Background: Hepcidin has emerged as the primary regulator of iron homeostasis. Previous studies on assessing urinary hepcidin are limited. We developed a method for quantifying hepcidin-25 (Hep-25) in plasma using surface-enhanced laser-desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF/MS) and a 25-AA peptide as reference standard. The aims of the study were 1) to assess the performance of this method in different conditions of iron metabolism disorders; 2) to assess the diagnostic validity of non-invasive serum biomarkers in the identification of iron overload. Methods: Validation of the method was performed in 10 patients with type I hemochromatosis (HE) and in 177 subjects previously enrolled in a general population epidemiological study. Among the latter group, 17 had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, 10 had chronic hepatitis C, and 150 subjects had normal ultrasound, normal liver function tests (LFTs), an alcohol intake 4.8 mmol/L and Hep-25/SF ratio ≤6.6 as the main splitters. These variables enabled the correct diagnosis of HE with 100% sensitivity, 93% specificity and an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.993. Conclusions: Our plasma Hep-25 mass spectrometry method yields measurements that reflect pathological and genetic influences; simple non-invasive biomarkers (Hep-25/SF ratio and glucose) can predict the presence of HE.
- iron overload
- surface-enhanced laser-desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF/MS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical