Daily regulation of serum and urinary hepcidin is not influenced by submaximal cycling exercise in humans with normal iron metabolism

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jun;106(3):435-43. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1031-8. Epub 2009 Mar 21.


Hepcidin and hemojuvelin (HJV) are two critical regulators of iron metabolism as indicated by the development of major iron overload associated to mutations in hepcidin and HJV genes. Hepcidin and HJV are highly expressed in liver and muscles, respectively. Intensive muscular exercise has been reported to modify serum iron parameters and to increase hepcidinuria. The present study aimed at evaluating the potential impact of low intensity muscle exercise on iron metabolism and on hepcidin, its key regulator. Fourteen normal volunteers underwent submaximal cycling-based exercise in a crossover design and various iron parameters, including serum and urinary hepcidin, were serially studied. The results demonstrated that submaximal ergocycle endurance exercise did not modulate hepcidin. This study also indicated that hepcidinuria did not show any daily variation whereas serum hepcidin did. The findings, by demonstrating that hepcidin concentrations are not influenced by submaximal cycling exercise, may have implications for hepcidin sampling in medical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / blood*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / urine*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hepcidins
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron Overload / metabolism
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • HAMP protein, human
  • Hepcidins
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Iron