Am J Nephrol 2012 6;35(3):295-304. Epub 2012 Mar 6.
Department of Renal Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, UK.
Background: Hemojuvelin (HJV) has recently emerged as one of a number of significant regulators of iron homeostasis and hepcidin expression. Recently, an immunoassay has been developed to measure circulating levels of soluble HJV (sHJV). The aim of this study was to measure serum hepcidin and sHJV levels in a chronic kidney disease (CKD) population.
Methods: A total of 93 patients participated in the study (31 hemodialysis, 31 non-dialysis, 31 transplant recipients), and were matched for age and gender. Serum samples were taken for measurement of hepcidin-25 and sHJV, along with standard hematological, biochemical and inflammatory markers, and univariate/multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Serum sHJV levels were markedly elevated in the hemodialysis patients (2,619 ± 1,445 ng/ml) compared to the CKD (590 ± 344 ng/ml) and transplant recipients (870 ± 638 ng/ml) (p < 0.001), normal range 370-890 ng/ml. There was a strong correlation between serum ferritin and sHJV, which remained after adjustment for potential confounders (beta 0.92, p < 0.001). In the univariate analysis, sHJV levels correlated with serum hepcidin but this was not evident in the multivariate analysis. No associations were seen between sHJV and markers of inflammation or eGFR.
Conclusions: sHJV is elevated in hemodialysis patients compared to non-dialysis CKD patients. There was no association between sHJV and eGFR (in the non-dialysis groups), suggesting that factors other than decreased renal clearance are responsible for the high sHJV levels. The strong association between sHJV and ferritin suggests an interdependent relationship, although further studies are required to elucidate the possible mechanism(s) for this.