Anemia presents a global public health problem. It is related to several factors, ranging from deficiency in nutrients from food to genetic alterations in iron absorption and metabolism. In this context, hepcidin is a peptide molecule that regulates iron homeostasis. Hepcidin is synthesized, in part, by hepatocytes. In physiological conditions, increased serum transferrin, serum iron, inflammation, and erythropoiesis trigger stimuli that promote hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) gene transcription and hepcidin synthesis. However, in pathological situations, an overexpression of hepcidin occurs, an increase in the plasma concentration that damages the organism. Hepcidin contributes to the pathogenesis of iron deficiency anemia, anemia of inflammation, in hemoglobinopathies. Then, there is a restriction of the availability of iron to the tissues and the formation of new erythroid precursors, with the consequent development of anemia.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Anemia