The Emerging Role of the Liver in Iron Metabolism

Sharma, Naveen; Butterworth, Jeffrey; Cooper, Brian T.; Tselepis, C.; Iqbal, Tariq H.
January 2005
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Jan2005, Vol. 100 Issue 1, p201
Academic Journal
Iron is essential in health and well-being and its dysregulation is a common theme in disease. Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular biology underlying hemochromatosis and anemia has provided insight into the complex mechanisms implicated in iron metabolism. The proximal small bowel is the major site of iron absorption and, it is becoming increasingly clear that the regulation of this process involves the liver and, in particular, the hepatic antimicrobial peptide hepcidin. A number of studies have shown hepcidin to have an inhibitory function at the level of small bowel iron absorption, although its exact site of action remains to be elucidated. Clearly, identifying the target of hepcidin is of importance and is likely to lead to the development of therapeutic agents in the treatment of iron disorders.(Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:201–206)


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