Title

Increased hepcidin in transferrin-treated thalassemic mice correlates with increased liver BMP2 expression and decreased hepatocyte ERK activation

Publication Date

January 2016

Journal Title

Haematologica

Abstract

Iron overload results in significant morbidity and mortality in beta-thalassemic patients. Insufficient hepcidin is implicated in parenchymal iron overload in beta-thalassemia and approaches to increase hepcidin have therapeutic potential. We have previously shown that exogenous apo-transferrin markedly ameliorates ineffective erythropoiesis and increases hepcidin expression in Hbb(th1/th1) (thalassemic) mice. We utilize in vivo and in vitro systems to investigate effects of exogenous apo-transferrin on Smad and ERK1/2 signaling, pathways that participate in hepcidin regulation. Our results demonstrate that apo-transferrin increases hepcidin expression in vivo despite decreased circulating and parenchymal iron concentrations and unchanged liver Bmp6 mRNA expression in thalassemic mice. Hepatocytes from apo-transferrin-treated mice demonstrate decreased ERK1/2 pathway and increased serum BMP2 concentration and hepatocyte BMP2 expression. Furthermore, hepatocyte ERK1/2 phosphorylation is enhanced by neutralizing anti-BMP2/4 antibodies and suppressed in vitro in a dose-dependent manner by BMP2, resulting in converse effects on hepcidin expression, and hepatocytes treated with MEK/ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126 in combination with BMP2 exhibit an additive increase in hepcidin expression. Lastly, bone marrow erythroferrone expression is normalized in apo-transferrin treated thalassemic mice but increased in apo-transferrin injected wild-type mice. These findings suggest that increased hepcidin expression after exogenous apo-transferrin is in part independent of erythroferrone and support a model in which apo-transferrin treatment in thalassemic mice increases BMP2 expression in the liver and other organs, decreases hepatocellular ERK1/2 activation, and increases nuclear Smad to increase hepcidin expression in hepatocytes.

Volume Number

101

Issue Number

3

Pages

297-308

Document Type

Article

EPub Date

2015/12/05

Facility

School of Medicine

Primary Department

Molecular Medicine

Additional Departments

Pediatrics

PMID

26635037

DOI

10.3324/haematol.2015.127902

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