BioMetals

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 825–835 | Cite as

Iron deficiency on neuronal function

Article

Abstract

Because of the intrinsic ability of iron to catalyze the formation of reactive oxygen species, it has been associated with oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases. However, iron deficiency (ID) also negatively impacts various functions of the brain, suggesting that iron plays an important physiological role in neuronal processes such as myelination, synaptogenesis, behavior and synaptic plasticity (SP). ID not only produces changes in the hippocampus, striatum, amygdale or prefrontal cortex, it also affects the interaction among these systems. In both humans and rodents, the perturbations of these structures are associated to cognitive deficits. These cognitive alterations have been well correlated with changes in neural plasticity, the possible cellular substrate of memory and learning. Given that SP is strongly affected by early ID and the lasting-neurological consequences remain even after ID has been corrected, it is important to prevent ID as well as to seek effective therapeutic interventions that reduce or reverse the long-term effects of the ID in the nervous system. This review will give an overview of the literature on the effects of iron deficit in neuronal functions such as behavior, neurotransmission and SP. We also discuss our recent data about the possible oxidative effect of iron on the mechanisms involved in neural plasticity.

Keywords

Iron Synaptic plasticity Calcium signaling Hippocampus Cognitive impartment 

Abbreviations

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

ID

Iron deficiency

SP

Synaptic plasticity

CNS

Central nervous system

PFC

Prefrontal cortex

DMT1

Divalent metal transporter 1

DFO

Desferrioxamine

LTP

Long-term potentiation

PPF

Paired-pulse facilitation

ISO

Isoproterenol

NMDAR

N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor

Ry

Ryanodine

RyR

Ry receptor

CICR

Calcium-induced calcium release

mEPSCs

Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents

ACSF

Artificial cerebrospinal fluid

fEPSP

Field excitatory post-synaptic potential

LIP

Labile iron pool

DCDHF-DA

2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein-diacetate

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank G. Barrientos for critically reading the manuscript. This work was supported by Millennium Scientific Initiative Grant ICM (P09-022-F) and COPEC-UC foundation (8C055).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencias de ValparaísoUniversidad de ValparaísoValparaisoChile
  2. 2.CEMC, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.IBALAB, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Departamento de Morfofunción, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Diego PortalesUbicaciónChile

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