The crossroads of iron with hypoxia and cellular metabolism. Implications in the pathobiology of pulmonary hypertension

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Dec;51(6):721-9. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2014-0021TR.


The pathologic hallmark of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is pulmonary vascular remodeling, characterized by endothelial cell proliferation, smooth muscle hypertrophy, and perivascular inflammation, ultimately contributing to increased pulmonary arterial pressures. Several recent studies have observed that iron deficiency in patients with various forms of PAH is associated with worsened clinical outcome. Iron plays a key role in many cellular processes regulating the response to hypoxia, oxidative stress, cellular proliferation, and cell metabolism. Given the potential importance of iron supplementation in patients with the disease and the broad cellular functions of iron, we review its role in processes that pertain to PAH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / metabolism
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / metabolism*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Vascular Remodeling


  • Iron