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Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 407–415 | Cite as

Iron and Immunity: Immunological Consequences of Iron Deficiency and Overload

  • Bobby J. CherayilEmail author
REVIEW

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Iron Metabolism Macrophage Inflammation Lymphocyte 

Abbreviations

BMP

Bone morphogenetic protein

FPN

Ferroportin

HIF

Hypoxia-inducible factor

HJV

Hemojuvelin

IFN

Interferon

IL

Interleukin

iNOS

Inducible nitric oxide synthase

IRE

Iron response element

IRP

IRE-binding protein

Jak2

Janus kinase 2

LPS

Lipopolysaccharide

Nramp

Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein

RBC

Red blood cell

TfR

Transferrin receptor

TLR

Toll-like receptor

TNF

Tumor necrosis factor

STAT3

Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wroclaw, Poland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMucosal Immunology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolCharlestown, BostonUSA

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