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By Goetz W. Richter


Several months following parenteral injections of saccharated iron oxide into DBA/2J mice, granules rich in iron were found in nuclei of scattered parenchymal liver cells as well as in the cytoplasm. As seen in the light microscope, the intranuclear granules were brown; most of them measured between 0.5 µ and 1 µ in cross-section. They gave positive Prussian blue tests, and were not selectively stainable with pyronine. Electron micrographs of the granules showed closely packed aggregates of ferritin molecules, occasionally in paracrystalline order. The intranuclear collections were often surrounded by bands of material of moderate opacity. Scattered ferritin molecules and collections of such molecules were also present in the cytoplasm of many liver cells, but there seemed to be no quantitative relationship between intranuclear and cytoplasmic ferritin. Liver cells from untreated control mice failed to reveal intranuclear deposits of ferritin. Although the site of origin of the intranuclear aggregates of ferritin is unknown, the findings suggest the possibility that under suitable circumstances ferritin synthesis may take place within nuclei of liver cells—perhaps induced by the presence of colloidal iron

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