Background: Blood glucose is controlled by a pancreatic hormone, insulin, so any altered functions of the pancreas are associated with disturbances in blood glucose level. Erythropoietin (EPO) is glycoprotein produced mainly by the kidney as a result of reduced intracellular oxygen. This study was designed to investigate the effect of EPO on blood glucose level in normal and streptozocin-induced diabetic rats.

Materials and methods: Eighty mature rats were used in this study animals and randomly divided into 4 different isolated groups (n = 20); Group I was administered with normal saline and act as a control group. Animals were injected with streptozocin (STZ; 30 mg/kg, IP) to induce diabetes, and animals were treated with saline (Group II) or EPO (300 iu//kg, IP Group III) or insulin (3 iu//kg, s.c., group IV) respectively, for three successive weeks. STZ-induced diabetes was indicated by hyperglycemia. Further,

Results: Three weeks after EPO treatment, there was an enhanced blood glucose level associated with enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity tests (P<0.05). Moreover, C peptide showed a significant increase (P<0.05).

Conclusion: EPO-treatment in rats was associated with improved diabetes.