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YG Courtois, J-CP B Jeanny, C Sergeant, M Valtink, M Yefimova; Transferrin , Transferrin Receptor and Ferritin in Human Retina . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3744.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To describe the immunolocalization of the main iron homeostasis proteins in human retina. Iron is an essential microelement, but disruption of iron homeostasis could contribute to neurodegenerative disorders. Methods: Fixed or unfixed frozen sections, 5µm thick, were prepared from enucleated eyes of humans 64 to 72 years old. The sections were used to analyse by immunohistochemistry the distribution of transferrin, transferrin receptor and ferritin, using specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Results: The weak anti-transferrin immunostaining was observed throughout the neural retina. The main site of transferrin immunolocalization in human retina is the outer and inner segments of the photoreceptor cells. The presence of transferrin in retinal pigmented epithelium was difficult to document due to autofluorescent granules. Transferrin receptor protein is widely distributed in human retina. The very pronounced immunostaining was observed in retinal pigmented epithelium, few cells of the inner nuclear layer, both outer and inner segments of photoreceptors and ganglion cell layer, more precisely, at the level of the nerve fiber layer. The strongest immunoreactivity for ferritin was attributed to retinal pigmented epithelium, inner segments of photoreceptors, inner and outer plexiform layers and ganglion cell layer. Studies are also in progress to describe by PIXE (proton induced X-ray emission) the iron distribution in human retina. Conclusion: The distribution of main iron homeostasis proteins in human retina follows the same pattern as we have already described for bovine and rodent retina (Yefimova et al., Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., 2000 ; 41:2343-51). The data obtained suggest that many aspects of retinal iron homeostasis could be common in different mammals.
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