A low-molecular-weight compound K7174 represses hepcidin: possible therapeutic strategy against anemia of chronic disease.
ABSTRACT: Hepcidin is the principal iron regulatory hormone, controlling the systemic absorption and remobilization of iron from intracellular stores. The expression of the hepcidin gene, HAMP, is increased in patients with anemia of chronic disease. Previously, the synthetic compound K7174 was identified through chemical screening as a novel inhibitor of the adhesion of monocytes to cytokine-stimulated endothelial cells. K7174 also ameliorated anemia induced by inflammatory cytokines in mice, which suggests a possible involvement of hepcidin regulation. The present study was performed to assess the impact of K7174 on hepcidin expression in a human hematoma cell line and in mice in vivo. We first demonstrated that K7174 treatment in HepG2 cells significantly decreased HAMP expression. Then, we conducted microarray analysis to determine the molecular mechanism by which K7174 inhibits HAMP expression. Transcriptional profiling confirmed the downregulation of HAMP. Surprisingly, we found that K7174 strongly induced GDF15, known as a negative regulator of HAMP expression. Western blotting analysis as well as ELISA confirmed the induction of GDF15 by K7174 treatment. Furthermore, K7174-mediated HAMP suppression was rescued by the silencing of GDF15 expression. Interestingly, we found that K7174 also upregulates CEBPB. Promoter analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that CEBPB could contribute to K7174-mediated transcriptional activation of GDF15. Subsequently, we also examined whether K7174 inhibits hepcidin expression in mice. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis with liver samples from K7174-treated mice demonstrated significant upregulation of Gdf15 and downregulation of Hamp expression, as compared to control mice. Furthermore, serum hepcidin concentration was also significantly decreased in K7174-treated mice. In conclusion, K7174 inhibits hepcidin expression partly by inducing GDF15. K-7174 may be a potential therapeutic option to treat anemia of chronic disease.
Project description:Salmonella, a ubiquitous Gram-negative intracellular bacterium, is a food borne pathogen that infects a broad range of hosts. Infection with Salmonella Typhimurium in mice is a broadly recognized experimental model resembling typhoid fever in humans. Using a N-ethyl-N-nitrosurea (ENU) mutagenesis recessive screen, we report the identification of Ity16 (Immunity to Typhimurium locus 16), a locus responsible for increased susceptibility to infection. The position of Ity16 was refined on chromosome 8 and a nonsense mutation was identified in the ankyrin 1 (Ank1) gene. ANK1 plays an important role in the formation and stabilization of the red cell cytoskeleton. The Ank1(Ity16/Ity16) mutation causes severe hemolytic anemia in uninfected mice resulting in splenomegaly, hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice, extramedullary erythropoiesis and iron overload in liver and kidneys. Ank1(Ity16/Ity16) mutant mice demonstrated low levels of hepcidin (Hamp) expression and significant increases in the expression of the growth differentiation factor 15 (Gdf15), erythropoietin (Epo) and heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1) exacerbating extramedullary erythropoiesis, tissue iron deposition and splenomegaly. As the infection progresses in Ank1(Ity16/Ity16), the anemia worsens and bacterial load were high in liver and kidneys compared to wild type mice. Heterozygous Ank1(+/Ity16) mice were also more susceptible to Salmonella infection although to a lesser extent than Ank1(Ity16/Ity16) and they did not inherently present anemia and splenomegaly. During infection, iron accumulated in the kidneys of Ank1(+/Ity16) mice where bacterial loads were high compared to littermate controls. The critical role of HAMP in the host response to Salmonella infection was validated by showing increased susceptibility to infection in Hamp-deficient mice and significant survival benefits in Ank1(+/Ity16) heterozygous mice treated with HAMP peptide. This study illustrates that the regulation of Hamp and iron balance are crucial in the host response to Salmonella infection in Ank1 mutants.
