Iron depletion by phlebotomy with recombinant erythropoietin prior to allogeneic transplantation to prevent liver toxicity.
Iron overload may induce liver toxicity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), but it is not known if iron depletion prior to HSCT can reduce the risk of severe toxicity in this setting. We used subcutaneous recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) (25 UI/kg) three times a week and phlebotomy once a week, to prevent liver toxicity in a patient with advanced acute leukemia and liver disease due to severe iron overload, previous drug toxicity and hepatitis C viral infection. Over the 9 months prior to allogeneic HSCT, 34 phlebotomies were carried out. Serum ferritin dropped from 2964 to 239 microg/l and the ALT dropped to near normal values. At allogeneic HSCT no liver toxicity was observed, suggesting that iron depletion in the pretransplant period may contribute to reducing transplant-related toxicity in selected cases. (+info)
Iron overload in porphyria cutanea tarda.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is a disorder of porphyrin metabolism associated with decreased activity of uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (URO-D) in the liver. The relevance of iron in the pathogenesis of PCT is well established: iron overload is one of the factors that trigger the clinical manifestations of the disease and iron depletion remains the cornerstone of therapy for PCT. A role for genetic hemochromatosis in the pathogenesis of iron overload in PCT has been hypothesized in the past but only after the recent identification of the genetic defect causing hemochromatosis has the nature of this association been partially elucidated. This review will outline current concepts of the pathophysiology of iron overload in PCT as well as recent contributions to the molecular epidemiology of hemochromatosis defects in PCT. EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION SOURCES: The authors of the present review have a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis, etiology and epidemiology of iron overload syndromes. Evidence from journal articles covered by the Science Citation Index(R) and Medline(R) has been reviewed and collated with personal data and experience. STATE OF THE ART AND PERPECTIVES: Mild to moderate iron overload plays a key role in the pathogenesis of PCT. The recent identification of genetic mutations of the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) in the majority of patients with PCT confirms previous hypotheses on the association between PCT and hemochromatosis, allows a step forward in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disturbance of iron metabolism in the liver of PCT patients, and provides an easily detectable genetic marker which could have a useful clinical application. Besides the epidemiological relevance of the association between PCT and hemochromatosis, however, it remains to be fully understood how iron overload, and in particular the cellular modifications of the iron status secondary to hemochromatosis mutations, affect the activity of URO-D, and how the altered iron metabolism interacts with the other two common triggers for PCT and etiological agents for the associated liver disease: alcohol and hepatitis viruses. The availability of a genetic marker for hemochromatosis will allow some of these issues to be addressed by studying aspects of porphyrins and iron metabolism in liver samples obtained from patients with PCT, liver disease of different etiology and different HFE genotypes, and by in vitro studies on genotyped cells and tissues. (+info)
Heterozygotes for HFE mutations have no increased risk of advanced alcoholic liver disease.
BACKGROUND: Iron overload is common in the livers of alcoholics and may play a role in disease pathogenesis. An MHC like gene, HFE, has recently been identified that is mutated in most patients with hereditary haemochromatosis (C282Y in 90% and H63D in 45% of the remainder). AIM: To examine the hypothesis that these mutations determine hepatic iron status in alcoholics and play a role in pre-disposition to advanced alcoholic liver disease. METHODS: The HFE gene was genotyped in 257 patients with alcoholic liver disease and 117 locally matched healthy volunteers. In addition, iron staining was scored (0-4) on biopsy specimens from fibrotic/cirrhotic patients with and without HFE mutations matched for age and sex. RESULTS: Some 15.7% of fibrotic/cirrhotic patients were C282Y heterozygotes compared with 13.7% of controls (p = 0.77). One control and three patients were C282Y homozygotes. Of chromosomes without the C282Y mutation, 68/442 (15.4%) of patients' chromosomes carried the H63D mutation compared with 36/216 (16.6%) of control chromosomes (p = 0.91). Significant (> grade 1) hepatocyte iron staining was seen in 6/23 C282Y heterozygotes and 4/26 H63D heterozygotes compared with 4/23 controls. CONCLUSIONS: Possession of a single copy of either of the two HFE mutations influences neither liver iron content nor the risk of fibrotic disease in alcoholics. (+info)
Iron overload upregulates haem oxygenase 1 in the lung more rapidly than in other tissues.
