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  • 1.
    Bäckström, Fredrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Chmielewska, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Domellöf, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Berglund, Staffan K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Normal range and predictors of serum erythroferrone in infants2023In: Pediatric Research, ISSN 0031-3998, E-ISSN 1530-0447, Vol. 94, no 3, p. 965-970Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Erythroferrone (ERFE) has been identified as a hepcidin-regulating hormone synthetized by erythroblasts correlating to the erythropoietic activity and the needs for iron substrate in bone marrow of adults. The present study aimed to assess the ERFE serum concentrations and its predictors in infants.

    Methods: ERFE was explored at 4 time points during the first year of life in 45 healthy, breastfed, normal birth weight (NBW) infants, and 136 marginally low birth weight infants (LBW, 2000–2500 g) receiving iron (N = 58) or placebo (N = 78) between 6 weeks and 6 months of age.

    Results: ERFE concentrations were low at birth, increasing gradually during the first year of life. In NBW infants, reference ranges (5th to 95th percentile) were at 6 weeks <0.005–0.99 ng/mL and at 12 months <0.005–33.7 ng/mL. ERFE was higher in LBW infants at 6 weeks but lower at 12 months compared to NBW and minimally affected by iron supplementation among LBW infants. Correlations of ERFE with erythropoietic and iron status markers were weak and inconsistent.

    Conclusions: The role of ERFE in the crosstalk of erythropoiesis and iron homeostasis remains unclear in infants and further studies on ERFE in infants and older children are warranted within the framework of the erythropoietin–ERFE–hepcidin axis.

    Impact: Normal range of erythroferrone in healthy infants is described for the first time. Erythroferrone in infants lacks correlation to iron status and markers of erythropoiesis. The findings indicate differences in infant regulation of iron homeostasis as compared to adults. The findings point to a need to study infant erythropoiesis separately from its adult counterpart. The findings may have clinical impact on management strategies of iron-loading anemia in infancy.

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