Anemia of inflammation: The hepcidin link

Cindy N. Roy, Nancy C. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The anemia of inflammation has been associated for nearly two decades with elevated cytokine levels, but the primary mediator of this condition was unknown. Recently hepcidin antimicrobial peptide has emerged as the hormone that links the type II acute phase response to iron handling and erythropoiesis. Recent findings: Hepcidin antimicrobial peptide likely modulates iron transport from macrophages and enterocytes to red blood cell precursors as a consequence of its interaction with SLC40A1/ferroportin, the only known transporter that facilitates iron egress. Insights into the regulation of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide expression by known iron metabolic proteins such as HFE, hemojuvelin, and transferrin receptor 2 are expanding the understanding of the genetic circuitry that controls iron absorption and utilization. Summary: Increasingly, experiments suggest the hepatocyte is not just the iron storage depot but is the 'command central' for the maintenance of iron homeostasis. It receives multiple signals related to iron balance and responds via transcriptional control of hepcidin antimicrobial peptide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Anemia
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hepcidin
  • Inflammation
  • Iron recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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