Human Transferrin, an iron-binding protein, is produced mainly in the liver and can be demonstrated within hepatocytes. Transferrin-positive hepatocytes occur in groups or singularly and do not follow a distinct pattern, although some tendency towards periportal clustering is observed. Moderate staining in Kupffer cells is seen in some specimens. Transferrin has also been demonstrated by immunohistology in a wide variety of other tissues including stomach, duodenum, gall bladder, thyroid, kidney, male and female reproductive tracts, skin, and in histiocytes. Such widespread occurrence of Transferrin suggests evidence for the diverse roles that it may play such as: iron transport across intestinal mucosa; intracellular iron transport; and providing non-specific immunity against microorganisms by chelating free iron. It has been observed that Transferrin may act as a growth-promoting factor for pituitary tumors. It has also been observed that malignant breast tumors show higher transferrin immunoreactivity compared to benign lesions.
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