ABSTRACT: Abnormally high levels of iron are observed in the brain of patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. The mechanisms involved in iron accumulation in neurodegenerative disorders remain poorly understood. In the present study we investigated the effects of aging and neonatal iron overload on the mRNA expression of proteins critically involved in controlling iron homeostasis. Wistar rat pups received a single daily dose of vehicle or iron (10 mg/kg of b.w. of Fe(2+)), at postnatal days 12-14. The expression of Transferrin Receptor (TfR), H-Ferritin, and IRP2 were analyzed by a semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay in cortex, hippocampus and striatum of rats sacrificed at three different ages (15-day-old; 90-day-old and 2-year old rats). Results indicate that TfR, H-ferritin, and IRP2 mRNA expression was differentially affected by aging and by neonatal iron treatment in all three brain regions. These findings might have implications for the understanding of iron homeostasis misregulation associated with neurodegenerative disorders.
Neurochemical Research 11/2009; 35(4):564-71. · 2.24 Impact Factor