Arterial Iron Content Is Increased in Patients with High Plasma Ferritin Levels

Julie Bukh Madsen, Lise Pedersen, Christina Lund Kidholm, Lars Melholt Rasmussen

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    The association between increased amounts of stored iron and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been recognized for many years. However, basic information on iron content in human arteries is limited. We envision that associations between body iron content and CVD are based on the accumulation of iron in the arteries, possibly leading to the dysfunction of cellular biochemical pathways. This study addresses the very fundamental question of whether there is a relation between body iron content and the level of iron accumulated in arterial tissue. The iron content in human nonatherosclerotic artery samples from patients with high and low body-iron contents estimated from the plasma ferritin concentration were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy in tissue extracts and by histological staining, using a modified Perls reaction to display iron deposits. We found that the arteries contained small but measurable levels of iron. The iron content was significantly higher in tissue from patients with high plasma ferritin (p = 0.026). Histological staining showed the presence of iron deposits. Our results suggest that iron does accumulate in arterial tissue in accordance to the level of stored body iron. Further studies are needed on the distribution of iron in excess to explain the relationship between stored iron and the development of atherosclerosis.

    Sider (fra-til)301-307
    Antal sider7
    TidsskriftJournal of Vascular Research
    Udgave nummer5-6
    StatusUdgivet - 2016


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