A method is described for measuring the plasma unsaturated iron-binding capacity in the presence of very high concentrations of iron as iron-dextran. The procedure utilizes 59Fe to label the apotransferrin with subsequent separation of ionic iron from transferrin-bound iron on an ion exchange or Sephadex G.25 column.
The unsaturated iron-binding capacity has been measured in rabbits and dogs after intravenous injection of iron-dextran and in human subjects after total dose infusion of iron-dextran. No evidence of saturation of the unsaturated iron-binding capacity was found even when the plasma iron values were greater than 40,000 μg Fe/100 ml.
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↵1 Present address: Nutritional Biochemistry Department, Rowett Research Institute, Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire.