Fractalkine Induces Hepcidin Expression of BV-2 Microglia and Causes Iron Accumulation in SH-SY5Y Cells

Edina Pandur, Kitti Tamási, Ramóna Pap, Edit Varga, Attila Miseta, Katalin Sipos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fractalkine (CX3CL1) is a potent inflammatory mediator of the central nervous system, which is expressed by neurons and regulates microglial functions by binding to fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1). It has been demonstrated that neuroinflammation plays an important role in iron accumulation of the brain leading to neuronal cell death. The major regulator of iron homeostasis is the peptide hormone hepcidin. Hepcidin expression is triggered by inflammatory conditions, which may contribute to the neuronal iron accumulation. In the present study, we established a bilaminar co-culture system of differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and BV-2 microglia as a neuronal model to examine the effect of soluble fractalkine on iron homeostasis of microglia and SH-SY5Y cells. We determined the hepcidin expression of fractalkine-treated microglia which showed significant elevation. We examined the relation between increased hepcidin secretion, the known hepcidin regulators and the signalling pathways controlled by fractalkine receptor. Our data revealed that TMPRSS6 and alpha 1-antitrypsin levels decreased due to fractalkine treatment, as well as the activity of NFκB pathway and the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT5 factor. Moreover, fractalkine-induced hepcidin production of microglia initiated ferroportin internalisation of SH-SY5Y cells, which contributed to iron accumulation of neurons. Our results demonstrate that soluble form of fractalkine regulates hepcidin expression of BV-2 cells through fractalkine-mediated CX3CR1 internalisation. Moreover, fractalkine indirectly contributes to the iron accumulation of SH-SY5Y cells by activating ferroportin internalisation and by triggering the expressions of divalent metal transporter-1, ferritin heavy chain and mitochondrial ferritin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-1001
Number of pages17
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Fractalkine
  • Hepcidin
  • Microglia
  • NFκB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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