Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Leg Med (Tokyo). 2003 Mar;5 Suppl 1:S360-6.

Age-associated increases in heme oxygenase-1 and ferritin immunoreactivity in the autopsied brain.

Author information

Division of Forensic Pathology and Science, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Course of Medical and Dental Sciences, Graduate School of Biochemical Sciences, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki, 852-8523, Japan.


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a 32 kDa heat shock protein (HSP) that catalyzes heme to biliverdin, free iron and carbon monoxide in the brain. Furthermore, the release of free ferrous ion by HO-1 plays an essential role in ferritin synthesis, and ferritin stores iron either for intracellular utilization, or for detoxification. It is well known that HO-1 immunoreactivity is enhanced greatly in neurons and glia of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex in various pathophysiological conditions. The expression of HSP 70 is well known for the age-associated increase, but the expression modalities of HO-1 and ferritin associated with aging are still unknown. A study was therefore performed to examine the correlations in the expression of HO-1 and ferritin with age using immunohistochemistry. We investigated 31 autopsied brains (3-84-year-olds) without traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease. The specimens were taken from the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. In the cerebral cortex, age (aging) had a statistically significant positive correlation with HO-1 (r=0.894, P<0.01) and ferritin (r=0.731, P<0.01). In the hippocampus, age had a significant positive correlation with only HO-1 (r=0.660, P<0.01). These results showed that HO-1 and ferritin underwent an age-related increase in human brain, especially in the cerebral cortex. Our results also indicate that various stress responses may persist in the aged human brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center