A retrospective investigation of the prevalence and significance of hemosiderosis in captive pinnipeds
Song Y, Lynch M, McClements R. 2009. A retrospective investigation of the prevalence and significance of hemosiderosis in captive pinnipeds. In Ward A, Treiber K, Schmidt D, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Tulsa, OK.
Iron is a trace element required for the synthesis of haemoglobin and a number of energetic reactions. In most species, iron uptake is primarily regulated by the absorption of iron and protein-addition conversion to ferritin in the mucosal layers of the intestines and the sloughing of mucosal layers when iron levels are replete. However, if this system becomes imbalanced as a result of genetic or environmental factors then iron absorption and accumulation may occur. This excessive iron accumulation results in the development of hemosiderosis, where the excess iron accrues in specific tissues. This may further develop into hemochromatosis, or iron storage disease (ISD), when clinical signs of toxicity accompany the excessive iron. Iron accumulation occurs primarily in the liver and spleen, where it is stored as a component of the proteins, hemosiderin and ferritin. Iron accumulation in hepatocytes is normally indicative of excess dietary iron while accumulation in Kupffer cells is more often associated with concurrent infectious or inflammatory processes. Although best documented in human literature, ISD is reported in numerous captive avian and mammalian species including birds of paradise, toucans, and mynahs, and lemurs, bongos, pikas, and fur seals, respectively.15_ SongIronPinniped.pdf     168 KB