Ferritin role in iron toxicity | Toxic role of ferritin in humans

Life present on earth depends upon iron. It has the redox property, which is a favorable co-factor for a protein responsible for energy production DNA and RNA synthesis.

Iron Storage Protein

Ferritin is one of the proteins, which used in iron metabolism. Iron is a component of horse liver and it later purified the horse spleen in 1930. It is a large molecule, circular the situation center is empty which store iron .ferritin serum is worked as an indicator of tissue iron level in the body.

It is an iron enter-pot protein, it is the most important iron storage method and vital to iron homeostasis. Ferri-tin makes iron obtainable for the serious cellular procedure while defending lipid, genetic material, and proteins beginning the possible poisonous property of flattening.

Fluctuations within ferri-tin are seen usually in medical execution, frequently shimmering perturb-bastions in iron homeostasis or metabolism.  It is gradually recognized that ferri-tin as well acting in a large number of other situations, as well as provocative, neurodegenerative, and malignant diseases.

Ferritin regulation and signaling

Ferritin is a component which used in iron metabolism ferritin is present in serum in a different amount. Ferritin in the context of different diseases, excess of iron cause disorder in many situations  

Some examples of Ferritin toxic effect


It is a disorder in which cell divides several time, and cell division is uncontrolled and forms a mass that is called tumor which changed into a compact mass called cancer.

Cancer occurs in a different form in some cases it attaches to the infected site it is not more dangerous and easily removes from the infected site. In the other type mass or tumor move from infected site and reach another part then affect it.

It is a very dangerous form because it does not remove easily and its exact location is not known. Cancer patients have a high level of iron in their serum but a normal person has a low level of iron than cancer patients.

In many kinds of cancer, iron is high in different tissues. In the type of breast cancer, iron deposition is 6 times more than normal breast. On the other way, a low amount of iron causes another type of cancer which is colorectal cancer.

Neurodegenerative disorder

The brain has complicated metabolism for iron usage. Iron play important role in the brain. The irregular distribution of iron causes many problems in the brain. When iron spread irregularly it is the main part of the problem.

Ferritin is used to control the concentration of iron in different tissues. Iron does not store safely in the tissues, higher levels of iron cause problems such as oxidative form cause stress in the brain.

In this disorder serum of a person have more level of iron than the normal one. Cure of this disorder is done by the iron chelators and the combination with another molecule, this treatment is applied on the mice then it applies on a human patient

Metabolic disorder

This diseases caused by changes in metabolism, obesity is a type of this disorder in which accumulation of fat occurs that cause health problem.

An affected person has more iron or fat than the normal one. This disorder serum contains a high level of iron than normal.

Ferritin and infection

It is a most important part of host immune system, which is, used against pathogen like other diseases it also has more ferritin in serum, which disturb the normal function of the body.

Ferritin is the most important component, which is used to show the ability of the host against infection or pathogen. In this case, iron is distributed but in an irregular manner

Bacterial infection

These types of bacteria cause infection, bacteria are small organisms, which are not seen naked eye that is larger than a virus and enters in the body and causes infection. They transfer the disease from one person to another person.

Bacterial infection is transferred in different ways like direct contact between two people and by conjugation. In the conjugation process virus attack bacteria and enter into the body of bacteria then it prepares the copy that contains bacteria DNA and removes it from the bacteria body, how it affects the other bacteria and releases bacterial DNA in it. It damages many tissues.


Small organisms such as protozoans cause this disorder. Parasite and it cause severe problem to the health, many people die due to this disease parasite of this disease attack on red blood cells and feed on hemoglobin in this disease parasite changed the ferritin metabolism in the host, which moves to anemia condition.

When metabolism is changed in the host it caused many problems iron deficiency spread in all areas high protection is necessary against this problem. Many problems occurred in children due to this parasite; first, it applies to mice to confirm the disorder .treatment is done by removing the iron from RBCs by ferroportin.