Project description:Anemia of inflammation (AI) is commonly observed in chronic inflammatory states and may hinder patient recovery and survival. Induction of hepcidin, mediated by interleukin 6, leads to iron-restricted erythropoiesis and anemia. Several translational studies have been directed at neutralizing hepcidin overexpression as a therapeutic strategy against AI. However, additional hepcidin-independent mechanisms contribute to AI, which are likely mediated by a direct effect of inflammatory cytokines on erythropoiesis. In this study, we used wild-type, hepcidin knockout (Hamp-KO) and interleukin 6 knockout (IL-6-KO) mice as models of AI. AI was induced with heat-killed Brucella abortus (BA). The distinct roles of iron metabolism and inflammation triggered by interleukin 6 and hepcidin were investigated. BA-treated wild-type mice showed increased expression of hepcidin and inflammatory cytokines, as well as transitory suppression of erythropoiesis and shortened red blood cell lifespan, all of which contributed to the severe anemia of these mice. In contrast, BA-treated Hamp-KO or IL-6-KO mice showed milder anemia and faster recovery compared with normal mice. Moreover, they exhibited different patterns in the development and resolution of anemia, supporting the notion that interleukin 6 and hepcidin play distinct roles in modulating erythropoiesis in AI.
Project description:Inappropriately low expression of the key iron regulator hepcidin (HAMP) causes iron overload in untransfused patients affected by β-thalassemia intermedia and Hamp modulation provides improvement of the thalassemic phenotype of the Hbb(th3/+) mouse. HAMP expression is activated by iron through the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-son of mothers against decapentaplegic signaling pathway and inhibited by ineffective erythropoiesis through an unknown "erythroid regulator." The BMP pathway is inactivated by the serine protease TMPRSS6 that cleaves the BMP coreceptor hemojuvelin. Here, we show that homozygous loss of Tmprss6 in Hbb(th3/+) mice improves anemia and reduces ineffective erythropoiesis, splenomegaly, and iron loading. All these effects are mediated by Hamp up-regulation, which inhibits iron absorption and recycling. Because Hbb(th3/+) mice lacking Tmprss6 show residual ineffective erythropoiesis, our results indicate that Tmprss6 is essential for Hamp inhibition by the erythroid regulator. We also obtained partial correction of the phenotype in Tmprss6 haploinsufficient Hbb(th3/+) male but not female mice and showed that the observed sex difference reflects an unequal balance between iron and erythropoiesis-mediated Hamp regulation. Our study indicates that preventing iron overload improves β-thalassemia and strengthens the essential role of Tmprss6 for Hamp suppression, providing a proof of concept that Tmprss6 manipulation can offer a novel therapeutic option in this condition.
Project description:Inflammation influences iron balance in the whole organism. A common clinical manifestation of these changes is the anemia of chronic disease (ACD; also called anemia of inflammation). Inflammation reduces duodenal iron absorption and increases macrophage iron storage, resulting in low serum iron concentrations (hyposideremia). Despite the protection hyposideremia provides against proliferating microorganisms, this iron withholding reduces the iron available to developing red blood cells and eventually contributes to the development of anemia. Hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (Hamp) is a hepatic defensin-like peptide hormone that inhibits duodenal iron absorption and macrophage iron release. Hamp has antimicrobial activity and is part of the type II acute phase response. It is also thought to play a critical regulatory role in the sequestration of iron in the context of ACD. We report that mice with deficiencies in the hemochromatosis gene product, Hfe, mount a general inflammatory response, but lack appropriate Hamp expression and fail to develop hyposideremia. These data suggest a previously unidentified role for Hfe in innate immunity and ACD.
