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Author Topic: Genistein Increases Hepcidin  (Read 5890 times)
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« on: July 30, 2013, 10:32:57 PM »

Dietary Supplementation with Genistein Increases Hepcidin Expression in Wild Type Mice
Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 102. Regulation of Iron Metabolism: Poster III

Monday, December 10, 2012, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Hall B1-B2, Level 1, Building B (Georgia World Congress Center)
Aileen W. Zhen*, Josephine Volovetz* and Paula G. Fraenkel, MD

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Iron overload is an important cause of morbidity and death in patients with hemoglobinopathies, transfusion-dependent anemias, and hereditary hemochromatosis.  As humans have no means of excreting iron, regulation of iron homeostasis depends on limiting intestinal iron absorption and optimizing iron release from macrophages to developing erythrocytes.  Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, modulates intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release via effects on ferroportin.  Hepcidin is a potential drug target for patients with iron overload syndromes because its levels are inappropriately low in these individuals. We conducted a small-scale chemical screen and found that the isoflavone genistein, a major dietary component of soybeans, enhanced Hepcidin transcript levels in zebrafish embryos.  Furthermore genistein treatment increased Hepcidin transcript levels and Hepcidin promoter activity in human hepatocytes (HepG2 cells) in a Stat3 and Smad4-dependent manner.  To evaluate genistein's effect in a mammalian model, we placed groups of 4 four-week old male C57BL/6 mice on an iron-sufficient, low soy diet (AIN93G containing 35 mg of iron/kg) supplemented with 0, 250, or 500 mg of genistein per kg of food for 7 weeks, and then sacrificed the animals for analysis.  Plasma genistein levels (mean±SE) at the time of sacrifice were 0.015±0.015, 0.52±0.173, and 2.07±0.65 micromolar, respectively.  Compared to mice not treated with genistein, the 250 mg/kg dose produced a significant increase in hepatic Hepcidin (HAMP1) transcript levels (1.49±0.10 vs 0.93±0.10, p=0.01), while the 500 mg/kg dose did not.  Although liver iron content, spleen iron content, and weight gain were not significantly different among the groups, the ratio of Hepcidin expression to liver iron content was significantly increased in the animals treated with genistein 250 mg/kg compared to controls (0.013±0.0009 vs 0.0074±0.00068, p=0.0068).  In conclusion, genistein is the first orally administered small molecule experimental drug shown to increase Hepcidin transcript levels in vivo.  Future experiments will evaluate the effects of genistein on genetic models of iron overload syndromes.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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