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Sample records for methylmercury exposure immunofluorescent

  1. Methylmercury Exposure and Health Effects

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Young-Seoub; Kim, Yu-Mi

    2012-01-01

    Methylmercury is a hazardous substance that is of interest with regard to environmental health, as inorganic mercury circulating in the general environment is dissolved into freshwater and seawater, condensed through the food chain, ingested by humans, and consequently affects human health. Recently, there has been much interest and discussion regarding the toxicity of methylmercury, the correlation with fish and shellfish intake, and methods of long-term management of the human health effects of methylmercury. What effects chronic exposure to a low concentration of methylmercury has on human health remains controversial. Although the possibility of methylmercury poisoning the heart and blood vessel system, the reproductive system, and the immune system is continuously raised and discussed, and the carcinogenicity of methylmercury is also under discussion, a clear conclusion regarding the human health effects according to exposure level has not yet been drawn. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives proposed to prepare additional fish and shellfish intake recommendations for consumers based on the quantified evaluation of the hazardousness of methylmercury contained in fish and shellfish, methylmercury management in the Korea has not yet caught up with this international trend. Currently, the methylmercury exposure level of Koreans is known to be very high. The starting point of methylmercury exposure management is inorganic mercury in the general environment, but food intake through methylation is the main exposure source. Along with efforts to reduce mercury in the general environment, food intake management should be undertaken to reduce the human exposure to methylmercury in Korea. PMID:23230465

  2. Methylmercury exposure and health effects.

    PubMed

    Hong, Young-Seoub; Kim, Yu-Mi; Lee, Kyung-Eun

    2012-11-01

    Methylmercury is a hazardous substance that is of interest with regard to environmental health, as inorganic mercury circulating in the general environment is dissolved into freshwater and seawater, condensed through the food chain, ingested by humans, and consequently affects human health. Recently, there has been much interest and discussion regarding the toxicity of methylmercury, the correlation with fish and shellfish intake, and methods of long-term management of the human health effects of methylmercury. What effects chronic exposure to a low concentration of methylmercury has on human health remains controversial. Although the possibility of methylmercury poisoning the heart and blood vessel system, the reproductive system, and the immune system is continuously raised and discussed, and the carcinogenicity of methylmercury is also under discussion, a clear conclusion regarding the human health effects according to exposure level has not yet been drawn. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives proposed to prepare additional fish and shellfish intake recommendations for consumers based on the quantified evaluation of the hazardousness of methylmercury contained in fish and shellfish, methylmercury management in the Korea has not yet caught up with this international trend. Currently, the methylmercury exposure level of Koreans is known to be very high. The starting point of methylmercury exposure management is inorganic mercury in the general environment, but food intake through methylation is the main exposure source. Along with efforts to reduce mercury in the general environment, food intake management should be undertaken to reduce the human exposure to methylmercury in Korea.

  3. Somatosensory disturbance by methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Takaoka, Shigeru; Kawakami, Yoshinobu; Fujino, Tadashi; Oh-ishi, Fumihiro; Motokura, Fukuo; Kumagai, Yoshio; Miyaoka, Tetsu

    2008-05-01

    Minamata disease is methylmercury poisoning from consuming fish and shellfish contaminated by industrial waste. The polluted seafood was widely consumed in the area around Minamata, but many individuals were never examined for or classified as having Minamata disease. Following the determination of the Supreme Court of Japan in October 2004 that the Japanese Government was responsible for spreading Minamata disease, over 13,000 residents came forward to be examined for Minamata disease. We studied 197 residents from the Minamata area who had a history of fish consumption during the polluted period to determine the importance of sensory symptoms and findings in making a diagnosis of Minamata disease. We divided the exposed subjects into non-complicated (E) and complicated (E+N) groups based on the absence or presence of other neurological or neurologically related disorders and compared them to residents in control area (C) after matching for age and sex. We quantitatively measured four somatosensory modalities (minimal tactile sense by Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, vibration sense, position sense, and two-point discrimination) and did psychophysical tests of fine-surface-texture discrimination. Subjective complaints were higher in groups E and E+N than C. Over 90% of E+N and E subjects displayed a sensory disturbance on conventional neurological examination and 28% had visual constriction. About 50% of the E and E +N groups had upper and lower extremity ataxia and about 70% had truncal ataxia. The prevalence of these neurological findings was significantly higher in exposed subjects than controls. All sensory modalities were impaired in the E and E+N groups. All four quantitatively measured sensory modalities were correlated. The prevalence of complaints, neurological findings, and sensory impairment was similar or a little worse in group E+N than in group E. We conclude that sensory symptoms and findings are important in making the diagnosis of Minamata disease

  4. Neurobehavioral effects of developmental methylmercury exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, S.G.; Grant-Webster, K.S.