Project description:Retention of iron in tissue macrophages via upregulation of hepcidin (HAMP) and downregulation of the iron exporter ferroportin (FPN) is thought to participate in the establishment of anemia of inflammation after infection. However, an upregulation of FPN has been proposed to limit macrophages iron access to intracellular pathogens. Therefore, we studied the iron homeostasis and in particular the regulation of FPN after infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in mice presenting tissue macrophages with high iron (AcB61), basal iron (A/J and wild-type mice), or low iron (Hamp knock out, Hamp-/-) levels. The presence of iron in AcB61 macrophages due to extravascular hemolysis and strong erythrophagocytosis activity favored the proliferation of Salmonella in the spleen and liver with a concomitant decrease of FPN protein expression. Despite systemic iron overload, no or slight increase in Salmonella burden was observed in Hamp-/- mice compared to controls. Importantly, FPN expression at both mRNA and protein levels was strongly decreased during Salmonella infection in Hamp-/- mice. The repression of Fpn mRNA was also observed in Salmonella-infected cultured macrophages. In addition, the downregulation of FPN was associated with decreased iron stores in both the liver and spleen in infected mice. Our findings show that during Salmonella infection, FPN is repressed through an iron and hepcidin-independent mechanism. Such regulation likely provides the cellular iron indispensable for the growth of Salmonella inside the macrophages.
Project description:Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia (CDA) is a rare group of red blood cell disorders characterized by ineffective erythropoiesis and increased iron absorption. To determine whether growth differentation factor 15 (GDF15) hyper-expression is associated with the ineffective erythropoiesis and iron-loading complications of CDA type I (CDA I), GDF15 levels and other markers of erythropoiesis and iron overload were studied in blood from 17 CDA I patients. Significantly higher levels of GDF15 were detected among the CDA I patients (10 239 +/- 3049 pg/mL) compared with healthy volunteers (269 +/- 238 pg/mL). In addition, GDF15 correlated significantly with several erythropoietic and iron parameters including Hepcidin-25, Ferritin, and Hepcidin-25/Ferritin ratios. These novel results suggest that CDA I patients express very high levels of serum GDF15, and that GDF15 contributes to the inappropriate suppression of hepcidin with subsequent secondary hemochromatosis.
Project description:Hepcidin, a liver-derived protein that restricts enteric iron absorption, is the key regulator of body iron content. Several proteins induce expression of the hepcidin-encoding gene Hamp in response to infection or high levels of iron. However, mechanism(s) of Hamp suppression during iron depletion are poorly understood. We describe mask: a recessive, chemically induced mutant mouse phenotype, characterized by progressive loss of body (but not facial) hair and microcytic anemia. The mask phenotype results from reduced absorption of dietary iron caused by high levels of hepcidin and is due to a splicing defect in the transmembrane serine protease 6 gene Tmprss6. Overexpression of normal TMPRSS6 protein suppresses activation of the Hamp promoter, and the TMPRSS6 cytoplasmic domain mediates Hamp suppression via proximal promoter element(s). TMPRSS6 is an essential component of a pathway that detects iron deficiency and blocks Hamp transcription, permitting enhanced dietary iron absorption.
