Iron Metabolism and the Inflammatory Response

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Iron (Fe) is essential to almost all organisms, as required by cells to satisfy metabolic needs and accomplish specialized functions. Its ability to exchange electrons between different substrates, however, renders it potentially toxic. Fine tune-mechanisms are necessary to maintain Fe homeostasis and, as such, to prevent its participation into the Fenton reaction and generation of oxidative stress. These are particularly important in the context of inflammation/infection, where restricting Fe availability to invading pathogens is one, if not, the main host defense strategy against microbial growth. The ability of Fe to modulate several aspects of the immune response is associated with a number of “costs” and “benefits”, some of which have been described in this review. © 2017 IUBMB Life, 69(6):442–450, 2017. © 2017 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalIubmb Life
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • immunity
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • iron
  • iron metabolism
  • Article
  • Fenton reaction
  • host resistance
  • human
  • immune response
  • immunoregulation
  • iron absorption
  • microbial growth
  • oxidative stress


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