a direct vs indirect effect of Epo on the osteoblastic and osteoclastic cell lineages. The current controversy may derive from a context-dependent mode of function of Epo, namely, opposite skeletal actions during bone regeneration and steady-state bone remodeling. Differences in conclusions deriving from the published in vitro studies may thus relate to the different experimental conditions. Taken together, the current state-of-the-art indicates definite Epo effects on bone cells and points to the complexity of the mode of function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalVitamins and Hormones
StatePublished - 2017


  • Bone homeostasis
  • Bone regeneration
  • Erythropoietin
  • Macrophages
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteoclastogenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Context-Dependent Skeletal Effects of Erythropoietin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this