Project description:Objective- Inflammatory stimuli enhance the progression of atherosclerotic disease. Inflammation also increases the expression of hepcidin, a hormonal regulator of iron homeostasis, which decreases intestinal iron absorption, reduces serum iron levels and traps iron within macrophages. The role of macrophage iron in the development of atherosclerosis remains incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of hepcidin deficiency and decreased macrophage iron on the development of atherosclerosis. Approach and Results- Hepcidin- and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptor-deficient ( Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/-) mice and Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- control mice were fed a high-fat diet for 21 weeks. Compared with control mice, Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had decreased aortic macrophage activity and atherosclerosis. Because hepcidin deficiency is associated with both increased serum iron and decreased macrophage iron, the possibility that increased serum iron was responsible for decreased atherosclerosis in Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice was considered. Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice were treated with iron dextran so as to produce a 2-fold increase in serum iron. Increased serum iron did not decrease atherosclerosis in Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. Aortic macrophages from Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had less labile free iron and exhibited a reduced proinflammatory (M1) phenotype compared with macrophages from Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. THP1 human macrophages treated with an iron chelator were used to model hepcidin deficiency in vitro. Treatment with an iron chelator reduced LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced M1 phenotypic expression and decreased uptake of oxidized LDL. Conclusions- In summary, in a hyperlipidemic mouse model, hepcidin deficiency was associated with decreased macrophage iron, a reduced aortic macrophage inflammatory phenotype and protection from atherosclerosis. The results indicate that decreasing hepcidin activity, with the resulting decrease in macrophage iron, may prove to be a novel strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Project description:Iron is crucial for many biological functions, but quantitatively the most important use of iron is in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cell precursors. The amount of iron in the plasma, and hence its availability for hemoglobin synthesis, is determined by the liver-derived iron regulatory hormone hepcidin. When the iron supply to erythroid precursors is limited, as often occurs during stimulated erythropoiesis, these cells produce signals to inhibit hepatic hepcidin production, thereby increasing the amount of iron that enters the plasma. How stimulated erythropoiesis suppresses hepcidin production is incompletely understood, but erythroferrone, Gdf15 and Twsg1 have emerged as candidate regulatory molecules. To further examine the relationship between erythropoiesis and the candidate erythroid regulators, we have studied five mouse models of anemia, including two models of ?-thalassemia (Hbbth3/+ and RBC14), the hemoglobin deficit mouse (hbd), dietary iron deficient mice and mice treated with phenylhydrazine to induce acute hemolysis. Hematological parameters, iron status and the expression of Erfe (the gene encoding erythroferrone), Gdf15 and Twsg1 in the bone marrow and spleen were examined. Erfe expression was the most consistently upregulated of the candidate erythroid regulators in all of the mouse models examined. Gene expression was particularly high in the bone marrow and spleen of iron deficient animals, making erythroferrone an ideal candidate erythroid regulator, as its influence is strongest when iron supply to developing erythroid cells is limited. Gdf15 expression was also upregulated in most of the anemia models studied although the magnitude of the increase was generally less than that of Erfe. In contrast, very little regulation of Twsg1 was observed. These results support the prevailing hypothesis that erythroferrone is a promising erythroid regulator and demonstrate that Erfe expression is stimulated most strongly when the iron supply to developing erythroid cells is compromised.
Project description:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is frequently accompanied by iron overload. However, because of the complex hepcidin-regulating molecules, the molecular mechanism underlying iron overload remains unknown. To identify the key molecule involved in NAFLD-associated iron dysregulation, we performed whole-RNA sequencing on the livers of obese mice.Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a regular or high-fat diet for 16 or 48 weeks. Internal iron was evaluated by plasma iron, ferritin or hepatic iron content. Whole-RNA sequencing was performed by transcriptome analysis using semiconductor high-throughput sequencer. Mouse liver tissues or isolated hepatocytes and sinusoidal endothelial cells were used to assess the expression of iron-regulating molecules.Mice fed a high-fat diet for 16 weeks showed excess iron accumulation. Longer exposure to a high-fat diet increased hepatic fibrosis and intrahepatic iron accumulation. A pathway analysis of the sequencing data showed that several inflammatory pathways, including bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-SMAD signaling, were significantly affected. Sequencing analysis showed 2314 altered genes, including decreased mRNA expression of the hepcidin-coding gene Hamp. Hepcidin protein expression and SMAD phosphorylation, which induces Hamp, were found to be reduced. The expression of BMP-binding endothelial regulator (BMPER), which inhibits BMP-SMAD signaling by binding BMP extracellularly, was up-regulated in fatty livers. In addition, immunohistochemical and cell isolation analyses showed that BMPER was primarily expressed in the liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) rather than hepatocytes.BMPER secretion by LSECs inhibits BMP-SMAD signaling in hepatocytes and further reduces hepcidin protein expression. These intrahepatic molecular interactions suggest a novel molecular basis of iron overload in NAFLD.