Iron in innate immunity: starve the invaders

Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Feb;21(1):63-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Feb 21.

Abstract

Iron is essential for nearly all living organisms. Innate immunity effectively restricts iron availability to microbial invaders. Some microbes have evolved effective countermeasures that blunt the effect of iron restriction. Recent epidemiologic studies have highlighted the potentiating effect of iron on microbial infections. Laboratory studies have focused on specific immune mechanisms that mediate iron withholding from microbes constitutively and in response to infections. Specialized inflammation-regulated proteins chelate iron, trap siderophores, and transport iron or modulate its transport to alter its tissue distribution during infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / physiopathology
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Cell Degranulation / immunology
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Hepcidins
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Ion Transport / immunology
  • Iron / immunology*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron Overload*
  • Malaria / physiopathology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Transferrin / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / physiopathology

Substances

  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • Hepcidins
  • Transferrin
  • natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1
  • Iron