Iron and calcium are required for general cellular functions, as well as for specific neuronal-related activities. However, a pathological increase in their levels favours oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, leading to neuronal death. Neurodegeneration can thus be determined by alterations in ionic homoeostasis and/or pro-oxidative-antioxidative equilibrium, two conditions that vary significantly in different kinds of brain cell and also with aging. In the present review, we re-evaluate recent data on NTBI (non-transferrin bound iron) uptake that suggest a strict interplay with the mechanisms of calcium control. In particular, we focus on the use of common entry pathways and on the way cytosolic calcium can modulate iron entry and determine its intracellular accumulation.
- Non-transferrin-bound iron (NTBI)
- Oxidative stress
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