Iron homeostasis is tightly regulated, and the peptide hormone hepcidin is considered to be a principal regulator of iron metabolism. Previous studies in a limited number of mouse strains found equivocal sex-and strain-dependent differences in mRNA and serum levels of hepcidin and reported conflicting data on the relationship between hepcidin (Hamp1) mRNA levels and iron status. Our aim was to clarify the relationships between strain, sex, and hepcidin expression by examining multiple tissues and the effects of different dietary conditions in multiple inbred strains. Two studies were done: first, Hamp1 mRNA, liver iron, and plasma diferric transferrin levels were measured in 14 inbred strains on a control diet; and second, Hamp1 mRNA and plasma hepcidin levels in both sexes and iron levels in the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and spleen in males were measured in nine inbred/recombinant inbred strains raised on an iron-sufficient or high-iron diet. Both sex and strain have a significant effect on both hepcidin mRNA (primarily a sex effect) and plasma hepcidin levels (primarily a strain effect). However, liver iron and diferric transferrin levels are not predictors of Hamp1 mRNA levels in mice fed ironsufficient or high-iron diets, nor are the Hamp1 mRNA and plasma hepcidin levels good predictors of tissue iron levels, at least in males. We also measured plasma erythroferrone, performed RNA-sequencing analysis of liver samples from six inbred strains fed the ironsufficient, low-iron, or high-iron diets, and explored differences in gene expression between the strains with the highest and lowest hepcidin levels. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Both sex and strain have a significant effect on both hepcidin mRNA (primarily a sex effect) and plasma hepcidin levels (primarily a strain effect). Liver iron and diferric transferrin levels are not predictors of Hamp1 mRNA levels in mice, nor are the Hamp1 mRNA and plasma hepcidin levels good predictors of tissue iron levels, at least in males.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2017 Nov 2|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences Grant 83198. A. J. Lusis is supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grant 28481.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)