Hepcidin and iron disorders: new biology and clinical approaches

Int J Lab Hematol. 2015 May;37 Suppl 1:92-8. doi: 10.1111/ijlh.12358.


Hepatic hormone hepcidin is a principal regulator of iron homeostasis and a pathogenic factor in common iron disorders. Hepcidin deficiency causes iron overload in hereditary hemochromatosis and iron-loading anemias, whereas hepcidin excess causes or contributes to the development of iron-restricted anemia in inflammatory diseases, infections, some cancers, and chronic kidney disease. Because of this, hepcidin may become a useful tool for diagnosis and management of iron disorders. Furthermore, a number of strategies that target hepcidin, its receptor, and its regulators are under development as novel therapeutic approaches for diseases associated with iron dysregulation.

Keywords: Hepcidin; anemia; ferroportin; iron; iron overload.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Hepcidins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hepcidins / deficiency
  • Hepcidins / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / diagnosis
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / drug therapy
  • Iron Metabolism Disorders / metabolism*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Hepcidins
  • Iron