    1995-09-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a global environmental problem and is listed by the International Program of Chemical Safety as one of the six most dangerous chemicals in the world`s environment. Human exposure to MeHg primarily occurs through the consumption of contaminated food such as fish, although catastrophic exposures due to industrial pollution have occurred. The fetus is particularly sensitive to MeHg exposure and adverse effects on infant development have been associated with levels of exposure that result in few, if any, signs of maternal clinical illness or toxicity. High levels of prenatal exposure in humans result in neurobehavioral effects such as cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. Prenatal exposure to MeHg in communities with chronic low-level exposure is related to decreased birthweight and early sensorimotor dysfunction such as delayed onset of walking. Neurobehavioral alterations have also been documented in studies with non human primates and rodents. Available information on the developmental neurotoxic effects of MeHg, particularly the neurobehavioral effects, indicates that the fetus and infant are more sensitive to adverse effects of MEHg. It is therefore recommended that pregnant women and women of childbearing age be strongly advised to limit their exposure to potential sources of MeHg. Based on results from human and animal studies on the developmental neurotoxic effects of methylmercury, the accepted reference dose should be lowered to 0.025 to 0.06 MeHg {mu}g/kg/day. Continued research on the neurotoxic effects associated with low level developmental exposure is needed. 107 refs., 3 tabs.

  5. Neurobehavioral effects of developmental methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, S G; Grant-Webster, K S

    1995-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a global environmental problem and is listed by the International Program of Chemical Safety as one of the six most dangerous chemicals in the world's environment. Human exposure to MeHg primarily occurs through the consumption of contaminated food such as fish, although catastrophic exposures due to industrial pollution have occurred. The fetus is particularly sensitive to MeHg exposure and adverse effects on infant development have been associated with levels of exposure that result in few, if any, signs of maternal clinical illness or toxicity. High levels of prenatal exposure in humans result in neurobehavioral effects such as cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. Prenatal exposure to MeHg in communities with chronic low-level exposure is related to decreased birthweight and early sensorimotor dysfunction such as delayed onset of walking. Neurobehavioral alterations have also been documented in studies with nonhuman primates and rodents. Available information on the developmental neurotoxic effects of MeHg, particularly the neurobehavioral effects, indicates that the fetus and infant are more sensitive to adverse effects of MeHg. It is therefore recommended that pregnant women and women of childbearing age be strongly advised to limit their exposure to potential sources of MeHg. Based on results from human and animal studies on the developmental neurotoxic effects of methylmercury, the accepted reference dose should be lowered to 0.025 to 0.06 MeHg microgram/kg/day. Continued research on the neurotoxic effects associated with low level developmental exposure is needed. PMID:8549462

  6. Reducing uncertainty in risk modeling for methylmercury exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Ponce, R.; Egeland, G.; Middaugh, J.; Lee, R.

    1995-12-31

    The biomagnification and bioaccumulation of methylmercury in marine species represents a challenge for risk assessment related to the consumption of subsistence foods in Alaska. Because of the profound impact that food consumption advisories have on indigenous peoples seeking to preserve a way of life, there is a need to reduce uncertainty in risk assessment. Thus, research was initiated to reduce the uncertainty in assessing the health risks associated with the consumption of subsistence foods. Because marine subsistence foods typically contain elevated levels of methylmercury, preliminary research efforts have focused on methylmercury as the principal chemical of concern. Of particular interest are the antagonistic effects of selenium on methylmercury toxicity. Because of this antagonism, methylmercury exposure through the consumption of marine mammal meat (with high selenium) may not be as toxic as comparable exposures through other sources of dietary intake, such as in the contaminated bread episode of Iraq (containing relatively low selenium). This hypothesis is supported by animal experiments showing reduced toxicity of methylmercury associated with marine mammal meat, by the antagonistic influence of selenium on methylmercury toxicity, and by negative clinical findings in adult populations exposed to methylmercury through a marine diet not subject to industrial contamination. Exploratory model development is underway to identify potential improvements and applications of current deterministic and probabilistic models, particularly by incorporating selenium as an antagonist in risk modeling methods.

