Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone conventionally thought to be responsible only in producing red blood cells in our body. However, with the discovery of the presence of EPO and EPO receptors in the retinal layers, the EPO seems to have physiological roles in the eye. In this review, we revisit the role of EPO in the eye. We look into the biological role of EPO in the development of the eye and the physiologic roles that it has. Apart from that, we seek to understand the mechanisms and pathways of EPO that contributes to the therapeutic and pathological conditions of the various ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, optic neuritis, and retinal detachment. With these understandings, we discuss the clinical applications of EPO for treatment of ocular disorders, modes of administration, EPO formulations, current clinical trials, and its future directions.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.