Kinetics of iron import into developing mouse organs determined by a pup-swapping method. Academic Article uri icon


  • The kinetics of dietary iron import into various organs of mice were evaluated using a novel pup-swapping approach. Newborn pups whose bodies primarily contained (56)Fe or (57)Fe were swapped at birth such that each nursed on milk containing the opposite isotope. A pup from each litter was euthanized weekly over a 7-week period. Blood plasma was obtained, and organs were isolated typically after flushing with Ringer's buffer. (56)Fe and (57)Fe concentrations were determined for organs and plasma; organ volumes were also determined. Mssbauer spectra of equivalent (57)Fe-enriched samples were used to quantify residual blood in organs; this fraction was excluded from later analysis. Rates of import into brain, spleen, heart, and kidneys were highest during the first 2 weeks of life. In contrast, half of iron in the newborn liver exited during that time, and influx peaked later. Two mathematical models were developed to analyze the import kinetics. The only model that simulated the data adequately assumed that an iron-containing species enters the plasma and converts into a second species and that both are independently imported into organs. Consistent with this, liquid chromatography with an on-line ICP-MS detector revealed numerous iron species in plasma besides transferrin. Model fitting required that the first species, assigned to non-transferrin-bound iron, imports faster into organs than the second, assigned to transferrin-bound-iron. Non-transferrin-bound iron rather than transferrin-bound-iron appears to play the dominant role in importing iron into organs during early development of healthy mice.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Chakrabarti, M., Barlas, M. N., McCormick, S. P., Lindahl, L. S., & Lindahl, P. A.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Chakrabarti, Mrinmoy||Barlas, Mirza Nofil||McCormick, Sean P||Lindahl, Lora S||Lindahl, Paul A

publication date

  • January 2015