Tissue specific expression of mouse transferrin during development and aging

Funmei Yang, William E. Friedrichs, James M. Buchanan, Damon C. Herbert, Frank J. Weaker, Jeremy H. Brock, Barbara H. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Transferrin (TF) is a major plasma protein that binds ferric iron and transports it to all target tissues of the body. This study is the first step to identify the tissue specific expression of the transferrin gene in mice during development, into maturity and throughout the aging process. The transferrin gene expresses mainly in mouse liver, the cerebral hemispheres and cerebellum. In mouse, transferrin is expressed in peritoneal macrophages and in mouse macrophage cell line MO59. At 19 days of gestation, transferrin mRNA is detected in the fetal lung, heart, stomach and kidney. TF mRNA levels increase in liver throughout gestation with maximum expression occurring at 19 days. Transferrin mRNA was detected in placentas of pregnant mice, with levels progressively increasing throughout the term of pregnancy. The levels of liver TF mRNA in mouse vary in a cyclic manner during the development increasing with the aging processes. Because of the dynamic nature of tissue requirements for transferrin during homeostasis the TF gene serves as a promising system for analyzing tissue-specific regulation in vivo during development and aging. Results from this study designate periods in the life-span of the mouse where regulatory mechanisms interacting with the TF gene appear to dynamically alter its expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1990


  • Aging
  • Development
  • Gene expression
  • Mouse
  • mRNA
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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