||Iron in the body is a necessary metal required not only for the synthesis of hemoglobin but also for many cellular enzymes and coenzymes. Iron is transported in serum bound to the protein transferrin. Normally, only about one-third of the available binding sites on transferrin are occupied by iron. The total iron binding capacity is found in serum; therefore, it includes the amount of iron already bound to the transferrin (serum iron) plus the amount of iron required to saturate the unoccupied binding sites of transferrin. Clinically the determination of serum iron and total iron binding capacity is useful in the differential diagnosis of anemias and other iron disorders.
The spectrophotometric measurement of serum iron is accomplished by releasing the protein bound iron from its carrier protein transferrin and complexing the released iron with a suitable chromogen. In our method, the serum sample from any species is added to an acidic buffered reagent containing hydroxylamine, thiourea and Ferene. Ferritin is the iron-apoferritin complex, which is one of the chief forms in which iron is stored in the body. In general, ferritin occurs in the gastrointestinal mucosa, liver, spleen, bone marrow, and reticuloendothelial cells.
This procedure is an enzyme-linked immunoabsorptive assay (ELISA) which measures serum ferritin by the sandwich technique. Serum ferritin is used to estimate the total body stores of iron. Values can also be increased with infections, cancer, and other acute phase reactions. The ferritin assay is species specific. At this time, we are limited to the ferritin assay for dog, cat, horse, rhino, tapir, pri