Low-temperature Mssbauer spectroscopy of organs from 57Fe-enriched HFE(-/-) hemochromatosis mice: aniron-dependent threshold for generating hemosiderin. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hereditary hemochromatosis is an iron-overload disease most often arising from a mutation in the Homeostatic Fe regulator (HFE)gene. HFE organs become overloaded with iron which causes damage. Iron-overload is commonly detected by NMR imaging, but the spectroscopic technique is insensitive to diamagnetic iron. Here, we used Mssbauer spectroscopy to examine the iron content of liver, spleen, kidney, heart, and brain of 57Fe-enriched HFE(-/-) mice of ages 3-52 wk. Overall, the iron contents of all investigated HFE organs were similar to the same healthy organ but from an older mouse. Livers and spleens were majorly overloaded, followed by kidneys. Excess iron was generally present as ferritin. Iron-sulfur clusters and low-spin FeII hemes (combined into the central quadrupole doublet) and nonheme high-spin FeII species were also observed. Spectra of young and middle-aged HFE kidneys were dominated by the central quadrupole doublet and were largely devoid of ferritin. Collecting and comparingspectra at 5 and 60K allowed the presence of hemosiderin, a decomposition product of ferritin, to be quantified, and it also allowed the diamagnetic central doublet to be distinguished from ferritin. Hemosiderin was observed in spleens and livers from HFE mice, and in spleens from controls, but only when iron concentrations exceeded 2-3mM. Even in those cases, hemosiderin represented only 10-20% of the iron in the sample. NMR imaging can identify iron-overload under non-invasive room-temperature conditions, but Mssbauer spectroscopy of 57Fe-enriched mice can detect all forms of iron and perhaps allow the process of iron-overloading to be probed in greater detail.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Inorg Chem

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Vali, S. W., & Lindahl, P. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Vali, Shaik Waseem||Lindahl, Paul A

publication date

  • March 2023