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An iron-protein complex occurring in tissues, probably as a storage form of iron.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The normal serum ferritin (<100 ng/mL) and normal CRP levels accompanied with normal FPN among the diabetic patients without IDA are strongly against the association of IDA with chronic inflammatory state.
Results: Determination of the antibody affinity for ferritin by ELISA revealed a relatively high affinity (2.34x10(9) and the isotype was determined to be IgG2a.
Heterozygotes have been reported to have slight, but significant, increases of serum ferritin (10, 11).
Increased serum ferritin concentrations often are indices of excess iron stores; however, several hyperferritinemic conditions are not related to iron overload, and they include disorders such as inflammations, neoplasia (3), and the recently described metabolic dysfunction-associated liver iron overload syndrome (4), conditions that are associated to iron decompartmentalization and characterized by low or normal transferrin saturation.
In one patient, serum ferritin did not exceed the upper limit of the reference interval during AHD.
Because of the difficulties in obtaining suitable human tissue for ferritin purification and to eliminate potential differences between separate preparations of purified human ferritin, a recombinant ferritin preparation of L subunits has been assessed as a potential replacement for the IS.
Small quantities of ferritin are also present in the serum, due to secretion from macrophages, or following cell death and lysis [31].
Low iron concentration lead to activation of an IRP (IRON REGULATORY PROTEIN) that binds mRNA for transferring receptor and ferritin. There are two types of IRP.IRP-1, is regulated by its change from active to inactive states in mRNA-binding properties.
The 2006 KDOQI guidelines also suggested that when interpreting serum ferritin values, it is important to consider the entire clinical picture, which includes the patient's current clinical status as well as medical history, ESA dose and prior response to ESA, and Hgb values.
As mentioned above, the parameters most often analyzed to determine iron status (storage and functional iron) are TSAT and serum ferritin (see Table 1) (Hudson & Comstock, 2001).
To investigate the value of ferritin in coronary risk assessment in a population with a high prevalence of atherosclerosis (21), we evaluated the relationship between ferritin and the presence of CAD in the Iranian population.
For this purpose, we measured serum indicators of body iron compartments: iron and transferrin saturation (iron transport compartment), ferritin (iron storage compartment), and soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR; functional iron compartment) (14-16).