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Erythropoietin And Non-Erythropoietic Derivatives In Cognition

Samuel S. Newton, Monica Sathyanesan

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Cognitive deficits are widespread in psychiatric disorders, including major depression and schizophrenia. These deficits are known to contribute significantly to the accompanying functional impairment. Progress in the development of targeted treatments of cognitive deficits has been limited and there exists a major unmet need to develop more efficacious treatments. Erythropoietin (Epo) has shown promising procognitive effects in psychiatric disorders, providing support for a neurotrophic drug development approach. Several preclinical studies with non-erythropoietic derivatives have demonstrated that the modulation of behavior is independent of erythropoiesis. In this review, we examine the molecular, cellular and cognitive actions of Epo and non-erythropoietic molecular derivatives by focusing on their neurotrophic, synaptic, myelin plasticity, anti-inflammatory and neurogenic mechanisms in the brain. We also discuss the role of receptor signaling in Epo and non-erythropoietic EPO-mimetic molecules in their procognitive effects.