Hepcidin-dependent and hepcidin-independent regulation of erythropoiesis in a mouse model of anemia of chronic inflammation
Increased hepcidin antimicrobial peptide correlates with hypoferremia and anemia in various disease states, but its requirement for anemia of inflammation has not been adequately demonstrated. Anemia of inflammation is usually described as normocytic and normochromic, while diseases associated with over expression of hepcidin, alone, are often microcytic and hypochromic. These differences in erythrocyte parameters suggest anemia in many inflammatory states may not be fully explained by hepcidin-mediated iron sequestration. We used turpentine-induced sterile abscesses to model chronic inflammation in mice with targeted disruption of Hepcidin 1 [Hepc1 (-/-)] or its positive regulator, Interleukin-6 [IL-6 (-/-)], to determine whether these genes are required for features characteristic of anemia of inflammation. Although hemoglobin levels did not decline in Hepc1 (-/-) mice with sterile abscesses, erythrocyte numbers were significantly reduced compared to untreated Hepc1 (-/-) mice. In contrast, both hemoglobin concentration and erythrocyte number declined significantly in wild type and IL-6 (-/-) mice with sterile abscesses. Both Hepc1 (-/-) and IL-6 (-/-) mice had increased erythrocyte mean cell volume and mean cell hemoglobin following sterile abscesses, while wild types had no change. Thus, IL-6 (-/-) mice with sterile abscesses exhibit an intermediate phenotype between wild type and Hepc1 (-/-). Our results demonstrate the requirement of Hepc1 for the development of anemia in this rodent model. Simultaneously, our results demonstrate hepcidin-independent effects of inflammation on the suppression of erythropoiesis. Our results suggest chronic anemia associated with inflammation may benefit from interventions protecting erythrocyte number in addition to anti-hepcidin interventions aimed at enhancing iron availability.
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