Psychological stress induces hypoferremia through the IL-6-hepcidin axis in rats

Min Zhao, Jianbo Chen, Wanyin Wang, Lei Wang, Long Ma, Hui Shen, Min Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Anemia is a widespread public health problem. The psychological stress decreases serum iron level and inhibits erythropoiesis. However, the molecular mechanisms involved, leading to iron mal-regulation are not well known. We used a communication box paradigm to induce psychological stress and found that serum iron level decreased after 3 d while liver iron storage increased after 7 d. Moreover, psychological stress up-regulated expressions of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and hepcidin, while down-regulating ferroportin expression after 3 d. These changes were blocked by the injection of IL-6 monoclonal antibody. In conclusion, the IL-6-hepcidin axis is up-regulated by psychological stress in rats, resulting in hypoferremia and increase of hepatic iron storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008


  • Hepcidin
  • Hypoferremia
  • Interleukin-6
  • Iron
  • Psychological stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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