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Chemistry and Biology of Iron Storage

  • Anatoly Bezkorovainy
Part of the Biochemistry of the Elements book series (BOTE, volume 1)

Abstract

It is said that nearly 20% of all iron in the human organism is associated with the protein ferritin and hemosiderin, which represent the storage forms of iron. Ferritin, but not hemosiderin, is water soluble. For this reason, ferritin has been rather thoroughly characterized, whereas little information is as yet available on the properties of hemosiderin. The latter can be visualized both via the light and electron microscopes and appears in the form of granular structures. Such granules react with Perls’ solution [K4Fe(CN)6] to give the Prussian blue color. Ferritin also reacts with Perls’ solution; however, under the light microscope, ferritin appears as a diffuse blue coloration. Ferritin particles can be discerned via the electron microscope. Ferritin is present in the cytosol and the lysosomes and to a much lesser extent in other subcellular structures. All available evidence indicates that insofar as the liver is concerned, hemosiderin is normally located almost exclusively in the Kupffer cells, whereas ferritin is present largely in the parenchymal cells. Both hemosiderin and ferritin are also present in other tissues of the mammalian organism (Arora et al., 1970), and ferritin is found in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals as well as in some plants and even in microorganisms (Richter, 1978).

Keywords

Serum Ferritin Iron Overload Iron Uptake Iron Metabolism Iron Storage 
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.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatoly Bezkorovainy
    • 1
  1. 1.Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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