Erythropoietin (EPO) has a neuroprotective effect in the animal model of ischemia/hypoxia, but the mechanisms underlying the EPO effect in traumatic brain injury (TBI) are not well understood. This study examined the potential neuroprotective mechanisms of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) in rats after TBI. Sixty healthy adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: 1000 U/kg rhEPO-treated, 3000 U/kg rhEPO-treated, 5000 U/kg rhEPO-treated, citicoline, and normal saline (control) groups. The TBI model was based on the modified Feeney's free falling model. Serum samples were collected at 6 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days after trauma. The serum S100B protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured after treatment in each group with double antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Both serum S100B protein and IL-6 levels were significantly lower in 3000 U/kg rhEPO-treated and 5000 U/kg rhEPO-treated groups (p < 0.001). The decrease in serum S100B protein level was correlated with the dosage of rhEPO. Medium doses of rhEPO achieved the optimum decreases in the serum IL-6 level. Therefore, inhibition of the composition and secretion of S100B protein and IL-6 levels by EPO might be one of the mechanisms involved in decreasing inflammatory reaction in the brain, and may be responsible for the neuroprotective effect after TBI.