PI: Neal Simon

University: Lehigh University

The goal of the proposed studies is to develop a new intervention for the treatment of anemia, a significant public health problem that disproportionally affects women and ethnic minorities. This will be accomplished by synthesizing and developing receptor subtype-selective vasopressin agonists that acutely increase circulating red blood cell (RBC) numbers. The resulting increase in oxygen carrying capacity of the blood should improve endurance, CNS function, and reduce or eliminate anemia. The basis for the proposed project is recent data showing that arginine vasopressin (AVP) stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of red blood cell precursors and improves recovery from anemia. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) express all three AVP receptors (V1a, V1b and V2), but it is the V1b subtype that plays a dominant role in regulating erythropoiesis in both human and mouse cells. The new compounds will selectively target the V1b receptor.