Erythropoietin protects sensory axons against paclitaxel-induced distal degeneration

Giorgia Melli, Christelene Jack, George L. Lambrinos, Mathias Ringkamp, Ahmet Höke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Paclitaxel causes a sensory polyneuropathy with characteristic features of distal axonal degeneration. Although the exact mechanisms underlying distal axonal degeneration are unknown, paclitaxel-induced axonal degeneration has been shown to be associated with an increase in detyrosinated tubulin. Here we show that recombinant human erythropoietin prevents axonal degeneration in sensory neurons in vitro and this effect is associated with downregulation of detyrosinated tubulin. Furthermore, in an animal model of paclitaxel-induced distal sensory polyneuropathy, recombinant human erythropoietin protects against distal axonal degeneration. These findings suggest that recombinant human erythropoietin may be useful as a therapy to prevent paclitaxel-induced sensory polyneuropathy in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Axonal degeneration
  • Chemotherapy
  • Detyrosinated tubulin
  • Distal axonopathy
  • Erythropoietin
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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