Variations in iron retention in aged rats
The effects of age and sex upon the metabolism of iron were studied by biochemical, radioisotopic, and ultrastructural techniques. Male and female non breeder Sprague Dawley rats were housed and fed under standard conditions. At 300-500 days of life, iron uptake, retention, and loss were measured following intubation with a dose of FE59over a period of two weeks. Total body iron, and fractions of soluble and insoluble iron were determined by classical methods. The results show that both aged male and female rats contain a similar amount of total body iron, despite markedly lower body and liver weights in the females. Within the liver of the female, there is a significantly higher concentration of iron. No sex differences were noted in the ratio of soluble and insoluble liver iron fractions with age. Ultrastructural studies demonstrate that much of the iron present in aged females is concentrated within peribiliary lysosomes.
Bradford, WD; Elchlepp, JG; Kinney, TD
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