How does pathological iron overload affect the lung?

News 25-2017 EN

Scientists from the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) developed an animal model of severe iron overload to investigate the mechanisms of pulmonary iron deposition and their effects on lung function.

In this animal model the iron overload resulted in elevated lung rigidity and reduced lung capacity. This is of particular interest not only for patients with iron overload due to genetic disorders but also for patients with other chronic restrictive lung diseases that are frequently associated with alterations in pulmonary iron homeostasis. The finding that iron deposition in the lung may cause or increase the severity of lung disease rather than be a byproduct of lung disease will be further investigated.

This interdisciplinary project led by DZL Scientist Professor Muckenthaler (Department of Oncology, Hematology, Immunology and Pulmonology of the Heidelberg Children’s Hospital) also involved the Department of Translational Pulmonology at Heidelberg University Hospital (DZL Site Heidelberg) and scientists from the DZL sites Hannover (Institute of Functional and Applied Anatomy, Biomedical Research in Endstage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover) and Giessen (Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center).

Scientific Contact at the DZL Site Heidelberg:

Professor Dr. Martina Muckentaler (DZL Site TLRC, Heidelberg)
Head of Molecular Medicine

Professor Dr. Marcus Mall
Director, Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg (TLRC)
Tel: +49 (0) 6221 / 564502


Further Information


Neves J, Leitz D, Kraut S, Brandenberger C, Agrawal R, Weissmann N, Mühlfeld C, Mall MA, Altamura S, Muckenthaler MU. Disruption of the Hepcidin/Ferroportin Regulatory System Causes Pulmonary Iron Overload and Restrictive Lung Disease. EBioMedicine. 2017 Apr 29. pii: S2352-3964(17)30191-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.04.036. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: Heidelberg University Hospital