Abstract by Naomi Flindt
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Role of \"Other Metals\" in Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is an immune response mechanism induced by signaling inflammatory cytokines and hormones. One of these hormones, hepcidin, is known to alter iron distribution as a defense to fight bacterial infection. Hepcidin prevents infection by degrading an iron export protein, ferroportin (FPN). FPN degradation causes iron to be stored in cells resulting in a nutritional immunity defense. Hepcidin has been well established as an iron regulatory protein. The connection between other metals and hepcidin has been demonstrated, however it remains poorly characterized. Our goal is to elucidate the role that metals play in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases. Consequently, our objective is to characterize the relationship between hepcidin regulation and transition metals other than iron by using hepcidin inhibitors. The use of these hepcidin drugs will be used could reverse metal dysregulation and its toxic effects. We hypothesize that hepcidin has distinct effects on the metal localization of multiple metals which amplify ROS production in liver epithelial cell culture and rat models of inflammation.