Renal anemia is a major complication in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Iron supplementation, as well as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, are widely used for treatment of renal anemia. However, excess iron causes oxidative stress via the Fenton reaction, and iron supplementation might damage remnant renal function including erythropoietin (EPO) production in CKD. EPO gene expression was suppressed in mice following direct iron treatment. Hypoxia-inducible factor-2 alpha (HIF-2α), a positive regulator of the EPO gene, was also diminished in the kidney of mice following iron treatment. Anemia-induced increase in renal EPO and HIF-2α expression was inhibited by iron treatment. In in vitro experiments using EPO-producing HepG2 cells, iron stimulation reduced the expression of the EPO gene, as well as HIF-2α. Moreover, iron treatment augmented oxidative stress, and iron-induced reduction of EPO and HIF-2α expression was restored by tempol, an antioxidant compound. HIF-2α interaction with the Epo promoter was inhibited by iron treatment, and was restored by tempol. These findings suggested that iron supplementation reduced EPO gene expression via an oxidative stress-HIF-2α-dependent signaling pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology