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Changes in the amount of nonhaem iron in the plasma, whole body, and selected organs during the postlarval life of the lamprey Geotria australis

Smalley, S.R., Macey, D.J. and Potter, I.C. (1986) Changes in the amount of nonhaem iron in the plasma, whole body, and selected organs during the postlarval life of the lamprey Geotria australis. Journal of Experimental Zoology , 237 (2). pp. 149-157.

Abstract

The concentration of plasma nonhaem iron and the concentration and weight of all nonhaem iron in the whole body and selected organs, together with its partitioning into ferritin and haemosiderin iron, have been measured during the metamorphosis and upstream spawning migration of the Southern Hemisphere lamprey Geotria australis. Some nonhaem iron was lost from the animal during metamorphosis. However, the concentration and weight of nonhaem iron in the liver rose sharply at this time, following its release from important storage sites in adipose tissue and the degradation of larval haemoglobins. The nephric fold of larval and metamorphosing stages contained over 40% of all nonhaem iron in the body at the commencement of metamorphosis. This was predominantly in the form of haemosiderin. While the rise in liver iron during the transition from larva to adult primarily reflected an increase in the weight of ferritin iron, the amount of iron stored as haemosiderin rose conspicuously towards the end of metamorphosis. The rise in ferritin iron in the liver was accompanied by a decrease in ferritin iron in the plasma, which implies that changes in the liver during metamorphosis result in a greater filtering of circulating ferritin. Such a process would account for the very much lower plasma nonhaem iron concentrations which characterise later adult stages. The weight of nonhaem iron increased markedly in the liver and adult opisthonephros and in the whole animal during the nontrophic upstream spawning migration. This was primarily due to a marked rise in ferritin which in turn could be related to the degradation of adult haemoglobins. The concentration of nonhaem iron (54,700 μg/g) and of its ferritin component (52,300 μg/g) in the liver of animals approaching sexual maturity are apparently by far the highest yet recorded for any vetrebrate.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Journal of Experimental Zoology
Copyright: (c) John Wiley & Sons
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1847
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