Genetic and Dietary Iron Overload Differentially Affect the Course of Salmonella Typhimurium Infection.
ABSTRACT: Genetic and dietary forms of iron overload have distinctive clinical and pathophysiological features. HFE-associated hereditary hemochromatosis is characterized by overwhelming intestinal iron absorption, parenchymal iron deposition, and macrophage iron depletion. In contrast, excessive dietary iron intake results in iron deposition in macrophages. However, the functional consequences of genetic and dietary iron overload for the control of microbes are incompletely understood. Using Hfe+/+ and Hfe-/- mice in combination with oral iron overload in a model of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection, we found animals of either genotype to induce hepcidin antimicrobial peptide expression and hypoferremia following systemic infection in an Hfe-independent manner. As predicted, Hfe-/- mice, a model of hereditary hemochromatosis, displayed reduced spleen iron content, which translated into improved control of Salmonella replication. Salmonella adapted to the iron-poor microenvironment in the spleens of Hfe-/- mice by inducing the expression of its siderophore iron-uptake machinery. Dietary iron loading resulted in higher bacterial numbers in both WT and Hfe-/- mice, although Hfe deficiency still resulted in better pathogen control and improved survival. This suggests that Hfe deficiency may exert protective effects in addition to the control of iron availability for intracellular bacteria. Our data show that a dynamic adaptation of iron metabolism in both immune cells and microbes shapes the host-pathogen interaction in the setting of systemic Salmonella infection. Moreover, Hfe-associated iron overload and dietary iron excess result in different outcomes in infection, indicating that tissue and cellular iron distribution determines the susceptibility to infection with specific pathogens.
Project description:In hereditary hemochromatosis, mutations in HFE lead to iron overload through abnormally low levels of hepcidin. In addition, HFE potentially modulates cellular iron uptake by interacting with transferrin receptor, a crucial protein during erythropoiesis. However, the role of HFE in this process was never explored. We hypothesize that HFE modulates erythropoiesis by affecting dietary iron absorption and erythroid iron intake. To investigate this, we used Hfe-KO mice in conditions of altered dietary iron and erythropoiesis. We show that Hfe-KO mice can overcome phlebotomy-induced anemia more rapidly than wild-type mice (even when iron loaded). Second, we evaluated mice combining the hemochromatosis and ?-thalassemia phenotypes. Our results suggest that lack of Hfe is advantageous in conditions of increased erythropoietic activity because of augmented iron mobilization driven by deficient hepcidin response. Lastly, we demonstrate that Hfe is expressed in erythroid cells and impairs iron uptake, whereas its absence exclusively from the hematopoietic compartment is sufficient to accelerate recovery from phlebotomy. In summary, we demonstrate that Hfe influences erythropoiesis by 2 distinct mechanisms: limiting hepcidin expression under conditions of simultaneous iron overload and stress erythropoiesis, and impairing transferrin-bound iron uptake by erythroid cells. Moreover, our results provide novel suggestions to improve the treatment of hemochromatosis.
Project description:Mutations of HFE are associated with hereditary hemochromatosis, but their influence on host susceptibility to infection is incompletely understood. We report that mice lacking one or both Hfe alleles are protected from septicemia with Salmonella Typhimurium, displaying prolonged survival and improved control of bacterial replication. This increased resistance is paralleled by an enhanced production of the enterochelin-binding peptide lipocalin-2 (Lcn2), which reduces the availability of iron for Salmonella within Hfe-deficient macrophages. Accordingly, Hfe(-/-)Lcn2(-/-) macrophages are unable to efficiently control the infection or to withhold iron from intracellular Salmonella. Correspondingly, the protection conferred by the Hfe defect is abolished in Hfe(-/-) mice infected with enterochelin-deficient Salmonella as well as in Hfe(-/-)Lcn2(-/-) mice infected with wild-type bacteria. Thus, by induction of the iron-capturing peptide Lcn2, absence of functional Hfe confers host resistance to systemic infection with Salmonella, thereby providing an evolutionary advantage which may account for the high prevalence of genetic hemochromatosis.
