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The effects of iron on intestinal inflammation

Loh, Lyn Leeng (2010) The effects of iron on intestinal inflammation. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, are types of chronic intestinal inflammation, involves intestinal wall injury and edema which in the long term may lead to the formation of polyps and colorectal cancer. Iron supplements are usually given to IBD patients experiencing anaemia due to chronic blood loss and ineffective erythropoiesis. Iron treatment has been shown to exacerbate intestinal inflammation in animal models of IBD. In this study, the effect of dietary iron on intestinal inflammation was explored using wild type mice fed either a high or control iron diet, and HFE knockout mice (mouse model of iron overload) fed a control iron diet was treated with azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) to induce colonic inflammation. The HFE knockout mice and wild type mice fed high dietary iron had iron loading in the liver similar to that seen in the iron overload disease hereditary haemochromatosis. These animals also had elevated serum iron levels and transferrin saturation. The wild type mice fed a high iron diet treated with AOM/DSS had severe colonic inflammation. The severity of colonic inflammation decreased in wild type mice fed a controlled iron diet and was further reduced in HFE knockout mice fed a controlled iron diet. From this study, it can be concluded that high dietary iron exacerbates intestinal inflammation. High dietary iron increases colonic and liver iron stores and plasma iron parameters. Intestinal inflammation increased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and liver iron levels while reducing colonic and plasma iron levels. However, the iron accumulation due to a mutation in the Hfe gene had a protective effect against development of colonic inflammation. This is likely to be an indirect Hfe effect on iron uptake in the duodenum or direct Hfe effect on cytokine release in the colon.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Trinder, Debbie, Lawrance, Ian and Mead, Robert
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