  7. Neurotoxicity from prenatal and postnatal exposure to methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Grandjean, Philippe; Weihe, Pal; Debes, Frodi; Choi, Anna L.; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which postnatal methylmercury exposure contributes to neurobehavioral delays is uncertain. Confounding may occur because the child's dietary exposure likely correlates with the mother's. This conundrum was examined in the Faroese birth cohort 1 born in 1986–1987. Exposure parameters included mercury concentrations in maternal hair at parturition, cord blood, and child blood and hair at the age-7 clinical examination (N = 923). In regression analyses, the child's current blood-mercury at age 7 (N = 694) showed only weak associations with the neuropsychological test variables, but visuospatial memory revealed a significant negative association. Mutual adjustment caused decreases of the apparent effect of the prenatal exposure. However, such adjustment may lead to underestimations due to the presence of correlated, error-prone exposure variables. In structural equation models, all methylmercury exposure parameters were instead entered into a latent exposure variable that reflected the total methylmercury load. This latent exposure showed significant associations with neurodevelopmental deficits, with prenatal exposure providing the main information. However, postnatal methylmercury exposure appeared to contribute to neurotoxic effects, in particular in regard to visuospatial processing and memory. Thus, addition in the regression analysis of exposure information obtained at a different point in time was not informative and should be avoided. Further studies with better information on exposure profiles are needed to characterize the effects of postnatal methylmercury exposure. PMID:24681285

  8. Rice Methylmercury Exposure and Mitigation: A Comprehensive Review

    PubMed Central

    Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Creswell, Joel E.

    2014-01-01

    Rice cultivation practices from field preparation to post-harvest transform rice paddies into hot spots for microbial mercury methylation, converting less-toxic inorganic mercury to more-toxic methylmercury, which is likely translocated to rice grain. This review includes 51 studies reporting rice total mercury and/or methylmercury concentrations, based on rice cultivated or purchased in 15 countries. Not surprisingly, both rice total mercury and methylmercury levels were significantly higher in polluted sites compared to non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p<0.001). However, rice percent methylmercury (of total mercury) did not differ statistically between polluted and non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p=0.35), suggesting comparable mercury methylation rates in paddy soil across these sites and/or similar accumulation of mercury species for these rice cultivars. Studies characterizing the effect of rice cultivation under more aerobic conditions were reviewed to determine the mitigation potential of this practice. Rice management practices utilizing alternating wetting and drying (instead of continuous flooding) caused soil methylmercury levels to spike, resulting in a strong methylmercury pulse after fields were dried and reflooded; however, it is uncertain whether this led to increased translocation of methylmercury from paddy soil to rice grain. Due to the potential health risks, it is advisable to investigate this issue further, and to develop separate water management strategies for mercury polluted and non-polluted sites, which minimize methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion. PMID:24972509

  9. Rice methylmercury exposure and mitigation: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Rothenberg, Sarah E; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Creswell, Joel E

    2014-08-01

    Rice cultivation practices from field preparation to post-harvest transform rice paddies into hot spots for microbial mercury methylation, converting less-toxic inorganic mercury to more-toxic methylmercury, which is likely translocated to rice grain. This review includes 51 studies reporting rice total mercury and/or methylmercury concentrations, based on rice (Orzya sativa) cultivated or purchased in 15 countries. Not surprisingly, both rice total mercury and methylmercury levels were significantly higher in polluted sites compared to non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p<0.001). However, rice percent methylmercury (of total mercury) did not differ statistically between polluted and non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p=0.35), suggesting comparable mercury methylation rates in paddy soil across these sites and/or similar accumulation of mercury species for these rice cultivars. Studies characterizing the effects of rice cultivation under more aerobic conditions were reviewed to determine the mitigation potential of this practice. Rice management practices utilizing alternating wetting and drying (instead of continuous flooding) caused soil methylmercury levels to spike, resulting in a strong methylmercury pulse after fields were dried and reflooded; however, it is uncertain whether this led to increased translocation of methylmercury from paddy soil to rice grain. Due to the potential health risks, it is advisable to investigate this issue further, and to develop separate water management strategies for mercury polluted and non-polluted sites, in order to minimize methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion.

  10. Rice methylmercury exposure and mitigation: a comprehensive review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Creswell, Joel E.

