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Hereditary Hemochromatosis

An Algorithmic Approach to Diagnosis


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Iron Absorption and Transport by Intestinal Epithelium

Slide 8

January 2009

The duodenal crypt cell serves as a significant storage and regulatory cell for iron. The presence of ferric iron in blood plasma stimulates the formation of a complex involving beta-2 microglobulin, transferrin receptor-1 and the membrane bound HFE protein to facilitate the transport of iron by a process of endocytosis. Iron is also intercollated into endocytes via Transferrin Receptor 2. Endocytic iron is then transported by DMT1 into the cellular iron pool of the crypt cell. Iron is recirculated back into the blood capillary via the iron transporter, ferroportin. What ferrous iron is returned to the plasma pool is oxidized to ferric iron by membrane bound hephaestin. This iron cycling process is modulated by a circulating protein called hepciden created by the liver. Hepciden causes ferroportin to alter its position in the cell membrane, reducing transport of ferrous iron into the blood capillary.

Iron Absorption


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