The Effect of Diet and Blood Derived Iron on Iron Deficiency Anemia in the Model of Human Intestine

Keywords: Iron deficiency anemia, Caco-2 Cells, enterocyte cells, gene regulation


Aim: Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common global nutritional deficiency especially in women, children and infants. Consumption of low dietary iron and inadequate intestinal iron intake cause IDA. Intestine of enterocyte cells play a vital role to maintain body iron homeostasis since mammals do not have active physiological iron excretion mechanism. Efficient intestinal iron absorption is essential to decrease risk of anemia. Diet and blood derived iron are two source for human body. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary and blood iron minerals on the molecular and genetic regulation of intestinal iron metabolism during IDA.

Material and Method: The human colon epithelial cells (Caco-2 cells) were grown on special bicameral cell culture insert systems to mimic the human small intestine. The apical and basolateral polarization of the cells were tested by trans epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurement. IDA was induced by Deferoxamine (DFO) and the effect of iron on IDA was investigated at the gene regulation levels by RT-qPCR technique.

Results: Our main result showed that when iron was given into basolateral side of cells, iron deficient phenotype was disappeared compared to apical side iron treatment by analyzing mRNA expression levels of marker genes (TFR and DMT1).

Conclusion: This study suggests that blood iron is essential to maintain intestinal iron metabolism. The blood iron level is regulated through dietary iron. Therefore, daily iron intake is important to maintain blood iron levels. Moreover, our results also suggest that enterocyte cells might have ability to sense iron mineral through basolateral side.


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Güleç Şükrü. The Effect of Diet and Blood Derived Iron on Iron Deficiency Anemia in the Model of Human Intestine. J Nutr Diet [Internet]. 31Aug.2018 [cited 16Jan.2019];46(2):107-1. Available from: