Iron imports. IV. Hepcidin and regulation of body iron metabolism.Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Feb; 290(2):G199-203.AJ
Hepcidin, a small peptide synthesized in the liver, controls extracellular iron by regulating its intestinal absorption, placental transport, recycling by macrophages, and release from stores. Hepcidin inhibits the cellular efflux of iron by binding to and inducing the degradation of ferroportin, the sole iron exporter in iron-transporting cells. In turn, hepcidin synthesis is increased by iron loading and decreased by anemia and hypoxia. Hepcidin is markedly induced during inflammation, trapping iron in macrophages, decreasing plasma iron concentrations, and contributing to the anemia of inflammation. Hepcidin deficiency due to the dysregulation of its synthesis causes most known forms of hemochromatosis.