Specific hemosiderin deposition in spleen induced by a low dose of cisplatin: Altered iron metabolism and its implication as an acute hemosiderin formation model

Yingze Wang, Juan Lv, Xiaowei Ma, Dongliang Wang, Huili Ma, Yanzhong Chang, Guangjun Nie, Lee Jia, Xianglin Duan, Xing Jie Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Cisplatin is one of the commonly-used chemotherapeutic drugs to efficiently treat malignant tumors in clinic, however, the adverse effects of cisplatin such as nephrotoxicity, neurotoxcity, and hemolytic uremic syndrome are often observed at its clinical doses (∼60 mg/m2), which limit its broader application. In earlier studies, little attention was paid to the subtle changes in the architecture of lymphatic organs after low doses of cisplatin treatment. This paper reviews current understanding of cisplatin-induced erythrocyte injury, and presents our latest finding that a low dose of cisplatin (3.6 mg/m2/day, 14 days) could induce specific hemosiderin deposition in spleen of both normal and hepatoma-22 (H22) inoculated Balb/C mice. This dose of cisplatin significantly inhibited H22-induced acute ascites development. No significant toxicity was induced by this dose of cisplatin to tissues except for hemosiderin accumulation in the spleen of both normal and H22 tumor-bearing mice. Increased splenic iron content and erythrocyte injury were observed after treatment with the low dose of cisplatin. The mRNA levels of ferroportin (FPN1) and ferritin were upregulated by 25 and 5-fold in spleen, respectively. Overexpression of FPN1 and ferritin protein were also been observed at protein levels by Western blotting analysis. In addition, the mRNA expression of hepcidin was also increased, suggesting blockage of iron recycling through FPN1 in spleen with cisplatin treatment. In conclusion, cisplatin treatment damages the erythrocytes which accumulate in the red pulp of spleen with defective recycling of FPN1 and ferritin protein. Hepcidin inhibits the function of FPN1 as iron-exporter leading to iron overloaded inside ferritins of splenic cells, which are stained with abnormal hemosiderin accumulation. These results demonstrate that cisplatin-caused hemosiderin deposition in spleen provides a valuable clue for understanding the molecular basis of toxicity of cisplatin and hemosiderin accumulation and iron metabolism in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Drug Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II
  • CP
  • Ferritin
  • Ferroportin
  • Hemosiderin
  • Hepcidin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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