Article thumbnail

Iron deposition and inflammation in multiple sclerosis. Which one comes first?

By Robert Zivadinov, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman and Istvan Pirko


Whether iron deposition is an epiphenomenon of the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease process or may play a primary role in triggering inflammation and disease development remains unclear at this time, and should be studied at the early stages of disease pathogenesis. However, it is difficult to study the relationship between iron deposition and inflammation in early MS due to the delay between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis, and the poor availability of tissue specimens. In a recent article published in BMC Neuroscience, Williams et al. investigated the relationship between inflammation and iron deposition using an original animal model labeled as "cerebral experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis", which develops CNS perivascular iron deposits. However, the relative contribution of iron deposition vs. inflammation in the pathogenesis and progression of MS remains unknown. Further studies should establish the association between inflammation, reduced blood flow, iron deposition, microglia activation and neurodegeneration. Creating a representative animal model that can study independently such relationship will be the key factor in this endeavor

Topics: Commentary
Publisher: BioMed Central
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2010). al: Extracranial venous stenosis is an unlikely cause of multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler
  2. (2009). Anomalous venous blood flow and iron deposition in multiple sclerosis.
  3. (2004). Chakrabarty A: The Role of Iron in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis and Multiple Sclerosis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  4. (2009). Chiapparini L: Age-related iron deposition in the basal ganglia: quantitative analysis in healthy subjects. Radiology
  5. (2009). et al: Characterizing iron deposition in multiple sclerosis lesions using susceptibility weighted imaging.
  6. (1997). Iron deposits in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease brains. Brain Res
  7. (2007). Iron in chronic brain disorders: imaging and neurotherapeutic implications. Neurotherapeutics
  8. (2007). Iron overload and immunity.
  9. (2010). Iron stores and cerebral veins in MS studied by susceptibility weighted imaging. Int Angiol
  10. (1994). JE: Immunohistochemical study of vascular injury in acute multiple sclerosis.
  11. (2008). Komoly S: The involvement of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
  12. (2010). Lucchinetti CF: Perivenous demyelination: association with clinically defined acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and comparison with pathologically confirmed multiple sclerosis. Brain
  13. Mihalakis I: Iron deposits surrounding multiple sclerosis plaques.
  14. (2004). Neurodegenerative diseases and oxidative stress. Nat Rev Drug Discov
  15. (2011). No evidence of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency at multiple sclerosis onset. Ann Neurol
  16. (1988). Perivascular iron deposition and other vascular damage in multiple sclerosis.
  17. (2009). PG: A comparison of 3T and 7T in the detection of small parenchymal veins within MS lesions. Invest Radiol
  18. (2008). PG: Demonstrating the perivascular distribution of MS lesions in vivo with 7-Tesla MRI. Neurology
  19. Prevalence, sensitivity, and specificity of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in MS.
  20. (2009). Salvi F: Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in patients with multiple sclerosis.
  21. (2011). SM: Iron deposition is independent of cellular inflammation and vascular changes in a cerebral model of multiple sclerosis.
  22. (1998). SM: Iron deposits in the central nervous system of SJL mice with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Life Sci
  23. (1958). Sourander P: The effect of age on the non-haemin iron in the human brain.
  24. (2006). The big idea: iron-dependent inflammation in venous disease and proposed parallels in multiple sclerosis.
  25. (2010). Wack DS: Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and iron deposition on susceptibility weighted imaging in patients with multiple sclerosis: a pilot case-control study. Int Angiol