JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Serum ferritin: Past, present and future

Wei Wang, Mary Ann Knovich, Lan G Coffman, Frank M Torti, Suzy V Torti
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2010, 1800 (8): 760-9
20304033

BACKGROUND: Serum ferritin was discovered in the 1930s, and was developed as a clinical test in the 1970s. Many diseases are associated with iron overload or iron deficiency. Serum ferritin is widely used in diagnosing and monitoring these diseases.

SCOPE OF REVIEW: In this chapter, we discuss the role of serum ferritin in physiological and pathological processes and its use as a clinical tool.

MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: Although many aspects of the fundamental biology of serum ferritin remain surprisingly unclear, a growing number of roles have been attributed to extracellular ferritin, including newly described roles in iron delivery, angiogenesis, inflammation, immunity, signaling and cancer.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Serum ferritin remains a clinically useful tool. Further studies on the biology of this protein may provide new biological insights.

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