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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2014 Jan-Mar;57(1):39-42. doi: 10.4103/0377-4929.130891.

What regulates hepcidin in poly-transfused β-Thalassemia Major: erythroid drive or store drive?

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital,New Delhi, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepcidin, a key regulator of iron homeostasis, is increased by iron overload and inflammation while suppressed by hypoxia. In spite of iron overload in β-Thalassemia Major (β-TM), a paradoxical decrease in hepcidin is observed.

AIM:

To assess the opposing effects of enhanced erythropoiesis due to anemia and iron overloading on hepcidin in β-TM patients.

SETTING AND DESIGN:

This prospective observational study was done at our tertiary care hospital.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Eighty-three pediatric polytransfused (> 20 transfusions) patients of β-TM were compared with 70 children who served as controls. Serum assays for ferritin, transferrin receptors (sTfR) and hepcidin were performed.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Independent Student t test was used to compare variables between both the groups. A Pearson correlation coefficient was used to find any correlation between ferritin, sTfR and hepcidin.

RESULTS:

The mean value of hepcidin in β-TM children was 13.88±10.68 ng/ml (range, 0.9-60 ng/ml) and showed significant negative correlation with sTfR (r = -0.296, P < 0.0066). However, there was no correlation of hepcidin with ferritin. Ferritin and sTfR were significantly elevated in β-TM children compared to controls (P < 0.001). The mean serum hepcidin/ferritin index in the study group (0.00552) was significantly lower (P value < 0.001) than the controls (0.378) thus indicating inappropriate levels of hepcidin to iron overload.

CONCLUSION:

In polytransfused β-TM children increased iron demand dominates over iron overload in regulating hepcidin. In spite of excessive iron load, the inappropriate hepcidin levels may further contribute to iron overload enhancing iron toxicity.

PMID:
24739829
DOI:
10.4103/0377-4929.130891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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