The importance of ceruloplasmin in iron metabolism was studied in swine made hypoceruloplasminemic by copper deprivation. When the plasma ceruloplasmin level fell below 1% of normal, cell-to-plasma iron flow became sufficiently impaired to cause hypoferremia, even though total body iron stores were normal. When ceruloplasmin was administered to such animals, plasma iron increased immediately and continued to rise at a rate proportional to the logarithm of the ceruloplasmin dose. The administration of inorganic copper induced increases in plasma iron only after ceruloplasmin appeared in the circulation. Thus, ceruloplasmin appeared to be essential to the normal movement of iron from cells to plasma.
H. P. Roeser, G. R. Lee, S. Nacht, G. E. Cartwright