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Leg Med (Tokyo). 2003 Mar;5 Suppl 1:S360-6.

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

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1
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.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
12935634
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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