Hepcidin derives its name because the gene is expressed in the liver (hep-) and was found to possess some antimicrobial activity (-cidin). Hepcidin was discovered by 3 laboratories working independently to discover new antimicrobial peptides and identify iron-regulated liver-expressed genes. While its antimicrobial role remains uncertain, hepcidin is the sole iron-regulatory hormone.

Hepcidin and iron regulation, 10 years later