The Possible Role of Iron in Neurodegeneration

  • Jolanta Gałązka-Friedman
  • Andrzej Friedman
Part of the Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice book series (OXISTRESS)


Iron may play deleterious role in neurodegeneration by triggering oxidative stress via Fenton reaction. Iron was studied in Parkinson’s disease (PD) with controversial results. In other neurodegenerations, e.g., Alzheimer disease (AD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), it still needs evaluation. We present the results of our long lasting studies aimed to assess the concentrations of total and labile iron and ferritin in PD, AD, and PSP. Samples of substantia nigra (SN), globus pallidus (GP), and hippocampal cortex (Hip) from PD, AD, and PSP brains were assessed with ELISA, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and atomic absorption.

Results: No increase in the concentration of total iron in PD SN vs. control was detected; however, there was an increase of labile iron, which constitutes only 1 ‰ of total iron in SN. A significant decrease of the concentration of L chains of ferritin in PD SN compared to control was found. In AD, a significant increase of the concentration of H and L ferritin was noticed, without significant increase of the iron concentration. In PSP, an increase of total iron was observed.

Conclusion: The mechanisms leading to nervous cells death in these three diseases may be different, although all may be related to iron-mediated oxidative stress


Substantia Nigra Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Globus Pallidus Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Iron Core 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Atomic absorption


Alzheimer disease


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Electron microscopy


Fluorescence spectroscopy


Globus pallidus


Hippocampal cortex


Mössbauer spectroscopy


Phosphate-buffered saline


Parkinson’s disease


Supranuclear palsy


Reactive oxygen species


Substantia nigra


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jolanta Gałązka-Friedman
    • 1
  • Andrzej Friedman
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of PhysicsWarsaw University of TechnologyWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Faculty of Health ScienceMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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