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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aspirin increases ferritin synthesis in endothelial cells: a novel antioxidant pathway.

Aspirin has recently been shown to increase endothelial resistance to oxidative damage. However, the mechanism underlying aspirin-induced cytoprotection is still unknown. Using cultured cells, the present study investigates the effect of aspirin on the expression of ferritin, a cytoprotective protein that sequesters free cytosolic iron, the main catalyst of oxygen radical formation. In bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells, aspirin at low antithrombotic concentrations (0.03 to 0.3 mmol/L) induced the synthesis of ferritin protein in a time- and concentration-dependent fashion up to 5-fold over basal levels, whereas ferritin H (heavy chain) mRNA remained unaltered. Aspirin-induced cytoprotection from hydrogen peroxide toxicity was mimicked by exogenous iron-free apoferritin but not iron-loaded ferritin, demonstrating the antioxidant function of newly synthesized ferritin under these conditions. Ferritin induction by aspirin was specific in that other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as salicylic acid, indomethacin, or diclofenac failed to alter ferritin protein levels. Aspirin-induced ferritin synthesis was abrogated in the presence of the iron chelator desferrioxamine, pointing to an interaction of aspirin with iron-responsive activation of ferritin translation. Together, our results suggest induction of ferritin as a novel mechanism by which aspirin may prevent endothelial injury in cardiovascular disease, eg, during atherogenesis.[1]


  1. Aspirin increases ferritin synthesis in endothelial cells: a novel antioxidant pathway. Oberle, S., Polte, T., Abate, A., Podhaisky, H.P., Schröder, H. Circ. Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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