Mild nutritional iron deficiency significantly reduced the severity of adjuvant induced joint inflammation assessed by histology, microfocal radiography, and subjective scoring. Other indices of adjuvant induced inflammation, such as increased levels of serum acute phase reactants, characteristic pathological changes in the inguinal lymph nodes, and granuloma formation at the site of adjuvant injection, were not different from those of control animals. The level of iron deficiency used did not affect the acute inflammatory response to a range of irritants and was not sufficient to suppress immune function. Both the hypersensitivity reaction to oxazalone and lymphocyte tritiated thymidine incorporation were normal. These observations support the view that iron has a selective influence on joint mediated inflammation.
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