35 Scopus citations


Many critical metabolic functions in the brain require adequate and timely delivery of iron. However, most studies when considering brain iron uptake have ignored the iron requirements of the endothelial cells that form the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Moreover, current models of BBB iron transport do not address regional regulation of brain iron uptake or how neurons, when adapting to metabolic demands, can acquire more iron. In this study, we demonstrate that both iron-poor transferrin (apo-Tf) and the iron chelator, deferoxamine, stimulate release of iron from iron-loaded endothelial cells in an in vitro BBB model. The role of the endosomal divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) in BBB iron acquisition and transport has been questioned. Here, we show that inhibition of DMT1 alters the transport of iron and Tf across the endothelial cells. These data support an endosome-mediated model of Tf-bound iron uptake into the brain and identifies mechanisms for local regional regulation of brain iron uptake. Moreover, our data provide an explanation for the disparity in the ratio of Tf to iron transport into the brain that has confounded the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 9 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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