Iron transporter protein expressions in children with celiac disease

Marleena Repo, Markus Hannula, Juha Taavela, Jari Hyttinen, Jorma Isola, Pauliina Hiltunen, Alina Popp, Katri Kaukinen, Kalle Kurppa, Katri Lindfors

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Anemia is a frequent finding in children with celiac disease but the detailed pathophysiological mechanisms in the intestine remain obscure. One possible explanation could be an abnormal expression of duodenal iron transport proteins. However, the results have so far been inconsistent. We investigated this issue by comparing immunohistochemical stainings of duodenal cytochrome B (DCYTB), divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), ferroportin, hephaestin and transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) in duodenal biopsies between 27 children with celiac disease and duodenal atrophy, 10 celiac autoantibody-positive children with potential celiac disease and six autoantibody-negative control children. Twenty out of these 43 subjects had anemia. The expressions of the iron proteins were investigated with regard to saturation and the percentage of the stained area or stained membrane length of the enterocytes. The results showed the stained area of ferroportin to be increased and the saturation of hephaestin to be decreased in celiac disease patients compared with controls. There were no differences in the transporter protein expressions between anemic and non-anemic patients. The present results suggest an iron status-independent alteration of ferroportin and hephaestin proteins in children with histologically confirmed celiac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number776
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anemia
  • Celiac disease
  • Iron transporter

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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