Author(s): Ganz T
The hepatic peptide hormone hepcidin is the principal regulator of iron absorption and its tissue distribution. Pathologically increased hepcidin concentrations cause or contribute to iron-restrictive anemias including anemias associated with inflammation, chronic kidney disease and some cancers. Hepcidin deficiency results in iron overload in hereditary hemochromatosis and ineffective erythropoiesis. The hepcidin-ferroportin axis is the principal regulator of extracellular iron homeostasis in health and disease, and is a promising target for the diagnosis and treatment of iron disorders and anemias.