Iron and Immunity: Immunological Consequences of Iron Deficiency and Overload
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The influence of iron on immune function has been long appreciated. However, the molecular basis for this interaction is less well understood. Recently, there have been several important advances that have shed light on the mechanisms that regulate mammalian iron metabolism. The new insights provide a conceptual framework for understanding and manipulating the cross-talk between iron homeostasis and the immune system. This article will review what is currently known about how disturbances of iron metabolism can affect immunity and how activation of the immune system can lead to alterations in iron balance.
KeywordsIron Metabolism Macrophage Inflammation Lymphocyte
Bone morphogenetic protein
Inducible nitric oxide synthase
Iron response element
Janus kinase 2
Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein
Red blood cell
Tumor necrosis factor
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
Work in the author’s laboratory is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R56 AI089700), the Broad Medical Research Program (IBD-0253) and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
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