Manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe): Interdependency of transport and regulation

Vanessa A. Fitsanakis, Na Zhang, Stephanie Garcia, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) are transition metals that are crucial to the appropriate growth, development, function, and maintenance of biological organisms. Because of their chemical similarity, in organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals they share and compete for many protein transporters, such as the divalent metal transporter-1. As such, during conditions of low Fe, abnormal Mn accumulation occurs. Conversely, when Mn concentrations are altered, the homeostasis and deposition of Fe and other transition metals are disrupted. Our lab has undertaken a series of studies in rats involving pregnant dams, neo- and perinatal pups, and adult animals. Animals were exposed to various concentrations of dietary Fe and/or Mn, and protein transporter expression, blood Mn and Fe concentrations, brain transition metal concentrations, and temporal brain deposition patterns were examined. As a result, we have demonstrated the importance of the interdependence of the transport of Mn and Fe, and established brain metal concentrations in several longitudinal studies. The purpose of this review is to examine these studies in their entirety and highlight the importance of monitoring the deposition and accumulation of both Mn and Fe when designing future studies related to either dietary or environmental changes in transition metal levels. Finally, this review will provide information about various transport proteins currently under investigation in the research community related to Fe and Mn regulation and transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary alterations
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Metal homeostasis
  • Metal transport proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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