Letter | Published:

Increased Iron Absorption without Increase in the Rate of Erythropoiesis

Naturevolume 192pages878879 (1961) | Download Citation



IT is generally agreed that under normal conditions in man the total body iron is maintained at a relatively constant level by some mechanism which regulates the amount of iron absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract. Apart from manipulating intra-luminal conditions within the intestine, numerous experimental conditions are known which increase iron absorption and which have in common an accelerated erythropoietic rate. These include anoxic hypoxia1, cobalt administration2, erythropoietin administration (Mendel, G. A., unpublished observations), pyridoxine deficiency3, acetyl phenylhydrazine induced hæmolytic anæmia4 and anæmia induced by loss of blood5. The rate of erythropoiesis has been considered of major importance under ‘physiological’ conditions in regulating iron absorption6,7. In certain disease states, such as hæmochromatosis, however, iron absorption may be increased without measurable increase in erythropoietic rate8. It is the purpose of this preliminary communication to report an experimental condition in which gastro-intestinal iron absorption is increased above normal in the virtual absence of erythropoiesis.

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  1. Argonne Cancer Research Hospital*, 950 East 59th Street, Chicago, 37



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