We chose hepcidin and its related factors as evaluating indicators to determine the degrees of iron overload in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. A total of 73 patients and 28 healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. We performed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure both bone marrow and peripheral blood serum hepcidin. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the gene expression of growth differentiation factor 15 and twisted gastrulation 1. Serum ferritin (SF), C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythropoietin were measured by routine standard laboratory assays. CD4+ and CD19+ lymphocytes and Th polarization were detected by flow cytometry. Twenty-four MDS patients were measured their cardiac and liver iron deposition levels through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2* examination. No significant difference was found between the bone marrow hepcidin levels and peripheral blood hepcidin levels (P = 0.134). Stratified according to different World Health Organization subtypes, refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts patients had the lowest hepcidin levels (105.40 ± 5.13 ng/ml), while refractory anemia with excess blasts-1 had the highest levels (335.71 ± 25.16 ng/ml). Stratified according to International Prognostic Scoring System and WHO Classification-based Prognostic Scoring System, there was a significant difference of hepcidin levels between low-risk group and high-risk group in two systems, respectively (P = 0.033 and 0.009). The hepcidin levels of CD4+ high-expression group were demonstrated higher than the normal expression groups (P = 0.02), but the CD19+ high-expression group did not show the same result (P = 0.206). Meanwhile, patients with a Th1 polarization trend had a high level of hepcidin versus normal group (P < 0.001). Liver iron concentration (LIC) measured by MRI T2* had a closer correlation (r = 0.582, P < 0.001) to hepcidin than serum ferritin, by stepwise regression. C-reactive protein and LIC seemed to be the key determinants of hepcidin, by multivariate regression. Inflammation plays an important role in the regulation of hepcidin expression. T-lymphocyte activation and Th polarization trend might participate in the regulatory mechanism partly. The capability of organ iron load assessment of MRI T2* seems better than that of SF. It seems that hepcidin with CRP and LIC measured by MRI T2* are potential indicators of iron overload in MDS patients.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)