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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 353106, 8 pages
Research Article

Differential Regulation of Ferritin Subunits and Iron Transport Proteins: An Effect of Targeted Hepatic X-Irradiation

1Department of Gastroenterology and Endocrinology, University Medical Center, Georg-August University, Robert-Koch Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
2Department of Radiation Therapy and Radiooncology, University Medical Center, Georg-August University, Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg Straße, 30625 Hannover, Germany

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 9 October 2013

Academic Editor: Brad Upham

Copyright © 2013 Naila Naz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current study aimed to investigate radiation-induced regulation of iron proteins including ferritin subunits in rats. Rat livers were selectively irradiated in vivo at 25 Gy. This dose can be used to model radiation effects to the liver without inducing overt radiation-induced liver disease. Sham-irradiated rats served as controls. Isolated hepatocytes were irradiated at 8 Gy. Ferritin light polypeptide (FTL) was detectable in the serum of sham-irradiated rats with an increase after irradiation. Liver irradiation increased hepatic protein expression of both ferritin subunits. A rather early increase (3 h) was observed for hepatic TfR1 and Fpn-1 followed by a decrease at 12 h. The increase in TfR2 persisted over the observed time. Parallel to the elevation of AST levels, a significant increase (24 h) in hepatic iron content was measured. Complete blood count analysis showed a significant decrease in leukocyte number with an early increase in neutrophil granulocytes and a decrease in lymphocytes. In vitro, a significant increase in ferritin subunits at mRNA level was detected after irradiation which was further induced with a combination treatment of irradiation and acute phase cytokine. Irradiation can directly alter the expression of ferritin subunits and this response can be strongly influenced by radiation-induced proinflammatory cytokines. FTL can be used as a serum marker for early phase radiation-induced liver damage.