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Circulatory hepcidin is associated with the anti-inflammatory response but not with iron or anemic status in childhood malaria

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Florence Burte


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Cerebral malaria (CM) and severe malarial anemia (SMA) are the most serious life-threatening clinical syndromes of Plasmodium falciparum infection in childhood. Therefore, it is important to understand the pathology underlying the development of CM and SMA as opposed to uncomplicated malaria (UM). Increased levels of hepcidin have been associated with UM, but its level and role in severe malarial disease remains to be investigated. Plasma and clinical data were obtained as part of a prospective case-control study of severe childhood malaria at the main tertiary hospital of the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. Here, we report that hepcidin levels are lower in children with SMA or CM than in those with milder outcome (UM). While different profiles of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were observed between the malaria syndromes, circulatory hepcidin levels remained associated with the levels of its regulatory cytokine interleukin-6 and of the anti-inflammatory cytokine inerleukin-10, irrespective of iron status, anemic status, and general acute-phase response. We propose a role for hepcidin in anti-inflammatory processes in childhood malaria.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burté F, Brown BJ, Orimadegun AE, Ajetunmobi WA, Afolabi NK, Akinkunmi F, Kowobari O, Omokhodion S, Osinusi K, Akinbami FO, Shokunbi WA, Sodeinde O, Fernandez-Reyes D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Blood

Year: 2013

Volume: 121

Issue: 15

Pages: 3016-3022

Print publication date: 04/02/2013

Date deposited: 04/02/2014

ISSN (print): 0006-4971

ISSN (electronic): 1528-0020

Publisher: American Society of Hematology


DOI: 10.1182/blood-2012-10-461418


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