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Free Radic Biol Med. 1989;7(6):645-51.

Protection against tissue damage in vivo by desferrioxamine: what is its mechanism of action?

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Department of Biochemistry, King's College, London, U.K.


Desferrioxamine (deferoxamine) is an inhibitor of iron-dependent free radical reactions that has been used to investigate the role of such reactions in several animal model systems for human disease. In vitro, desferrioxamine is not only an iron chelator but also binds other metal ions, reacts with superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, affects eicosanoid synthesis, can act as a substrate for peroxidases and can generate a reactive nitroxide radical. However, considerations of desferrioxamine concentration in vivo suggest that its ability to inhibit iron-dependent free radical reactions is the major factor that accounts for desferrioxamine's generally-protective action in animal models of human disease.

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