Elucidating Iron Metabolism through Molecular Imaging

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2024 Mar 22;46(4):2798-2818. doi: 10.3390/cimb46040175.


Iron is essential for many physiological processes, and the dysregulation of its metabolism is implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Recent advances in iron metabolism research have revealed multiple complex pathways critical for maintaining iron homeostasis. Molecular imaging, an interdisciplinary imaging technique, has shown considerable promise in advancing research on iron metabolism. Here, we comprehensively review the multifaceted roles of iron at the cellular and systemic levels (along with the complex regulatory mechanisms of iron metabolism), elucidate appropriate imaging methods, and summarize their utility and fundamental principles in diagnosing and treating diseases related to iron metabolism. Utilizing molecular imaging technology to deeply understand the complexities of iron metabolism and its critical role in physiological and pathological processes offers new possibilities for early disease diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and the development of novel therapies. Despite technological limitations and the need to ensure the biological relevance and clinical applicability of imaging results, molecular imaging technology's potential to reveal the iron metabolic process is unparalleled, providing new insights into the link between iron metabolism abnormalities and various diseases.

Keywords: iron homeostasis; iron metabolism; molecular imaging technology; molecular mechanism; visualization.

Publication types

  • Review