Published online Aug 6, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i15.1926
Peer-review started: March 18, 2019
First decision: May 21, 2019
Revised: June 18, 2019
Accepted: June 26, 2019
Article in press: June 27,2019
Published online: August 6, 2019
Hepcidin is the hyposideremic hormone regulating iron metabolism. It is a defensin-like disulfide-bonded peptide with antimicrobial activity. The main site of hepcidin production is the liver where its synthesis is modulated by iron, inflammation and erythropoietic signaling. However, hepcidin locally produced in several peripheral organs seems to be an important actor for the maintenance of iron homeostasis in these organs. This review highlights the presence of peripheral hepcidin and its potential functions. Understanding the role of extrahepatic hepcidin could be of great physiological and therapeutic importance for several specific pathologies.
Core tip: Hepcidin is the key regulator of iron homeostasis and is involved in iron-related disorders, namely anemia of inflammation and primary and secondary hemochromatosis. Since the discovery of its hyposideremic role, considerable efforts were made to explore iron handling by hepcidin. Almost all these studies focused on the liver because this organ was shown to be the major source of systemic hepcidin. However, interesting pending data showed an extrahepatic production of hepcidin in several organs, but the involvement of this peripheral hepcidin in local and overall iron homeostasis remains unknown. Thus, we think that those in the field should: (1) Consider the presence of endogenous hepcidin in the peripheral organs; and (2) Be interested in the involvement of hepcidin in other physiological and pathological mechanisms, in particular antimicrobial activity, acid secretion regulation, immune inflammatory response, etc.