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Ferric Iron Brain Deposition as the Cause, Source and Originator of Chronic Neurodegenerative Diseases | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2380-2391

Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
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Research Article

Ferric Iron Brain Deposition as the Cause, Source and Originator of Chronic Neurodegenerative Diseases

Lucijan Mohorovic1*, Anna Lavezzi2, Sanja Stifter3, George Perry4, Djulija Malatestinic5, Vladimir Micovic1 and Eris Materljan6

1Department of Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia

2Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Science, University of Milan, Italy

3Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia

4College of Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

5College of Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

6Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia

*Corresponding Author:
Lucijan Mohorovic
Department of Environmental Medicine
School of Medicine, University of Rijeka
Creska 2, 52221 Rabac, Croatia
Tel: 0915236321
E-mail: [email protected]

Received: December 21, 2015 Accepted: December 22, 2015 Published: December 28, 2015

Citation: Mohorovic L, Lavezzi A, Stifter S, Perry G, Malatestinic D, et al. (2015) Ferric Iron Brain Deposition as the Cause, Source and Originator of Chronic Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Environ Anal Chem 2:169. doi:10.4172/2380-2391.1000169

Copyright: © 2015 Mohorovic L, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


We want to understand the sources of oxidants as factors in understanding the role they play in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our earlier observations pointed to the difference of intracellular iron when it originates from physiological hemoglobin versus pathological methemoglobin degradation, where heme oxygenation of hemoglobin results in ferrous (Fe2+) iron, while methemoglobin catabolism produces ferric (Fe3+) iron. Methemoglobin plays the role of carrier, donor and source of cytotoxic redox-active ferric (Fe3+) iron and also plays a critical role as an originator of neurodegenerative diseases. Environmental toxicity factors determine a permanent intracellular source of redox-active ferric (Fe3+) iron which without ferrous-ferric inversions, ‘in situ’, has a direct impact on the endothelial small vessels of the brain, increasing the rate of capillary endothelial cell apoptosis and possible cross into brain parenchyma, to astrocytes, glia, neurons, and other neuronal cells, to cause greater degeneration. Understanding the transport and neuronal accumulation of ferric (Fe3+) iron, points to how microvessels are organized into a well structured neurovascular unit, with harmful consequences for the brain. Previously our research indicated neonatal jaundice incidence (p=0.034), and heart murmur at a later age (p=0.011), and found that the incidence of children and adults displaying mild disorders such as dyslalia and learning/memory impairments (p=0.002) was significantly higher than in children and adults of mothers lacking methemoglobinemia during pregnancy. Our results point to the consequences of mother-fetal methemoglobinemia caused by environmental oxidants, consequences which not been precisely demonstrated yet. The effects of exogenously induced oxidative stress on the structure and function of the vascular endothelial are direct targets of free hemoglobin and of its oxidative derivative methemoglobin which readily release heme, an abundant source of redox-active iron, and react with sulfur compounds synergy during pregnancy, causing early and late vascular endothelial dysfunction in vital organs and the CNS through ‘neurovascular unit’ damage, which plays a critical role in understanding oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. The harmful effects of mother-fetal pregnancy complications include increased brain non-heme ferric iron deposition, which has been confirmed by the results of histochemical research. According to our hypothesis such a process could result in neuronal death in humans, and with ageing, leading finally to hard neurodegenerative brain diseases such as AD, PD and others.