Effects of Anti-repulsive Guidance Molecule C (RGMc/Hemojuvelin) Antibody on Hepcidin and Iron in Mouse Liver and Tumor Xenografts | Abstract
Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology

Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-1459


Effects of Anti-repulsive Guidance Molecule C (RGMc/Hemojuvelin) Antibody on Hepcidin and Iron in Mouse Liver and Tumor Xenografts

Torti SV, Lemler E, Mueller BK, Popp A and Torti FM

Objective: Hepcidin is a peptide hormone produced by the liver that regulates systemic iron homeostasis. Hepcidin is also synthesized by tumors, where it contributes to tumor growth by increasing the tumoral retention of iron. Targeted reduction of hepcidin may therefore be useful in reducing tumor growth. H5F9-AM8 is an antibody in preclinical development for the anemia of chronic disease that reduces hepcidin synthesis by binding to RGMc, a co-receptor involved in the transcriptional induction of hepcidin by BMP6. We explored the ability of H5F9-AM8 to act as an anti-tumor agent. Methods: Effects of anti-hemojuvelin antibody on hepcidin synthesis were assessed by qRTPCR in tissue culture and in tumor xenografts and livers of mice treated with H5F9-AM8 or saline. Tumor growth was assessed using caliper measurements. Serum iron was measured colorimetrically and tissue iron was measured using western blotting and inductively coupled mass spectrometry. Results: In tissue culture, the anti-hemojuvelin antibody H5F9-AM8 significantly reduced BMP6-stimulated hepcidin synthesis in HepG2 and other cancer cells. In mice, H5F9-AM8 reduced hepcidin in the liver and increased serum iron, total liver iron, and liver ferritin. Although hepcidin in tumors was also significantly decreased, H5F9-AM8 did not reduce tumor iron content, ferritin, or tumor growth. Conclusion: Anti-hemojuvelin antibody successfully reduces hepcidin in both tumors and livers but has different effects in these target organs: it reduces iron content and ferritin in the liver, but does not reduce iron content or ferritin in tumors, and does not inhibit tumor growth. These results suggest that despite their ability to induce hepcidin in tumors, the anti-tumor efficacy of systemic, non-targeted hepcidin antagonists may be limited by their ability to simultaneously elevate plasma iron. Tumor-specific hepcidin inhibitors may be required to overcome the limitations of drugs that target the synthesis of both systemic and tumor hepcidin.