Comparative analysis of iron homeostasis in sub-Saharan African children with sickle cell disease and their unaffected siblings

Selma Gomez, Aïssatou Diawara, Elias Gbeha, Philip Awadalla, Ambaliou Sanni, Youssef Idaghdour, M. Cherif Rahimy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Iron is an essential trace element subject to tight regulation to ensure adequate running of biological processes. In sub-Saharan Africa where hemoglobinopathies are common, iron homeostasis is likely to be impaired by these conditions. Here, we assessed and compared key serum proteins associated with iron metabolism between sub-Saharan African children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and their unaffected siblings. Complete blood counts and serum concentrations of four key proteins involved in iron regulation (ferritin, transferrin, sTfR, and hepcidin) were measured for 73 children with SCD and 68 healthy siblings in Benin, West Africa. We found significant differences in concentration of transferrin, sTfR, and ferritin between the two groups. Hepcidin concentrations were found at unusually high concentrations but did not differ among the two groups. We found a significant negative correlation between hepcidin levels and both MCH and MCV in the SCD group and report that sTfR concentrations show a correlation with MCV and MHC in opposite directions in the two groups. These results highlight the unusually high levels of hepcidin in the Beninese population and the patterns of differential iron homeostasis taking place under SCD status. These results lay the foundation for a systematic evaluation of the underlying mechanisms deregulating iron homeostasis in populations with SCD or high prevalence of iron deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Volume4
Issue numberFEB
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Hepcidin
  • Iron deficiency
  • Iron homeostasis
  • Red blood cell indices
  • Serum iron proteins
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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