The present study shows the effect of erythropoietin administered one hour post-irradiation on the erythropoietic recovery and survival of gamma-irradiated mice pretreated with a number of radioprotective agents and radioprotective mixtures. Both polycythemic and normal mice were used in these studies. Erythropoietin administered one hour post-irradiation to AET-protected mice produced more rapid erythropoietic recovery (as measured by blood and spleen59 Fe uptake) and better survival than in AET-protected mice which were not treated with erythropoietin. Doses of erythropoietin ranging from one to twenty units produced an equivalent effect. The erythropoietic recovery pattern of AET-protected mice given erythropoietin post-irradiation was studied to determine the effect of time (1 to 10 days) and increasing radiation exposure dose (700 to 1000 rads) on erythropoietic recovery using the radioiron technique. The possibility of further increasing erythropoietic recovery and survival in mice after irradiation by using the erythropoietin post-irradiation treatment in combination with other radioprotective agents or mixtures has been investigated. The results show that erythropoietin treatment post-irradiation increased erythropoietic recovery in AET-protected mice exposed to radiation doses of up to 1000 rads. If the radioprotective agent or mixture increased erythropoietic recovery and survival, the erythropoietin post-irradiation treatment would further increase both these factors.

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