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J Transl Med. 2018 Feb 7;16(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12967-018-1399-5.

Hepcidin, an emerging and important player in brain iron homeostasis.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Prishtina, Martyr's Boulevard n.n., 10000, Prishtina, Kosova.


Hepcidin is emerging as a new important factor in brain iron homeostasis. Studies suggest that there are two sources of hepcidin in the brain; one is local and the other comes from the circulation. Little is known about the molecular mediators of local hepcidin expression, but inflammation and iron-load have been shown to induce hepcidin expression in the brain. The most important source of hepcidin in the brain are glial cells. Role of hepcidin in brain functions has been observed during neuronal iron-load and brain hemorrhage, where secretion of abundant hepcidin is related with the severity of brain damage. This damage can be reversed by blocking systemic and local hepcidin secretion. Studies have yet to unveil its role in other brain conditions, but the rationale exists, since these conditions are characterized by overexpression of the factors that stimulate brain hepcidin expression, such as inflammation, hypoxia and iron-overload.


Alzheimer’s disease; Astrocytes; Brain hemorrhage; Hepcidin; Inflammation

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