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Brain changes in iron loading disorders

Milward, E., Acikyol, B., Bassett, B., Williams, E., Graham, R., Delima, R., Trinder, D., Olynyk, J. and Johnstone, D. (2012) Brain changes in iron loading disorders. In: Linert, W. and Kozlowski, H., (eds.) Metal Ions in Neurological Systems. Springer Vienna, pp. 17-29.

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Abnormal iron accumulation within the brain is associated with various neurodegenerative diseases; however, there is debate about whether milder disorders of systemic iron loading, such as haemochromatosis, affect the brain. Arguments on both sides of the debate are often based on some common assumptions that have not been rigorously tested by appropriate experimentation. Recent research from our lab has applied high-throughput molecular techniques such as microarray to models of dietary and genetic iron loading to identify subtle but important effects on molecular systems in the brain that may go undetected by other methods commonly used in the field. In this chapter, we review the existing research in animal models and human patients and discuss the strengths and limitations of the different approaches commonly used. Using our findings as an example, we argue that transcriptomic methods can provide unique insights into how systemic iron loading can affect the brain and suggest some basic guidelines for extracting the most robust and reliable information from microarray studies.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer Vienna
Copyright: 2012 Springer-Verlag Wien
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