Anemia affects more than two billion people worldwide, being a global health burden. Its pathophysiology is diverse and often multifactorial. Around 50% of anemias are caused by iron deficiency, while 40% are caused by inflammation and infection, corresponding to Anemia of Chronic Disease (ACD); of these ACD patients, 30 - 40% have concomitant iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
A major pathophysiological mechanism of ACD is an inflammation driven diversion of traffic resulting in retention of iron in macrophages and thus a limited availability of the metal for hemoglobin biosynthesis. Therapeutic strategies aim to supplement iron either by the oral or intravenous route, however limitid information is available on the pharmacokinetics, therapeutic efficacy and off target effects of such interventions.
My project aims to study the biochemical and molecular pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and therapeutic efficacy of oral vs. intravenous iron supplementation, as well as to analyse off target effects of iron therapy (linked to mitochondrial function, innate immune pathways, oxidative stress) and to identify biomarkers that can predict the therapeutic efficacy, based on our knowledge on pathophysiological regulators of iron homeostasis in inflammation.