Mild iron deficiency induced by treatment with the iron chelator desferrioxamine reduced the incidence and severity of joint inflammation associated with adjuvant disease in rats but did not alter the local primary inflammatory response or the systemic sequelae. Both rats treated with desferrioxamine and control rats showed increased levels of alpha 1 acid glycoprotein, characteristic pathological changes in the liver and inguinal lymph nodes, and the primary inflammatory response at the site of injection. Histology, microfocal radiography, and gross assessment of the joints, however, showed a suppression or reduction in soft tissue swelling and bone erosion in the rats treated with desferrioxamine. This is a novel observation suggesting an apparently selective influence of iron on joint mediated inflammation.
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