Iron and inflammation – the gut reaction
Anemia is a frequent complication of many inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease. Although the pathogenesis of this problem is multifactorial, a key component is the abnormal elevation of the hormone hepcidin, the central regulator of systemic iron homeostasis. Investigations over the last decade have resulted in important insights into the role of hepcidin in iron metabolism and the mechanisms that lead to hepcidin dysregulation in the context of inflammation. These insights provide the foundation for novel strategies to prevent and treat the anemia associated with inflammatory diseases.