Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 315–328

Iron and the immune system

  • Roberta J. Ward
  • Robert R. Crichton
  • Deanna L. Taylor
  • Laura Della Corte
  • Surjit K. Srai
  • David T. Dexter
Basic Neurosciences, Genetics and Immunology - Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-010-0479-3

Cite this article as:
Ward, R.J., Crichton, R.R., Taylor, D.L. et al. J Neural Transm (2011) 118: 315. doi:10.1007/s00702-010-0479-3

Abstract

Iron and immunity are closely linked: firstly by the fact that many of the genes/proteins involved in iron homoeostasis play a vital role in controlling iron fluxes such that bacteria are prevented from utilising iron for growth; secondly, cells of the innate immune system, monocytes, macrophages, microglia and lymphocytes, are able to combat bacterial insults by carefully controlling their iron fluxes, which are mediated by hepcidin and ferroportin. In addition, lymphocytes play an important role in adaptive immunity. Thirdly, a variety of effector molecules, e.g. toll-like receptors, NF-κB, hypoxia factor-1, haem oxygenase, will orchestrate the inflammatory response by mobilising a variety of cytokines, neurotrophic factors, chemokines, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Pathologies, where iron loading and depletion occur, may adversely affect the ability of the cell to respond to the bacterial insult.

Keywords

MacrophageIronHepcidinFerroportinInflammation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta J. Ward
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Robert R. Crichton
    • 5
  • Deanna L. Taylor
    • 3
  • Laura Della Corte
    • 2
  • Surjit K. Srai
    • 4
  • David T. Dexter
    • 3
  1. 1.Biologie du ComportementUniversite Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Farmacologia Preclinica e ClinicaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Imperial CollegeLondonUK
  4. 4.University CollegeLondonUK
  5. 5.IMCNUniversite catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium