What is the role of ferritin in the pathophysiology of rosacea?

Updated: Jun 03, 2021
  • Author: Agnieszka Kupiec Banasikowska, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Iron catalyzes the conversion of hydrogen peroxide to free radicals, which leads to tissue injury by damaging cellular membranes, proteins, and DNA. At the cellular level, iron that is not metabolized is stored as ferritin. In a 2009 study, skin biopsy specimens from patients with rosacea were immunohistochemically analyzed, and the number of ferritin-positive cells was significantly higher in affected individuals compared with control subjects. Additionally, higher ferritin positivity correlated with more advanced subtypes of rosacea. Thus, increased release of free iron from proteolysis of ferritin can result in oxidative damage to the skin, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of rosacea. [12]

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