    2014-01-01

    Rice cultivation practices from field preparation to post-harvest transform rice paddies into hot spots for microbial mercury methylation, converting less-toxic inorganic mercury to more-toxic methylmercury, which is likely translocated to rice grain. This review includes 51 studies reporting rice total mercury and/or methylmercury concentrations, based on rice (Orzya sativa) cultivated or purchased in 15 countries. Not surprisingly, both rice total mercury and methylmercury levels were significantly higher in polluted sites compared to non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p<0.001). However, rice percent methylmercury (of total mercury) did not differ statistically between polluted and non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p=0.35), suggesting comparable mercury methylation rates in paddy soil across these sites and/or similar accumulation of mercury species for these rice cultivars. Studies characterizing the effects of rice cultivation under more aerobic conditions were reviewed to determine the mitigation potential of this practice. Rice management practices utilizing alternating wetting and drying (instead of continuous flooding) caused soil methylmercury levels to spike, resulting in a strong methylmercury pulse after fields were dried and reflooded; however, it is uncertain whether this led to increased translocation of methylmercury from paddy soil to rice grain. Due to the potential health risks, it is advisable to investigate this issue further, and to develop separate water management strategies for mercury polluted and non-polluted sites, in order to minimize methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion.

  11. Intrauterine Exposure to Methylmercury and Neurocognitive Functions: Minamata Disease.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kato, Tsuguhiko; Kado, Yoko; Tokinobu, Akiko; Yamakawa, Michiyo; Tsuda, Toshihide; Sanada, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    A large-scale food poisoning caused by methylmercury was identified in Minamata, Japan, in the 1950s. The severe intrauterine exposure cases are well known, although the possible impact of low-to-moderate methylmercury exposure in utero are rarely investigated. We examined neurocognitive functions among 22 participants in Minamata, mainly using an intelligence quotient test (Wechsler Adults Intelligent Scale III), in 2012/2013. The participants tended to score low on the Index score of processing speed (PS) relative to full-scale IQ, and discrepancies between PS and other scores within each participant were observed. The lower score on PS was due to deficits in digit symbol-coding and symbol search and was associated with methylmercury concentration in umbilical cords. The residents who experienced low-to-moderate methylmercury exposure including prenatal one in Minamata manifested deficits in their cognitive functions, processing speed in particular.

  12. Neurological and neurocognitive functions from intrauterine methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kado, Yoko; Diez, Midory Higa; Kishikawa, Toshihiro; Sanada, Satoshi

    2016-05-03

    In the 1950s, large-scale food poisoning caused by methylmercury was identified in Minamata, Japan. Although severe intrauterine exposure cases (ie, congenital Minamata disease patients) are well known, possible impacts of methylmercury exposure in utero among residents, which is likely at lower levels than in congenital Minamata disease patients, are rarely explored. In 2014, the authors examined neurological and neurocognitive functions among 18 exposed participants in Minamata, focusing on fine motor, visuospatial construction, and executive functions. More than half of the participants had some fine motor and coordination difficulties. In addition, several participants had lower performance for neurocognitive function tests (the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test and Keio version of the Wisconsin card sorting test). These deficits imply diffuse brain damage. This study suggests possible neurological and neurocognitive impacts of prenatal exposure to methylmercury among exposed residents of Minamata.

  13. Human milk as a source of methylmercury exposure in infants

    SciTech Connect

    Grandjean, P. ); Jorgensen, P.J. ); Weihe, P. )

    1994-01-01

    As methylmercury is excreted in human milk and infants are particularly susceptible to toxicity due to this compound, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible transfer of methylmercury to infants via breast-feeding. In a community with a high intake of seafood, 583 children from a birth cohort were followed. The duration of nursing was recorded, and hair samples were obtained for mercury analysis at approximately 12 months of age. The hair mercury concentrations increased with the length of the nursing period, and those nursed throughout the first year showed the highest geometric mean (9.0 nmol/g or 1.8 [mu]g/g). Human milk therefore seems to be an important source of methylmercury exposure in infants. As increasing time interval from weaning to hair sample collection was not associated with any detectable decrease in mercury concentrations. A slow or absent elimination of methylmercury during the first year after birth could explain this finding. In certain fishing communities, infants nursed for long periods may be at increased risk of developing methylmercury toxicity. 25 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Human Milk as a Source of Methylmercury Exposure in Infants.

