Apoptotic pathways influenced by EPO. Activated STAT5 promotes transcription of promitogenic and antiapoptotic genes associated with apoptotic regulation and cytoprotection. Akt promotes cell survival and antiapoptotic effects by 1) inhibiting forkhead transcription factor (FOXO3a), a trigger for apoptosis; 2) inactivating glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), thus preventing cell injury; 3) reducing the activity of proapoptotic proteins Bad and Bax; 4) increasing the activity of antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2; 5) preventing cytochrome C release. NF-kB prevents apoptosis by 1) inducing expression of the inhibitors of apoptotic protein (inh. AP 1&2) and the x-chromosome-linked IAP (X-InhAP), which inhibits caspase 3, 7, and 9; 2) promoting induction of growth arrest and DNA damage protein (Gadd45β), which is associated with cell cycle and DNA repair and suppression of apoptosis; and 3) by activating Bcl-xL. EPO induces heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), which inhibits AIF moving into the nucleus, thus avoiding DNA fragmentation and apoptosis. HSP70 also prevents Apaf-1/cytochrome C (Cyto-C) binding, a complex involved in proapoptotic caspase activation. NB: the + sign indicates activation and the - sign indicates inhibition. (Modified from Anaesth Intensive Care 2011, in press).