Iron uptake at the blood-brain barrier is influenced by sex and genotype

Quinn W. Wade, Brian Chiou, James Connor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Iron transport to the brain is a critically important and highly regulated process necessary for proper brain function. This review aims to summarize iron uptake mechanisms in the brain and the importance of sex and genotype on this uptake. In restless legs syndrome (RLS), brain iron uptake has been hypothesized to be dysregulated, leading to the clinically observed brain iron deficiency, so this review specifically comments on this disorder. The review covers transferrin-bound transport and the more recently discovered role of ferritin in brain iron delivery. Studies on the impact of sex, MEIS1 (associated with RLS), and H63D gene variants have revealed critical regulatory mechanisms and driving factors that significantly impact iron transport that may considerably affect the clinical treatment of RLS. RLS has provided insights into the gaps in knowledge underlying brain iron uptake mechanisms and their regulation, which in turn have provided insights into the pathophysiology of RLS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPharmacology of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
EditorsStefan Clemens, Imad Ghorayeb
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780128167588
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Pharmacology
ISSN (Print)1054-3589
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8925

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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