Uncovering the Role of Serum Ferritin: A Resolution to a Paradox?

Schematic overview of the Role of Ferritin in Iron Metabolism

Overview of the Role of Ferritin in Iron Metabolism

This post was written By Pui Sai Lau, Web Writer.
While ferritin is understood to be an intracellular protein required for the storage and controlled release of iron, its role as an inflammatory disease marker is unclear. Perplexingly, though ferritin is not created in serum, it is present there and the level of serum ferritin is often measured to indicate the iron status of a patient. However, to suitably use serum ferritin as a disease marker, a number of questions first need to be addressed. Does serum ferritin directly cause inflammation or is it a by-product of another cellular mechanism? What exactly is the role of ferritin in iron metabolism? Douglas B. Kell from the University of Manchester, UK and Etheresia Pretorius from the University of Pretoria, South Africa examine what is currently known about serum ferritin to deduce its possible role in biology, and evaluate its role as a marker of disease. Read their perspective by accessing link below. Do you agree or disagree with their conclusion? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Serum ferritin is an important inflammatory disease marker, as it is mainly a leakage product from damaged cells
Douglas B. Kell and Etheresia Pretorius
Metallomics, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3MT00347G, Perspective

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