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Biometals. 1996 Oct;9(4):393-9.

Iron withholding: a defense against viral infections.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405, USA.


A variety of laboratory and clinical investigations during the past 15 years have observed that one of the dangers of excessive iron is its ability to favor animal viral infections. The metal is essential for host cell synthesis of virions and can also impair defense cell function and increase oxidative stress. In both animal models and humans, viral infections cause upregulation of the iron withholding defense system. Factors that suppress the system enhance viral progression; factors that strengthen the system augment host defense. Procedures designed to reinforce the system are being developed and tested; some of these may become useful adjuncts in prevention and management of viral diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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