TITLE

Changes in the expression of intestinal iron transport and hepatic regulatory molecules explain the enhanced iron absorption associated with pregnancy in the rat

AUTHOR(S)
Millard, K. N.; Frazer, D. M.; Wilkins, S. J.; Anderson, G. J.
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Gut;May2004, Vol. 53 Issue 5, p655
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Iron absorption increases during pregnancy to cater for the increased iron requirements of the growing fetus. Aims: To investigate the role of the duodenal iron transport molecules and hepatic regulatory molecules in coordinating the changes in iron absorption observed during pregnancy. Methods: Rats at various days of gestation and 24-48 hours post-partum were examined for hepatic expression of hepcidin, transferrin receptors 1 and 2, and HFE (the gene mutated in the most prevalent form of hereditary haemochromatosis), and duodenal expression of divalent metal transporter 1 (DMTI), duodenal cytochrome b (Dcytb), iron regulated mRNA (Ireg1), and hephaestin (Hp) by ribonuclease protection assay, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. Results: Decreased hepatic non-haem iron and transferrin saturation and increased expression of transferrin receptor 1 in the liver indicated a progressive reduction in maternal body iron stores during pregnancy. Duodenal expression of the iron transport molecules DMII, Dcytb, and Ireg1 increased during pregnancy, and this corresponded with a reduction in hepcidin, HFE, and transferrin receptor 2 expression in the liver. Expression of all molecules returned towards control values by 24-48 hours post- partum. Conclusions: These data indicate that increased expression of key iron transport molecules is responsible for the elevated iron absorption associated with pregnancy, and implicate hepcidin, HFE, and transferrin receptor 2 in determining how the maternal iron homeostatic machinery responds to the increased iron demands accompanying gestation.
ACCESSION #
13148298

 

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