Iron and Immunity: Immunological Consequences of Iron Deficiency and Overload

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.

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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

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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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Correspondence to Bobby J. Cherayil.

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Cherayil, B.J. Iron and Immunity: Immunological Consequences of Iron Deficiency and Overload. Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp. 58, 407–415 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00005-010-0095-9

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Keywords

  • Iron
  • Metabolism
  • Macrophage
  • Inflammation
  • Lymphocyte