Haem oxygenase-1 is upregulated by numerous insults, including oxidative stress, and under such circumstances it is considered to be a protective stratagem. We have measured the haem oxygenase-1 expression in heart, lung and liver tissues of control and iron-overloaded rats. Lung tissue from iron-overloaded rats displayed a significant increase in the haem oxygenase-1 protein but no changes in haem oxygenase-1 mRNA. Conversely, heart tissue showed a significant increase in haem oxygenase-1 mRNA but no changes in haem oxygenase-1 protein. We conclude that during oxidative stress caused by iron overload, lung tissue responds with a rapid upregulation of haem oxygenase-1 levels. (+info)
Immunological analysis of beta-thalassemic mouse intestinal proteins reveals up-regulation of sucrase-isomaltase in response to iron overload.
Maintenance of iron homeostasis must balance the demand for iron due to heme synthesis, which is driven by hematopoiesis, and the restricted intestinal uptake of iron, which otherwise limits absorption of this toxic element. The consequences of perturbed iron homeostasis are witnessed in inherited forms of beta-thalassemia in which erythroid hyperplasia results in enhanced intestinal iron absorption despite tissue iron overload. To gain a better understanding of intestinal factors that are induced when iron homeostasis is disrupted, a panel of monoclonal antibodies that recognize intestinal microvillous membrane proteins of the beta-thalassemic Hbbd(th3)/Hbbd(th3) mouse was established. The monoclonal antibodies were screened by differential Western blotting against normal and beta-thalassemic mouse intestine to identify antigens modulated in the disease state. Here we report the initial characterization of one immunoreactive species that is up-regulated in beta-thalassemic mouse intestine and the tentative identification of this antigen as sucrase-isomaltase. Studies in Caco-2 cells revealed the rather unexpected finding that expression of this intestinal hydrolase is increased in response to iron toxicity. (+info)
Respiratory function in patients with thalassaemia and iron overload.
Iron deposition in the respiratory system has been proposed as a potential cause of the ventilatory restrictive impairment seen in patients with thalassaemia major (TM) and iron overload. In this study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of the liver (T2 relaxation time) were used as a surrogate index of total body iron burden and the extent to which these measurements correlated with total lung capacity (TLC) in patients with TM was examined. Twenty-one patients (aged 25+/-5 yrs) with TM participated in the study. Standard pulmonary function tests were undertaken and the T2 relaxation time of the liver was measured in all patients. Ventilatory restrictive impairment (mean TLC 74+/-11 (SD)% predicted) was the most common abnormality found in 71% of TM patients. There was no correlation between TLC (% pred) and T2 relaxation time (r=0.06, p=0.78). T2 relaxation time correlated weakly with average serum ferritin levels (r=-0.56, p=0.008). In conclusion, the data do not support the notion that the restrictive impairment in patients with thalassaemia major and iron overload is related to iron deposition in the respiratory system. (+info)
Iron loading and disease surveillance.
Iron is an oxidant as well as a nutrient for invading microbial and neoplastic cells. Excessive iron in specific tissues and cells (iron loading) promotes development of infection, neoplasia, cardiomyopathy, arthropathy, and various endocrine and possibly neurodegenerative disorders. To contain and detoxify the metal, hosts have evolved an iron withholding defense system, but the system can be compromised by numerous factors. An array of behavioral, medical, and immunologic methods are in place or in development to strengthen iron withholding. Routine screening for iron loading could provide valuable information in epidemiologic, diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic studies of emerging infectious diseases. (+info)
Iron overload in urban Africans in the 1990s.
BACKGROUND: In a previously described model, heterozygotes for an African iron loading locus develop iron overload only when dietary iron is high, but homozygotes may do so with normal dietary iron. If an iron loading gene is common, then homozygotes with iron overload will be found even in an urban population where traditional beer, the source of iron, is uncommon. AIMS: To determine whether iron overload and the C282Y mutation characteristic of hereditary haemochromatosis are readily identifiable in an urban African population. METHODS: Histological assessment, hepatocellular iron grading, and dry weight non-haem iron concentration were determined in post mortem tissue from liver, spleen, heart, lungs, and skin. DNA of subjects with elevated hepatic iron indexes was analysed for the C282Y mutation. Iron concentrations in other tissues were compared. RESULTS: A moderate increase (>30 micromol/g) in hepatic iron concentrations was found in 31 subjects (23%; 95% confidence interval 15.9 to 30.1%), and they were considerably elevated (>180 micromol/g) in seven subjects (5.2%; 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 8.9%). Appreciably elevated hepatic iron concentrations were associated with heavy iron deposition in both hepatocytes and macrophages, and either portal fibrosis or cirrhosis. All were negative for the C282Y mutation. Very high concentrations were uncommon in subjects dying in hospital. Concentrations of iron in spleen, heart, lung, and skin were significantly higher in subjects with elevated hepatic iron. CONCLUSIONS: Iron overload is readily identified among urban Africans and is associated with hepatic damage and iron loading of several tissues. The condition is unrelated to the genetic mutation found in hereditary haemochromatosis. (+info)