Novel urine hepcidin assay by mass spectrometry

Blood. 2005 Nov 1;106(9):3268-70. doi: 10.1182/blood-2005-05-1873. Epub 2005 Jul 19.


The hepatic peptide hormone hepcidin is the central regulator of iron metabolism and mediator of anemia of inflammation. To date, only one specific immuno-dot assay to measure hepcidin in urine had been documented. Here we report an alternative approach for quantification of hepcidin in urine by surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS). Peptide peaks were detected corresponding to the 3 forms of hepcidin normally found in urine. The identity of the peptide peak equivalent to hepcidin-25 was confirmed using synthetic human hepcidin-25. Validation of our MS data on samples with various hepcidin levels showed a strong correlation with previous immuno-dot assay results (Spearman R = 0.9275, P < .001). Most importantly, this hepcidin assay clearly discriminates between relevant clinical iron disorders. In conclusion, this novel MS urine hepcidin assay is easy to perform and available to a wide audience. This enables the implementation of hepcidin measurements in large clinical studies.

MeSH terms

  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / urine*
  • Hepcidins
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • HAMP protein, human
  • Hepcidins