Mitochondrial ferritin expression in adult mouse tissues

Paolo Santambrogio, Giorgio Biasiotto, Francesca Sanvito, Stefano Olivieri, Paolo Arosio, Sonia Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitochondrial ferritin (FtMt) is a novel ferritin type specifically targeted to mitochondria. It is highly expressed in the human testis and in sideroblasts from patients with sideroblastic anemia, but other organs have not been studied. To study its expression in the main organs of the mouse, we first used RT-PCR and then produced recombinant mouse FtMt and specific antibodies. Immunohistochemistry analyses confirmed that FtMt is highly expressed in mouse testis, particularly in spermatocytes and interstitial Leydig cells. The protein was also identified in other organs including heart, brain, spinal cord, kidney, and pancreatic islet of Langerhans but not in liver and splenocytes, which have iron storage function and express high levels of cytosolic ferritins. Results indicate that the primary function of ferritin FtMt is not involved in storing cellular or body iron, but its association with cell types characterized by high metabolic activity and oxygen consumption suggests a role in protecting mitochondria from iron-dependent oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Expression
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Iron
  • Mitochondrial ferritin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitochondrial ferritin expression in adult mouse tissues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this