The effect of iron deficiency anemia on the function of the immune system


HEMATOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.5, no.7, pp.579-583, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/sj.thj.6200574
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier
  • Page Numbers: pp.579-583
  • Keywords: iron deficiency, anemia, immune functions, neutrophil, monocyte, KILLER-CELL CYTOTOXICITY, PHAGOCYTOSIS, NEUTROPHIL, MACROPHAGE, INFECTION, PROTEIN
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


We aimed to study the effect of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) on immunity. In 32 children with IDA and 29 normal children, the percentage of T-lymphocyte subgroups, the level of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6); and the phagocytic activity, the oxidative burst activity of neutrophils and monocytes and the levels of immunoglobulins were compared. There was no difference in the distribution of T-lymphocyte subgroups. The mean IL-6 levels was 5.6 +/- 3.9 pg/ml in children with IDA and 10.3 +/- 5.3 pg/ml in the control group (P < 0.00 1). The percentage of neutrophils with oxidative burst activity when stimulated with pma was 53.4 +/- 32.7% in children with IDA and 81.7 +/- 14.3% in the control group (P = 0.005). The percentage of monocytes with oxidative burst activity was 13.8 +/- 11.7% in children with IDA and 35 +/- 20.0% in the control group (P < 0.001) when stimulated with pma. and 4.3+/-3.1 versus 9.7+/-6.0% (P = 0.008) when stimulated with fMLP. The ratio of neutrophils with phagocytic activity was 58.6+/-23.3% in the anemic group; and 74.2 +/- 17.7% in the control group (P = 0.057). The ratio of monocytes with phagocytic activity was 24.3+/-12.0% in the anemic group; and 42.9+/-13.4% in the control group (P = 0.001). IgG4 level was 16.7+/-16.6mg/dl in children with IDA and 51.8+/-40.7mg/dl in healthy children (P < 0.05). These results suggest that humoral, cell-mediated and nonspecific immunity and the activity of cytokines which have an important role in various steps of immunogenic mechanisms are influenced by iron deficiency anemia.