Psychological stress induces dysregulation of iron metabolism in rat brain

L. Wang, W. Wang, M. Zhao, L. Ma, M. Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Oxidative damage induced by abnormal iron accumulation in the brain is a primary cause of many neurodegenerative diseases, while the reason for iron deposition remains unclear. A previous study reported that various kinds of stress could cause a change in iron level and psychological stress (PS) was a risk factor for neuron death. In the present study we investigated the influence of PS on iron metabolism in rat brain. The results showed that both total iron and non-protein-bound-iron (NPBI) levels were higher in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatum of PS rats. The levels of iron regulatory factors, including transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1), ferritin (Fn), and iron regulatory protein1 (IRP1), were all changed in the iron deposition regions of the PS-exposed rat brain, accompanied by intensified oxidative stress. It is concluded that PS can increase the intake of iron in some regions of brain and subsequently causes regional iron accumulation, indicating PS might be an important reason for iron deposition-caused neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 31 2008


  • brain
  • iron metabolism
  • oxidative stress
  • psychological stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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