Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis

Steve W. Stites, Brian Walters, Amy R. O'Brien-Ladner, Kirstin Bailey, Lewis J. Wesselius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Extracellular free iron, or iron bound to ferritin, may promote oxidative injury and bacterial growth in airways of patients with chronic airway inflammation due to cystic fibrosis (CF) or chronic bronchitis (CB). In this study, we assessed sputum content of total iron, ferritin, and transferrin in patients with CF or CB as well as sputum from normal subjects with acute airway inflammation caused by viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Methods: Spontaneously produced sputum was obtained from 33 subjects, including 10 subjects with CF, 18 subjects with CB (10 acute exacerbations, 8 with stable CB), and 5 subjects with URTIs (control subjects). After lysing and dilution, total iron concentrations were determined by controlled coulometry, ferritin was measured by radioimmunoassay, and transferrin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Iron was not present in detectable amounts in control sputums, but ferritin was present (6±2 ng/mg protein, mean±SE), as was transferrin (2.37±0.44 μg/mg). Compared with control subjects, concentrations of iron in sputum were increased in patient groups with higher amounts in CF patients (242±47 ng/mg, p<0.01) than CB patients with acute exacerbations or patients with stable CB (98±50 and 42±12 ng/mg, p <0.05 for both). Ferritin content of sputum was also increased in each group, with CF patients (113±22 ng/mg, p<0.001) higher than CB patients (acute, 45±10 ng/mg; stable, 87±24 ng/mg; p<0.01 for both). Compared with control subjects, sputum transferrin was decreased in CF patients (1.09±0.40 μg/mg, p<0.05), but not CB patients. Conclusions: These findings indicate there are increased airway concentrations of total iron and ferritin-bound iron in patients with CB and, to a greater extent, in patients with CF. Particularly in CF patients who also demonstrated decreased airway concentrations of transferrin, ferritin-bound iron in airways may promote oxidative injury and enhance bacterial growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-819
Number of pages6
JournalChest
Volume114
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Chronic Bronchitis
Ferritins
Sputum
Cystic Fibrosis
Iron
Transferrin
Respiratory Tract Infections
Inflammation
Wounds and Injuries
Infection Control
Growth
Radioimmunoassay
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

Keywords

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Ferritin
  • Iron
  • Sputum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Stites, S. W., Walters, B., O'Brien-Ladner, A. R., Bailey, K., & Wesselius, L. J. (1998). Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis. Chest, 114(3), 814-819.

Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis. / Stites, Steve W.; Walters, Brian; O'Brien-Ladner, Amy R.; Bailey, Kirstin; Wesselius, Lewis J.

In: Chest, Vol. 114, No. 3, 1998, p. 814-819.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stites, SW, Walters, B, O'Brien-Ladner, AR, Bailey, K & Wesselius, LJ 1998, 'Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis', Chest, vol. 114, no. 3, pp. 814-819.
Stites SW, Walters B, O'Brien-Ladner AR, Bailey K, Wesselius LJ. Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis. Chest. 1998;114(3):814-819.
Stites, Steve W. ; Walters, Brian ; O'Brien-Ladner, Amy R. ; Bailey, Kirstin ; Wesselius, Lewis J. / Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis. In: Chest. 1998 ; Vol. 114, No. 3. pp. 814-819.
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T1 - Increased iron and ferritin content of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis

AU - Stites, Steve W.

AU - Walters, Brian

AU - O'Brien-Ladner, Amy R.

AU - Bailey, Kirstin

AU - Wesselius, Lewis J.

PY - 1998

Y1 - 1998

N2 - Purpose: Extracellular free iron, or iron bound to ferritin, may promote oxidative injury and bacterial growth in airways of patients with chronic airway inflammation due to cystic fibrosis (CF) or chronic bronchitis (CB). In this study, we assessed sputum content of total iron, ferritin, and transferrin in patients with CF or CB as well as sputum from normal subjects with acute airway inflammation caused by viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Methods: Spontaneously produced sputum was obtained from 33 subjects, including 10 subjects with CF, 18 subjects with CB (10 acute exacerbations, 8 with stable CB), and 5 subjects with URTIs (control subjects). After lysing and dilution, total iron concentrations were determined by controlled coulometry, ferritin was measured by radioimmunoassay, and transferrin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Iron was not present in detectable amounts in control sputums, but ferritin was present (6±2 ng/mg protein, mean±SE), as was transferrin (2.37±0.44 μg/mg). Compared with control subjects, concentrations of iron in sputum were increased in patient groups with higher amounts in CF patients (242±47 ng/mg, p<0.01) than CB patients with acute exacerbations or patients with stable CB (98±50 and 42±12 ng/mg, p <0.05 for both). Ferritin content of sputum was also increased in each group, with CF patients (113±22 ng/mg, p<0.001) higher than CB patients (acute, 45±10 ng/mg; stable, 87±24 ng/mg; p<0.01 for both). Compared with control subjects, sputum transferrin was decreased in CF patients (1.09±0.40 μg/mg, p<0.05), but not CB patients. Conclusions: These findings indicate there are increased airway concentrations of total iron and ferritin-bound iron in patients with CB and, to a greater extent, in patients with CF. Particularly in CF patients who also demonstrated decreased airway concentrations of transferrin, ferritin-bound iron in airways may promote oxidative injury and enhance bacterial growth.

AB - Purpose: Extracellular free iron, or iron bound to ferritin, may promote oxidative injury and bacterial growth in airways of patients with chronic airway inflammation due to cystic fibrosis (CF) or chronic bronchitis (CB). In this study, we assessed sputum content of total iron, ferritin, and transferrin in patients with CF or CB as well as sputum from normal subjects with acute airway inflammation caused by viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Methods: Spontaneously produced sputum was obtained from 33 subjects, including 10 subjects with CF, 18 subjects with CB (10 acute exacerbations, 8 with stable CB), and 5 subjects with URTIs (control subjects). After lysing and dilution, total iron concentrations were determined by controlled coulometry, ferritin was measured by radioimmunoassay, and transferrin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Iron was not present in detectable amounts in control sputums, but ferritin was present (6±2 ng/mg protein, mean±SE), as was transferrin (2.37±0.44 μg/mg). Compared with control subjects, concentrations of iron in sputum were increased in patient groups with higher amounts in CF patients (242±47 ng/mg, p<0.01) than CB patients with acute exacerbations or patients with stable CB (98±50 and 42±12 ng/mg, p <0.05 for both). Ferritin content of sputum was also increased in each group, with CF patients (113±22 ng/mg, p<0.001) higher than CB patients (acute, 45±10 ng/mg; stable, 87±24 ng/mg; p<0.01 for both). Compared with control subjects, sputum transferrin was decreased in CF patients (1.09±0.40 μg/mg, p<0.05), but not CB patients. Conclusions: These findings indicate there are increased airway concentrations of total iron and ferritin-bound iron in patients with CB and, to a greater extent, in patients with CF. Particularly in CF patients who also demonstrated decreased airway concentrations of transferrin, ferritin-bound iron in airways may promote oxidative injury and enhance bacterial growth.

KW - Chronic bronchitis

KW - Cystic fibrosis

KW - Ferritin

KW - Iron

KW - Sputum

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