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Adv Hematol. 2010;2010:605435. doi: 10.1155/2010/605435. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Crosstalk between Iron Metabolism and Erythropoiesis.

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Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, 1-38, NY 10065, USA.


Iron metabolism and erythropoiesis are inextricably linked. The majority of iron extracted from circulation daily is used for hemoglobin synthesis. In the last 15 years, major advances have been made in understanding the pathways regulating iron metabolism. Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron absorption and recycling and is itself regulated by erythropoiesis. While several viable candidates have been proposed, elucidating the "erythroid regulator" of hepcidin continues to generate significant experimental activity in the field. Although the mechanism responsible for sensing iron demand for erythropoiesis is still incompletely understood, evaluating diseases in which disordered erythropoiesis and/or iron metabolism are showcased has resulted in a more robust appreciation of potential candidates coordinated erythroid iron demand with regulators of iron supply. We present data drawn from four different conditions-iron deficiency, congenital hypotransferrinemia, beta-thalassemia, and hereditary hemochromatosis-both in human and non-human models of disease, together suggesting that erythroid iron demand exerts a stronger influence on circulating iron supply than systemic iron stores. Greater understanding of the interplay between the key factors involved in the regulation of iron metabolism and erythropoiesis will help develop more effective therapies for disorders of iron overload, iron deficiency, and hemoglobin synthesis.

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