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P. Hahn, Y. Song, X. He, J. Beard, J. L. Dunaief; Correlation of Tissue Iron Levels With Age in C57BL/6, DBA/J, and Balb/c Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5925.
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Iron is essential for cellular metabolism but excess iron is a potent generator of oxidative damage. Iron accumulation has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases including age-related macular degeneration, and inhibition of iron absorption leads to prolonged lifespan in Drosophila. We have previously demonstrated that iron accumulates in the retinas and RPE of normal human subjects. The purpose of this study was to determine if iron levels change with age in various tissues of normal mice of different strains.
Wild-type mice of C57BL/6, DBA/J, and Balb/c backgrounds were studied. Retina, RPE/choroid, liver, heart, and brain were dissected from mice of various ages. Iron was quantified through an established chromogen-based spectrophotometric method or through atomic absorption spectrophotometry for increased sensitivity.
Iron in the RPE/choroid significantly increased with age in C57BL/6 and Balb/c strains. Iron in liver and brain increased with age in all studied strains. There was a trend toward increased iron levels in the heart in all strains.
Iron levels generally increase with age in various mouse tissues including the RPE/choroid. The profile of changes differs among various strains. Manipulation of iron levels in mice may be helpful in attesting the role of iron in aging and in disease, and these data will likely be helpful in directing such manipulations.
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