Immune cell functions in iron overload

Clin Exp Immunol. 1989 Jan;75(1):1-6.


A number of studies done in the last 10 years demonstrate the importance of iron in regulating the expression of T lymphoid cell surface markers, in influencing the expansion of different T cell subsets and in affecting different immune cell functions in vitro. It has been argued that some of the results obtained could be explained by the formation of iron polymers in the experimental conditions used in vitro (Soyano Fernandez & Romano, 1985). In this review the results of studies of immunological function in clinical situations of iron overload are analysed. From this analysis, it is concluded that the majority of the observations made in vitro have a counterpart in vivo, thus providing additional compelling evidence for the importance of iron as an immunoregulator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hemochromatosis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Iron / immunology
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Phagocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thalassemia / immunology*


  • Iron