Background Iron is essential for virtually all types of cells and organisms. The significance of iron for brain function is reflected by the presence of receptors for transferrin on brain capillary endothelial cells. Iron imbalance is associated with proinflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress, which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Transferrin receptor (TfR) is the major mediator of iron uptake. Its expression is increased to facilitate iron entrance into the cell. The increased serum level of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) may indicate an abnormal intracellular distribution of iron and a decrease in the cytoplasmic compartment.
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