Malaria is not found in human-like other infection, mice act as a model for these disorder to confirm that when applying malaria parasite on mice it increase FTH level in the liver of mice .mice show sign of this infection in a short time now we examine the this disorder 

Viral infection

Viruses are smallest than bacteria it also not seen by the naked eye and cause many diseases in the animal virus are both living and non-living and they attack the human, spread infection in a short time to many people due to the worm infection iron concentration is changed which lead to disorder.

The HIV patient has more concentration of ferritin in the serum which leads to weakness and it makes the person not resist other disorders like cancer etc. these diseases disturb the immune system of the patient.

When a patient is affected with HIV VIRUS it has a high-level earlier attack then it decreases gradually. In the case of pregnancy, the mother has a high level of ferritin in cord blood consider it an HIV-positive mother, and the baby born showed the HIV-negative the level of ferritin in the serum remain high in the chronic stage of HIV infection.

HCV is a virus that is born from blood and it causes acute and chronic hepatitis which is a major cause of liver cancer. HCV is a worldwide disorder 70% of people are affected by chronic hepatitis.

HCV infection changed the iron metabolism, due to a change in metabolism iron level increased and its deposition occurs in the liver which causes problems, and the level of hepcidin decreased in the liver.

The patient has this problem not resist to another attack virus of another disease easily attack it because it has a weak or less working immune system which shows no response to this infection

COVID-19is worldwide issue, in this infection serum of the patient, has a high level of ferritin, which shows inflammatory response, which resists poor infection it is severe problem for human. The treatment of this infection is not known yet.

Iron metabolism

Infectious disorder cause problem in the whole world the antibiotic are used which reduce the burden of infections the main purpose of host-directed therapy enhances the immune system to the infection

Diseases, now try to find those chemicals or compounds, which interact with the host cell mechanism and improve the immune system of the host to the virus or other attack. The iron level increased in the serum of the affected host.

Which causes a problem and alters the metabolism of iron, treatment of the affected host is done with hepcidin mimetics. This reduces the iron conc. In the serum of the host, bacteria cause infection in mice during vibrio vulnificus, Calcium broker act as a receptor for iron induction from macrophage it enhances host efficiency to the infection.

In the malaria disease iron chelator are used which slow down the infection of the parasite but its result not good which support the survival and the result of the placebo group is beneficial these support the survival chance, in the other case of TB bacteria is low down by using the iron cheater  


Sepsis was used in the past era and syndrome medicine is used in complex form when infections occur biochemical properties are changed. Its proper definition is not known when bacteria attack the host it affects the tissue and another organ of the host.

It is worldwide problem which in one year affect 19 million people the treatment of this disorder is not known 10% to 50% of the patient of this disorder is dying.

The mechanism of iron to move in the blood circulation was studied for a long time by different studies.at least it is understood the iron move into the blood by exocytosis process some studies show that high ferritin level cause critical problem comes from the slow release of iron from dead cell


It is a critical disease and its main source of death that caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis it is bacterial diseases mostly occur in human to aerosols inhaling which contain bacteria.

Bacteria of this type mostly affect the lungs of humans and replicate many times in this site one by four people affected by this bacteria.

In this type of disorder, the iron level becomes high which promote the attack of this bacteria then iron is removed by chelators which resist the attack of mycobacterial infection

FTH is the most important protein which is used in this process, a treatment that is used first apply on mice when mice are cured then apply to human.

Still’s sickness

Mature beginning Still’s sickness is universal seditious disarray characterize through agitation, arthritis, and pimples that characteristically affect youthful women. Prominent serum ferritin level was seen in eighty-nine percent of these patients in a current sequence, almost partly of whom have levels superior to 5 times common, however, this doesn’t connect by means of instance in the direction of illness diminution or the incidence of unceasing or deform arthritis. 

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Adnan Asghar (Ph.D.)

Chinese Academy of Sciences Fuzhou, Fujian


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