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Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC)

Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is the measure of the maximum amount of iron needed to saturate blood transferrin, the main iron-transport protein. TIBC is used as an indirect measurement of transferrin concentrations (Hawkins, 2007; Yamanishi et al., 2003). Patients having iron deficiency display low blood levels of iron but elevated levels of TIBC.

Serum Amyloid A (SAA)

SAA is an acute phase protein, mainly produced by the liver and released in response to inflammation or infections. Indeed, SAA production is stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1 and TNF-α (Calabrò et al., 2010).

Lipoprotein A Lp(a)

Lp(a) is a macromolecular complex composed of one molecule of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) containing apolipoprotein B100 and one molecule of apolipoprotein(a). Lp(a) is synthesized by the liver and its assembly occurs at the hepatocyte cell membrane surface. Lp(a) has been shown to promote thrombosis, by preventing the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin and to participate to wound healing and tissue repair (Riches and Porter, 2012). Lp(a) has also been described as an acute-phase reactant in various disorders.


Iron is one of the most important nonorganic molecule for most forms of life. Almost all cells employ iron for fundamental activities such as energy metabolism and oxygen transport. The three main source of iron are the dietary absorption in the duodenum, the release of recycled iron from macrophages and the release of stored iron from hepatocytes (Kohgo et al., 2008). At the same time, iron excess is toxic due to its capacity to generate reactive oxygen species, underlining the importance of iron homeostasis.


Hepcidin is a hormone mainly produced by hepatocytes as a precursor pro-peptide which undergoes proteolytic processing to yield its bioactive form of 25 amino-acids. Hepcidin is a key iron regulatory hormone; it inhibits iron entry into the plasma compartment by promoting the degradation of ferroportin, whose fundamental role is to release iron from tissues into the bloodstream (Nemeth et al., 2004a).


Ferritin is a ubiquitous and specialized protein implicated in the intracellular storage of iron. In mammals, ferritin is composed of 24 subunits forming a hallow globular complex whose cavity can store up to 4500 iron atoms (Finazzi and Arosio, 2014). Ferritin-mediated iron storage involves an oxidation process  ̶  conversion of Fe(II) to Fe(III)  ̶  that protects cells from the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species (Recalcati et al., 2008).


Neurogranin is a post-synaptic protein regulating synaptic plasticity, learning and memory consolidation. Neurogranin is thought to be involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and long-term potentiation through the modulation of calcium-mediated signaling pathways. Because of its abundant and preferential neuronal expression, Neurogranin has been identified as a potential marker of neurodegeneration in large-scale gene arrays,  along with other candidate markers such as VILIP-1 (Laterza et al., 2006).

MRP 8/14 // Myeloid Related Protein 8 and Myeloid Related Protein 14 (S100A8/S100A9, Calprotectin)

Calprotectin is a heterodimer of the two calcium-binding proteins Calgranulin A (S100A8) and Calgranulin B (S100A9), also called Myeloid Related Protein (MRP) 8/MRP14. These non-covalently associated proteins constituted about 45% of the protein content of neutrophils cytosol and are 40-fold more abundant in neutrophils versus monocytes (Edgeworth et al., 1991). MRP8/14 is also present in macrophages of rheumatoid polyarthritic synovialis but not in normal tissue macrophages (Odink et al., 1987). This heterodimer belong to the alarmin family.

BAFF // B Cell Activating Factor

B-cell Activating Factor (BAFF) is a member of the TNF family and induces B cell proliferation and differentiation. The soluble form of BAFF is a 152aa with a single disulfide bond (Moore et al., 1999).

This cytokine is also called tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 13b (TNFSF13b), B Lymphocyte Stimulator (BLyS) and TNF- and APOL-related leukocyte expressed ligand (TALL-1) among other names.


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