Dietary iron regulates hepatic hepcidin 1 and 2 mRNAs in mice

Metabolism. 2003 Oct;52(10):1229-31. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(03)00277-4.


Recently discovered peptide-hepcidin (Hepc) may be a central player in the communication of iron body stores to the intestinal absorptive cells and thus involved in the maintenance of iron homeostasis. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of the level of dietary iron on Hepc gene expression in the liver. OF1 male mice were fed for 3 weeks either control diet (35 mg iron/kg diet), low-iron diet (1 mg iron/kg diet), or high-iron diet (500 mg iron/kg diet), and Hepc 1 and 2 mRNA abundance in the liver was assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results clearly showed that Hepc gene expression is upregulated by high dietary iron and downregulated when the dietary iron level is low. Both Hepc 1 and Hepc 2 expression responds coordinately to dietary iron. This work provides additional evidence of the key role of Hepc in the regulation of iron homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / drug effects
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / drug effects*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / metabolism*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Iron, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Actins
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Hamp protein, mouse
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron, Dietary
  • RNA, Messenger