A number of pathologies, including neurodegeneration and inflammation, have been associated with iron dysmetabolism in the brain. Hence, systems involved in iron homeostasis at the cellular level have aroused considerable interest in recent years. The iron exporter ferroportin-1 (FP) and the multicopper oxidase ceruloplasmin (CP) are essential for iron efflux from cells. By using RT-PCR, we demonstrate that FP and CP gene expression is up-regulated by treatment with the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1b in rat C6 cells, taken as a glial cellular model. Following stimulation with IL-1b, a higher expression level of CP and FP was also confirmed by Western blotting. Moreover, IL-1b has been found to increase iron efflux from C6 cells, suggesting that both proteins may play a crucial role in iron homeostasis in pathological brain conditions, such as inflammatory and/or neurodegenerative diseases.
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