Project description:Hepatic iron overload, a hallmark of hereditary hemochromatosis, triggers progressive liver disease. There is also increasing evidence for a pathogenic role of iron in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which may progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer. Mouse models of hereditary hemochromatosis and NAFLD can be used to explore potential interactions between iron and lipid metabolic pathways. Hfe-/- mice, a model of moderate iron overload, were reported to develop early liver fibrosis in response to a high fat diet. However, this was not the case with Hjv-/- mice, a model of severe iron overload. These data raised the possibility that the Hfe gene may protect against liver injury independently of its iron regulatory function. Herein, we addressed this hypothesis in a comparative study utilizing wild type, Hfe-/-, Hjv-/- and double Hfe-/-Hjv-/- mice. The animals, all in C57BL/6J background, were fed with high fat diets for 14 weeks and developed hepatic steatosis, associated with iron overload. Hfe co-ablation did not sensitize steatotic Hjv-deficient mice to liver injury. Moreover, we did not observe any signs of liver inflammation or fibrosis even in single steatotic Hfe-/- mice. Ultrastructural studies revealed a reduced lipid and glycogen content in Hjv-/- hepatocytes, indicative of a metabolic defect. Interestingly, glycogen levels were restored in double Hfe-/-Hjv-/- mice, which is consistent with a metabolic function of Hfe. We conclude that hepatocellular iron excess does not aggravate diet-induced steatosis to steatohepatitis or early liver fibrosis in mouse models of hereditary hemochromatosis, irrespectively of the presence or lack of Hfe.
Project description:In hereditary hemochromatosis, iron deposition in the liver parenchyma may lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Most cases are ascribed to a common mutation in the HFE gene, but the extent of clinical expression is greatly influenced by the combined action of yet unidentified genetic and/or environmental modifying factors. In mice, transcription factor NRF2 is a critical determinant of hepatocyte viability during exposure to acute dietary iron overload. We evaluated if the genetic disruption of Nrf2 would prompt the development of liver damage in Hfe-/- mice (an established model of human HFE-hemochromatosis).Wild-type, Nrf2-/-, Hfe-/- and double knockout (Hfe/Nrf2-/-) female mice on C57BL/6 genetic background were sacrificed at the age of 6 (young), 12-18 (middle-aged) or 24 months (old) for evaluation of liver pathology.Despite the parenchymal iron accumulation, Hfe-/- mice presented no liver injury. The combination of iron overload (Hfe-/-) and defective antioxidant defences (Nrf2-/-) increased the number of iron-related necroinflammatory lesions (sideronecrosis), possibly due to the accumulation of toxic oxidation products such as 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-protein adducts. The engulfment of dead hepatocytes led to a gradual accumulation of iron within macrophages, featuring large aggregates. Myofibroblasts recruited towards the injury areas produced substantial amounts of collagen fibers involving the liver parenchyma of double-knockout animals with increased hepatic fibrosis in an age-dependent manner.The genetic disruption of Nrf2 promotes the transition from iron accumulation (siderosis) to liver injury in Hfe-/- mice, representing the first demonstration of spontaneous hepatic fibrosis in the long term in a mouse model of hereditary hemochromatosis displaying mildly elevated liver iron.
Project description:The hereditary hemochromatosis protein HFE promotes the expression of hepcidin, a circulating hormone produced by the liver that inhibits dietary iron absorption and macrophage iron release. HFE mutations are associated with impaired hepatic bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/SMAD signaling for hepcidin production. TMPRSS6, a transmembrane serine protease mutated in iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia, inhibits hepcidin expression by dampening BMP/SMAD signaling. In the present study, we used genetic approaches in mice to examine the relationship between Hfe and Tmprss6 in the regulation of systemic iron homeostasis. Heterozygous loss of Tmprss6 in Hfe(-/-) mice reduced systemic iron overload, whereas homozygous loss caused systemic iron deficiency and elevated hepatic expression of hepcidin and other Bmp/Smad target genes. In contrast, neither genetic loss of Hfe nor hepatic Hfe overexpression modulated the hepcidin elevation and systemic iron deficiency of Tmprss6(-/-) mice. These results indicate that genetic loss of Tmprss6 increases Bmp/Smad signaling in an Hfe-independent manner that can restore Bmp/Smad signaling in Hfe(-/-) mice. Furthermore, these results suggest that natural genetic variation in the human ortholog TMPRSS6 might modify the clinical penetrance of HFE-associated hereditary hemochromatosis, raising the possibility that pharmacologic inhibition of TMPRSS6 could attenuate iron loading in this disorder.
Project description:Iron is an essential trace element whose absorption is usually tightly regulated in the duodenum. HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is characterized by abnormally low expression of the iron-regulatory hormone, hepcidin, which results in increased iron absorption. The liver is crucial for iron homeostasis as it is the main production site of hepcidin. The aim of this study was to explore and compare the genome-wide transcriptome response to Hfe deficiency and dietary iron overload in murine liver and duodenum. Overall design: C57BL/6 male mice were used following the next scheme: 3 Hfe knockout mice and 2 wild type mice as their controls; 3 mice with dietary iron overload and 2 mice fed a standard diet as their controls. 2 tissues were analyzed from all the described mice, liver and duodenum. As an exception, the duodenum samples of only 2 Hfe knockout mice, instead of 3, were used. This makes a total of 19 samples: 10 liver samples and 9 duodenum samples.
