The physiological site of iron storage in the human bone marrow is the macrophage (orthotopic iron store). Iron-storing plasma cells, as bone marrow indicators of iron overload, and/or chronic alcoholism represent a pathological (heterotopic) iron store. They were demonstrated by light and electron microscopy in 23 iron-overloaded patients: transfusional siderosis (n = 8), genetic haemochromatosis (GH; n = 11), iron-loading anaemias (n = 4) and in patients with bone marow impairment due to chronic alcoholism (n = 6). The pattern of iron storage in bone marrow plasma cells was monitored during iron loading in patients receiving continuous transfusional therapy (n = 7) and also upon reversal of iron overload by repeated phlebotomies in GH (n = 9) and in iron-loading anaemias (n = 4). The first ultrastructural evidence of iron storage in plasma cells was the appearance of free ferritin molecules in the cytosol, thus indicating endogenous ferritin synthesis. Accumulation of iron proceeded with the additional formation of ferritin- and haemosiderin-containing lysosomes (siderosomes) in these cells. Lysosomal ferritin partially showed a paracrystalline arrray. The siderosomes originated from autophagocytosis of cytoplasmic areas containing free ferritin molecules. In addition, the formation of ferritin-containing vesicles in the proximity of the Golgi apparatus was observed. The heterotopic iron store of bone marrow plasma cells was less readily mobilizable by blood-letting than the orthotopic store of macrophages.

Koszewski BJ: the occurrence of megaloblastic erythropoiesis in patients with haemachromatosis. Blood 1952;7:1182–1195.
Goodman JR, Hall SC: Plasma cells containing iron: An electron micrographic study. Blood 1966;28:83–93.
Lerner RG, Parker JW: Dysglobulinemia and iron in plasma cells. Arch Intern Med 1968;121:284–287.
Bessis M: Living blood cells and their ultrastructure. Berlin, Springer, 1973, pp 535.
Karcioglu GL, Hardison JE: Iron-containing plasma cells. Arch Intern Med 1978;138:97–100.
Shanmugathasa M, Sobel HJ, Marquet E, Trubowitz S: Plasma cells with inclusions containing iron. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1979;103:577–582.
Cook MD, Madden M: Iron granules in plasma cells. J Clin Pathol 1982;35:172–181.
McCurley TL, Cousar JB, Graber SE, Glick AD, Collins RD: Plasma cell iron – clinical and morphologic features. Am J Clin Pathol 1984;81:312–316.
Tomasi P, Lucchi T, Ferrari L, Scapole G, Spanedda R, Castoldi G: Cytomorphological aspects of iron-containing plasma cells in hematological disorders. Haematologica 1987;72:371–373.
Düllmann J, Wulfhekel U: The diagnostic significance of bone-marrow iron in genetic hemochromatosis; in Weintraub LR, Edwards CQ, Krikker M (eds): Hemochromatosis. Proceedings of the First International Conference. Ann NY Acad Sci 1988;526:357–360.
Cook JD, Hershko C, Finch CA: Storage iron kinetics. V. Iron exchange in the rat. Br J Haematol 1973;25:695–706.
Finch CA, Ragan HA, Dyer IA, Cook JD: Body iron loss in animals. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1978;159:335–338.
Hausmann K, Kuse R: Morphological types of non-heme iron in bone marrow squash preparations and intestinal iron absorption; in Hallberg L, Harwerth HG, Vannotti A (eds): Iron deficiency. London, Colloquia Geigy Academic Press, 1970, pp 297–307.
Leder LD: Der Blutmonozyt. Heidelberg, Springer, 1967, p 225.
Bennett JM, Catovsky D, Daniel MT, et al: French-American-British (FAB) co-operative group: Proposals for the classification of the myelodysplastic syndromes. Br J Haematol 1982;51:189–199.
Düllmann J, Wulfhekel U, Mohr A, Riecken K, Hausmann K: Absence of macrophage and presence of plasma cell iron storage in the terminal duodenum of patients with genetic haemochromatosis. Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat 1991;418:241–247.
Heinrich HC: Clinical aspects of iron absorption and turnover; in Kief H (ed): Iron Metabolism and Its Disorders. Oxford, Excerpta Medica/New York, American Elsevier, 1975, pp 34–58.
Blom J: The ultrastructural localization of iron in human bone marrow plasma cells. Acta Pathol Microbiol Immunol Scand A 1985;93:223–228.
Izarn P, Emberger J: Plasmocytes avec inclusions d’hémosidérine. Sang 1958;29:701–703.
Bessis MC: Ultrastructure of lymphoid and plasma cells in relation to globulin and antibody formation. Lab Invest 1961;10:1040–1067.
Butterworth CE, Frommeyer WB, Rise WH: Erythrophagocytosis in a case of plasma cell leukemia. Blood 1953;8:519–523.
Abramson N, von Kapff C, Ginsburg AD: The phagocytic plasma cells. N Engl J Med 1970;283:248–250.
Fitchen JH, Lee S: Phagocytic myeloma cells. Am J Clin Pathol 1979;71:722–723.
Ludwig H, Pavelka M: Phagocytic plasma cells in a patient with multiple myeloma. Blood 1980;56:173–176.
Kanoh T, Fujii H: The incidence of phagocytizing plasma cells in malignant plasma cell dyscrasias. Scand J Haematol 1986;36:480–483.1
Neckers ML, Yenokida G, James SP: The role of the transferrin receptor in human B lymphocyte activation. J Immunol 1984;133:2437–2441.
Redman CM: Biosynthesis of serum proteins and ferritin by free and attached ribosomes of rat liver. J Biol Chem 1969;244:4303–4315.
Hicks SJ, Drysdale JW, Munro HN: Preferential synthesis of ferritin and albumin by different populations of liver polysomes. Science 1969;167:584–585.
Puro DG, Richter GW: Ferritin synthesis by free and membrane-bound (poly) ribosomes of rat liver. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1971;138:399–402.
Jacobs A: Low molecular weight intracellular iron transport compounds. Blood 1977;50:433–439.
Trump BF, Valigorsky JM, Arstila AU, Mergner WJ, Kinney TD: The relationship of intercellular pathways of iron metabolism to cellular iron overload and the iron storage diseases. Am J Pathol 1973;72:295–336.
Arstila AU, Bradford WD, Kinney TD, Trump BF: Iron metabolism and cell membranes. Am J Pathol 1970;58:419–450.
Mattana RAM, Du Plessis L, Stevens K: Iron uptake by plasma cells in haematological disorders. Acta Haematol 1994;92:126–129.
Michot F, Gut J: Alcohol-induced bone marrow damage. A bone marrow study in alcohol-dependent individuals. Acta Haematol 1987;78:252–257.
Kapur A, Wild G, Milford-Ward A, Triger DR: Carbohydrate deficient transferrin: A marker for alcohol abuse. Br Med J 1989;299:427–431.
Wulfhekel U, Düllmann J: The diagnostic value of bone marrow iron. Folia Haematol 1990;117:419–434.
Marton PF: Erythrophagocytosis in the human bone marrow as disclosed by iliacal bone biopsies. Scand J Haematol 1975;14:153–159.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.