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An iron-protein complex occurring in tissues, probably as a storage form of iron.



a complex protein (metalloprotein) in which iron is stored in humans and animals. Ferritin is present in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow and in the mucous membrane of the intestines. It was discovered in 1934 by the Czechoslovak scientist Laufberger, who detected the protein in the liver of animals.

Ferritin is the most iron-rich compound in organisms, with approximately one atom of trivalent iron for each amino acid residue of protein. In contrast to hemoproteins, the iron in ferritin is not part of the heme, occurring instead in a complex with the inorganic polymeric compound (FeO·OH)18(FeO·OPO3H2), which is firmly bound to the protein. The molecular weight of ferritin is 747,000; with detachment of the iron, apoferritin is formed, which has a molecular weight of 465,000.

Ferritin exhibits antigenic properties. The ferritin in the mucous membrane of the intestines regulates the absorption of iron and the entrance of iron into the blood. The release of Fe occurs through the action of a reducing agent, in this case ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The iron entering the blood is carried by transferrin to the liver and other organs, where any excess combines with apoferritin. The Fe entering into the composition of ferritin is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin, cytochromes, and other iron-containing compounds. An increased need for iron in the body causes a rapid decomposition of ferritin in bone marrow, the liver, and the spleen.


References in periodicals archive ?
However, %TS values are a less reliable guide than ferritin for evaluation of increased body iron concentrations (8) or the adequacy of iron unloading (9).
Thus, our results showed that IDA in patients with RA is characterized by RBC microcytosis and hypochromia, a reduction in serum iron and ferritin levels, and an increase in serum transferrin and erythropoietin concentrations (Table 2).
Ferritin assay, a relatively inexpensive test, may facilitate the diagnosis of HLH.
During the ferritin test, a nurse takes a sample of blood by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm.
Inclusion criteria were hemoglobin (Hb) levels below 10 g/dL, serum ferritin levels below 10 ng/mL, and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) below the standard values determined by age and sex (14).
Consequently, the aim of this study was to determine whether iron deficiency observed in young tennis players after the tournament season, manifested by a low level of ferritin, results from a low-grade systemic inflammation and elevated blood hepcidin levels.
Increasing evidence indicates that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in iron homeostasis genes have a functional impact on both ferritin and transferrin levels (Benyamin et al.
Blood hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin and serum transferrin were also measured in all subjects before and following each intervention.
Participants were limited to those who had deficient serum ferritin levels of less than 50 micrograms per liter and hemoglobin levels above 12 grams per deciliter.
The formation of cell ferritin, which is an index of iron bioavailability, was quantified; values were normalized using cell protein.
Then, when iron levels start to rise within cells, which happens as we age, our bodies quickly produce a storage protein called ferritin to sweep it up.