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Progressive iron accumulation and renal impairment are prominent in both patients and mouse models of sickle cell disease (SCD). Endothelin A receptor (ETA) antagonism prevents this iron accumulation phenotype and reduces renal iron deposition in the proximal tubules of SCD mice. To better understand the mechanisms of iron metabolism in the kidney and the role of the ETA receptor in iron chelation and transport, we studied renal iron handling in a nonsickle cell iron overload model, heme oxygenase-1 (Hmox-1-/-) knockout mice. We found that Hmox-1-/- mice had elevated plasma endothelin-1 (ET-1), cortical ET-1 mRNA expression, and renal iron content compared with Hmox-1+/+ controls. The ETA receptor antagonist, ambrisentan, attenuated renal iron deposition, without any changes to anemia status in Hmox-1-/- mice. This was accompanied by reduced urinary iron excretion. Finally, ambrisentan had an important iron recycling effect by increasing the expression of the cellular iron exporter, ferroportin-1 (FPN-1), and circulating total iron levels in Hmox-1-/- mice. These findings suggest that the ET-1/ETA signaling pathway contributes to renal iron trafficking in a murine model of iron overload.


Elizabeth Saurage, Parker R Davis, Rachel Meek, David M Pollock, Malgorzata Kasztan. Endothelin A receptor antagonist attenuated renal iron accumulation in iron overload heme oxygenase-1 knockout mice. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology. 2022 Jul 01;100(7):637-650

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PMID: 35413222

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