Iron metabolism and the role of the iron-regulating hormone hepcidin in health and disease

Abstract : Although iron is vital, its free form is likely to be involved in oxidation-reduction reactions, leading to the formation of free radicals and oxidative stress. Living organisms have developed protein systems to transport free iron through the cell membranes and biological fluids and store it in a non-toxic and readily mobilizable form to avoid iron toxicity. Hepcidin plays a crucial role in maintaining iron homeostasis. Hepcidin expression is directly regulated by variations in iron intake and its repression leads to an increase in bioavailable serum iron level. However, in pathological situations, prolonged repression often leads to pathological iron overload. In this review, we describe the different molecular mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of iron metabolism and the consequences of iron overload. Indeed, genetic hemochromatosis and post-transfusional siderosis are the two main conditions responsible for iron overload. Long-term iron overload is deleterious, and treatment relies on venesection therapy for genetic hemochromatosis and chelation therapy for iron overload resulting from multiple transfusions.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 2:03:18 PM
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Raed Daher, Hana Manceau, Zoubida Karim. Iron metabolism and the role of the iron-regulating hormone hepcidin in health and disease. La Presse Médicale, Elsevier Masson, 2017, 46 (12), pp.e272-e278. ⟨10.1016/j.lpm.2017.10.006⟩. ⟨hal-02351459⟩

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