Hepcidin and ferroportin expression in breast cancer tissue and serum and their relationship with anemia

X. Pan, Y. Lu, X. Cheng, J. Wang



Our correlation study investigated the relationships of the expression of hepcidin and ferroportin (fpn) in tissues and serum from breast cancer (bca) patients and the relationships of hepcidin and fpn with anemia.


We used elisa and immunohistochemistry to detect the expression of hepcidin and fpn in tissue and serum from 62 individuals with bca, and we analyzed correlations between hepcidin and fpn expression in tissue and in serum. At the same time, we evaluated the relationships between hepcidin, fpn, and anemia.


Mean serum hepcidin was 8.18 ± 3.75 μg/L in bca patients with anemia and 4.53 ± 2.07μg/L in those without anemia, a statistically significant difference (t = 3.7090, p < 0.01). Mean serum fpn was obviously lower in the anemia group than in the non-anemia group (1.77 ± 0.51 μg/L vs. 2.46 ± 0.52 μg/L, t = 3.5115, p < 0.01). Serum hepcidin and hemoglobin were negatively correlated (r = –0.502, p < 0.01); however, serum fpn was positively correlated with hemoglobin, and serum hepcidin was negatively correlated with fpn. The rates of hepcidin and fpn expression in bca tissues were 50.0% and 61.2% respectively, but no association with anemia was observed. We also observed no relationship between expression of hepcidin and fpn in serum and in tissue.


In bca patients, expression of hepcidin in serum was high, but expression of fpn was low, suggesting that serum hepcidin plays a major role in anemia in those patients. Expression of hepcidin and fpn in bca tissue showed no correlation with their expression in serum and no clear relationship with anemia.


Breast cancer; anemia; hepcidin; ferroportin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.23.2840

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