Iron- and inflammation-induced hepcidin gene expression in mice is not mediated by Kupffer cells in vivo

Authors

  • Dan-Qing Lou,

    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Jeanne-Claire Lesbordes,

    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Gaël Nicolas,

    1. INSERM, Faculté de Médecine Xavier Bichat, Paris, France
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  • Lydie Viatte,

    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Myriam Bennoun,

    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Nico Van Rooijen,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Axel Kahn,

    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Laurent Renia,

    1. Département d'Immunologie, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
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  • Sophie Vaulont

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, et Université René Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, Paris, France
    • Département de Génétique, Développement et Pathologie Moléculaire, Institut Cochin, Faculté de Médecine Cochin-Port Royal, 24, rue du Fg. St. Jacques, 75014 Paris, France
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    • fax: (33) 1-44412421


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Hepcidin, a recently discovered iron regulatory peptide, is believed to inhibit the release of iron from absorptive enterocytes and macrophages. Liver hepcidin synthesis is induced in vivo by iron stores and inflammation. The molecular basis of the regulation of hepcidin gene expression by these effectors in hepatocytes is currently unknown, although there is strong evidence that indirect mechanisms are involved. The aims of this study were to gain insight into these mechanisms and to determine to what extent other liver cell types are responsible for transducing the signal by which hepcidin expression is regulated in mouse hepatocytes. For this, we depleted Kupffer cells by injection of liposome-encapsulated clodronate and then studied iron- and inflammation-induced hepcidin gene expression. In addition, we directly evaluated the role of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6) by using IL-6–deficient mice. Our results show that iron is able to induce hepcidin gene expression independently of Kupffer cells in the liver and circulating IL-6. In contrast, we show that hepcidin gene induction by inflammation is also independent of Kupffer cells, but involves, at least partly, IL-6. In conclusion, these results show that two independent regulatory pathways control hepcidin gene expression and suggest that hepatocytes play a key role in the regulation of hepcidin gene expression by sensing iron and inflammatory signals. (HEPATOLOGY 2005.)

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