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Research Article

Iron deficiency in the rat. Physiological and biochemical studies of muscle dysfunction.

C A Finch, L R Miller, A R Inamdar, R Person, K Seiler and B Mackler

Published August 1976

Work performance on a treadmill has been evaluated in normal and iron-deficient rats. Anemia was removed as a variable by adjusting the hemoglobin of all animals to the same concentration. At a hemoglobin compatible with normal work performance, iron-deficient animals showed a marked impairment of running ability as compared to control animals. Iron therapy corrected the disability within 4 days. Concentrations of the cytochrome pigments and myoglobin, and rates of oxidative phosphorylation with pyruvate-malate, succinate, and alpha-glycerophosphate as substrates were all reduced in mitochondrial preparations from skeletal muscle of iron-deficient rats, but only the rate of phosphorylation with alpha-glycerophosphate as substrate increased significantly and in parallel with the recovery in work performance of the iron-deficient rats treated with iron dextran.

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