DMT1 and FPN1 expression during infancy: Developmental regulation of iron absorption

Weng In Leong, Christopher Bowlus, Jonas Tallkvist, Bo Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Two iron transporters, divalent metal transporterl (DMT1) and ferroportinl (FPN1) have been identified; however, their role during infancy is unknown. We investigated DMT1, FPN1, ferritin, and transferrin receptor expression, iron absorption and tissue iron in iron-deficient rat pups, iron-deficient rat pups given iron supplements, and controls during early (day 10) and late infancy (day 20). With iron deficiency, DMT1 was unchanged and FPN1 was decreased (-80%) at day 10. Body iron uptake, mucosal iron retention, and total iron absorption were unchanged. At day 20, DMT1 increased fourfold and FPN1 increased eightfold in the low-Fe group compared with controls. Body iron uptake and total iron absorption were increased, and mucosal iron retention was decreased with iron deficiency. Iron supplementation normalized expression levels of the transporters, body iron uptake, mucosal iron retention, and total iron absorption of the low-Fe group to those of controls at day 20. In summary, the molecular mechanisms regulating iron absorption during early infancy differ from late infancy when they are similar to adult animals, indicating developmental regulation of iron absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 48-6
StatePublished - Dec 2003



  • Ferritin
  • Ferroportin1
  • Iron deficiency
  • Iron transporters
  • Rat pups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology

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