Transferrin, is a blood plasma glycoprotein playing a role in iron delivery to the tissues such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Free Ferric ion (Fe+3), is insoluble in water and becomes soluble when bound to transferrin. Iron is an essential element for its property of binding oxygen molecules to be carried to the tissues. However, it is also a harmful element because of its oxidating and reducing properties. Therefore, iron shold not be free in the blood to avoid. its harmfull efects. Transferrin has a high affinity for ferric ion(Fe +3). Hepatocytes produce transferrin found in serum, CSF and semen. Mucosal epithelial cells produce lactoferrin instead of transferrin iron comlex. Once absorbed from the proximal intestine, the iron is transferred to the different cells of the body Most of the iron transferrin complex is transferred to the bone marrow for the production of hemoglobin in the erythrocytes. Transferrin is also a part of the immune system as an acute phase reactant (any stress activating the defense system of the body)
Interpretation: As transferrin acts as a marker of inflammation, its level decreases during inflammation. Low levels may be because of liver damage, kidney injury leading to loss of transferrin in urine, infection and malignancy. Low transferrin also indicates iron overload. This means, transferrin binding sites are full of iron. Iron overload may be because of hemochromatosis where tisue iron is released in blood because of tissue damage. High levels may be because of iron deficiency as a result of dietary iron deficiency, bleeding (menstrual or ulcers), gut disorders that decrease iron absorbtion (Celiac disease) or toxins(Lead etc). Tranferrin levels increase in order to bind more iron to compensate reduced levels in blood.
Sample: Arm vein blood. Nonfasting
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Result Time: Next day 6:00 PM