Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2018; 126(07): 453-459
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-124077
Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Elevated Levels of Estrogen Suppress Hepcidin Synthesis and Enhance Serum Iron Availability in Premenopausal Women

Khuloud Bajbouj
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
,
Jasmin Shafarin
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
,
Hilda Allam
2   Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences
,
Mohamed Madkour
2   Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences
,
Samir Awadallah
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
2   Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences
,
Ahmed El-Serafy
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
3   College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
,
Divyasree Sandeep
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
,
Mawieh Hamad
1   The Sharjah Institute for Medical Research
2   Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 09 October 2017
first decision 26 November 2017

accepted 29 November 2017

Publication Date:
02 February 2018 (online)

Abstract

Clinical and experimental observations have long suggested that elevated levels of estrogen associate with increased serum iron availability. Additionally, recent work has shown that estrogen can downregulate hepcidin synthesis in vitro. This study aims at assessing whether the ability of estrogen to downregulate hepcidin synthesis translates into changes in serum iron status. Hepcidin synthesis was evaluated in MCF-7, Hep-G2 and SKOV-3 cells treated with increasing concentrations of estrogen and cultured for up to 24 h post treatment. The correlation between levels of serum estrogen, hepcidin and iron was assessed using serum samples collected from 153 premenopausal women at random and samples collected from 6 women at days 1, 5, 10, 16, 21 and 28 of the monthly cycle. Estrogen-treated MCF-7 cells showed a significant reduction in hepcidin synthesis, especially at 20 nM/24 h E2 treatment. Hepcidin synthesis was also significantly reduced in Hep-G2 and SKOV-3 cells at 20 nM/24 h E2 treatment. In serum samples collected at random, estrogen (P=0.022; R=−0.213) and iron (P=0.028; R=−0.316) correlated negatively with hepcidin and positively with each other (P=0.033; R=0.319). An overall similar pattern was also observed in monthly cycle-timed samples. These findings suggest that elevated levels of estrogen reduce hepcidin synthesis as means of enhancing serum iron content in menstruating women.