Project description:In human hemochromatosis, tissue toxicity is a function of tissue iron levels. Despite reports of skin toxicity in hemochromatosis, little is known about iron levels in skin of individuals with systemic iron overload. We measured skin iron and studied skin histology in three mouse models of systemic iron overload: mice with a deletion of the hemochromatosis (Hfe) gene, mice fed a high iron diet, and mice given parenteral injections of iron. In Hfe(-/-) mice, iron content in the epidermis and dermis was unexpectedly the same as in Hfe(+/+) mice, and there were no histological abnormalities detected after 30 wk. A high iron diet produced increased iron in the epidermis of both normal and Hfe(-/-) animals; a high diet increased iron in the dermis only in Hfe(-/-) mice. Increased skin iron was not associated with other histological changes, even after 19 wk. Parenteral administration of iron produced increased iron in the epidermis and dermis, and gave the skin a bronze hue. These results show that the amount and distribution of iron in the skin depends on the etiology of iron overload. It appears that neither Hfe deletion nor elevated skin iron alone can account for cutaneous manifestations reportedly seen in humans with hereditary hemochromatosis.
Project description:Mutations in HFE, the most common cause of hereditary hemochromatosis, lead to iron overload. The iron overload is characterized by increased iron uptake due to lower levels of the hepatic, iron regulatory hormone hepcidin. HFE was cloned 21 years ago, but the signaling pathway is still unknown. Because bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is impaired in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, and the interaction of HFE and the BMP type I receptor ALK3 was suggested in vitro, in vivo experiments were performed. In vivo, hepatocyte-specific Alk3-deficient and control mice were injected with either AAV2/8-Hfe-Flag or PBS. HFE overexpression in control mice results in increased hepatic hepcidin levels, p-Smad1/5 levels, and iron deficiency anemia, whereas overexpression of HFE in hepatocyte-specific Alk3-deficient mice results in no change in hepcidin, p-Smad1/5 levels, or blood parameters. These results indicate that HFE signals predominantly via ALK3 to induce hepcidin in vivo.
Project description:Iron is an essential trace element whose absorption is usually tightly regulated in the duodenum. HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is characterized by abnormally low expression of the iron-regulatory hormone, hepcidin, which results in increased iron absorption. The liver is crucial for iron homeostasis as it is the main production site of hepcidin. The aim of this study was to explore and compare the genome-wide transcriptome response to Hfe deficiency and dietary iron overload in murine liver and duodenum. Illumina arrays containing over 47,000 probes were used to study global transcriptional changes. Quantitative RT-PCR (Q-RT-PCR) was used to validate the microarray results. In the liver, the expression of 151 genes was altered in Hfe(-/-) mice while dietary iron overload changed the expression of 218 genes. There were 173 and 108 differentially expressed genes in the duodenum of Hfe(-/-) mice and mice with dietary iron overload, respectively. There was 93.5% concordance between the results obtained by microarray analysis and Q-RT-PCR. Overexpression of genes for acute phase reactants in the liver and a strong induction of digestive enzyme genes in the duodenum were characteristic of the Hfe-deficient genotype. In contrast, dietary iron overload caused a more pronounced change of gene expression responsive to oxidative stress. In conclusion, Hfe deficiency caused a previously unrecognized increase in gene expression of hepatic acute phase proteins and duodenal digestive enzymes.
Project description:Osteoporosis is associated with chronic iron overload secondary to hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), but the causative mechanisms are incompletely understood. The main objective of this study was to investigate the role of dietary iron on osteoporosis, using as biological model the Hfe-KO mice, which have a systemic iron overload. We showed that these mice show an increased susceptibility for developing a bone loss phenotype compared to WT mice, which can be exacerbated by an iron rich diet. The dietary iron overload caused an increase in inflammation and iron incorporation within the trabecular bone in both WT and Hfe-KO mice. However, the osteoporotic phenotype was only evident in Hfe-KO mice fed the iron-enriched diet. This appeared to result from an imbalance between bone formation and bone resorption driven by iron toxicity associated to Hfe-KO and confirmed by a decrease in bone microarchitecture parameters (identified by micro-CT) and osteoblast number. These findings were supported by the observed downregulation of bone metabolism markers and upregulation of ferritin heavy polypeptide 1 (Fth1) and transferrin receptor-1 (Tfrc), which are associated with iron toxicity and bone loss phenotype. In WT mice the iron rich diet was not enough to promote a bone loss phenotype, essentially due to the concomitant depression of bone resorption observed in those animals. In conclusion the dietary challenge influences the development of osteoporosis in the HH mice model thus suggesting that the iron content in the diet may influence the osteoporotic phenotype in systemic iron overload conditions.