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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jun;1792(6):541-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.03.007. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Iron speciation study in Hfe knockout mice tissues: magnetic and ultrastructural characterisation.

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Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de Materiales y Fluidos, Universidad de Zaragoza, Centro Politécnico Superior, c/ María de Luna, 3, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain.


Liver, spleen and heart tissues of DBA/2 Hfe knockout mice have been characterised by low temperature AC magnetic susceptibility measurements together with Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Selected Area Electron Diffraction in order to investigate the chemical iron speciation in a murine model of iron overload diseases. With emphasis on ferritin-like species, the temperature dependent in-phase and out-of-phase susceptibility profiles agree with the elemental analysis in that, in this model, iron accumulation takes place in the hepatic tissue while in the spleen and heart tissues no differences have been observed between knockout and wild type animals. The comparison of the magnetic properties between perfused and non-perfused liver tissues has made it possible to estimate the magnetic contribution of usually present blood remains. The TEM observations reveal that, besides the isolated ferritins and ferritin-containing lysosomes-siderosomes present in the hepatocytes, other iron deposits, of heterogeneous size, morphology and crystalline structure (haematite and/or goethite), are present in the cytoplasm, near the membrane, and in extracellular spaces.

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