    PubMed Central

    Grandjean, P; Jørgensen, PJ; Weihe, P

    1994-01-01

    As methylmercury is excreted in human milk and infants are particularly susceptible to toxicity due to this compound, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible transfer of methylmercury to infants via breast-feeding. In a community with a high intake of seafood, 583 children from a birth cohort were followed. The duration of nursing was recorded, and hair samples were obtained for mercury analysis at approximately 12 months of age. The hair mercury concentrations increased with the length of the nursing period, and those nursed throughout the first year showed the highest geometric mean (9.0 nmol/g or 1.8 microg/g). Human milk therefore seems to be an important source of methylmercury exposure in infants. An increasing time interval from weaning to hair sample collection was not associated with any detectable decrease in mercury concentrations. A slow or absent elimination of methylmercury during the first year after birth could explain this finding. In certain fishing communities, infants nursed for long periods may be at increased risk of developing methylmercury toxicity. Images p74-a Figure 1. Figure 2. PMID:9719671

  15. Exposures of dental professionals to elemental mercury and methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Gruninger, Stephen E; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure, a worldwide public health concern, predominantly takes two forms--methylmercury from fish consumption and elemental Hg from dental amalgam restorations. We recruited 630 dental professionals from an American Dental Association meeting to assess Hg body burden and primary sources of exposure in a dually exposed population. Participants described occupational practices and fish consumption patterns via questionnaire. Hg levels in biomarkers of elemental Hg (urine) and methylmercury (hair and blood) were measured with a Direct Mercury Analyzer-80 and were higher than the general US population. Geometric means (95% CI) were 1.28 (1.19-1.37) μg/l in urine, 0.60 (0.54-0.67) μg/g in hair and 3.67 (3.38-3.98) μg/l in blood. In multivariable linear regression, personal amalgams predicted urine Hg levels along with total years in dentistry, amalgams handled, working hours and sex. Fish consumption patterns predicted hair and blood Hg levels, which were higher among Asians compared with Caucasians. Five species contributed the majority of the estimated Hg intake from fish--swordfish, fresh tuna, white canned tuna, whitefish and king mackerel. When studying populations with occupational exposure to Hg, it is important to assess environmental exposures to both elemental Hg and methylmercury as these constitute a large proportion of total exposure.

  16. Exposures of Dental Professionals to Elemental Mercury and Methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Gruninger, Stephen E.; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure, a worldwide public health concern, predominantly takes two forms – methylmercury from fish consumption and elemental Hg from dental amalgam restorations. We recruited 630 dental professionals from an American Dental Association meeting to assess Hg body burden and primary sources of exposure in a dually-exposed population. Participants described occupational practices and fish consumption patterns via questionnaire. Mercury levels in biomarkers of elemental Hg (urine) and methylmercury (hair, blood) were measured with a Direct Mercury Analyzer-80 and were higher than the general U.S. population. Geometric means (95% CI) were 1.28 (1.19–1.37) µg/L in urine, 0.60 (0.54–0.67) µg/g in hair, and 3.67 (3.38–3.98) µg/L in blood. In multivariable linear regression, personal amalgams predicted urine Hg levels along with total years in dentistry, amalgams handled, working hours, and sex. Fish consumption patterns predicted hair and blood Hg levels which were higher among Asians compared with Caucasians. Five species contributed the majority of the estimated Hg intake from fish - swordfish, fresh tuna, white canned tuna, whitefish, and king mackerel. When studying populations with occupational exposure to Hg, it is important to assess environmental exposures to both elemental Hg and methylmercury as these constitute a large proportion of total exposure. PMID:26329138

  17. Behavioral effects of developmental methylmercury drinking water exposure in rodents.

    PubMed

    Bisen-Hersh, Emily B; Farina, Marcelo; Barbosa, Fernando; Rocha, Joao B T; Aschner, Michael

    2014-04-01

    Early methylmercury (MeHg) exposure can have long-lasting consequences likely arising from impaired developmental processes, the outcome of which has been exposed in several longitudinal studies of affected populations. Given the large number of newborns at an increased risk of learning disabilities associated with in utero MeHg exposure, it is important to study neurobehavioral alterations using ecologically valid and physiologically relevant models. This review highlights the benefits of using the MeHg drinking water exposure paradigm and outlines behavioral outcomes arising from this procedure in rodents. Combination treatments that exacerbate or ameliorate MeHg-induced effects, and possible molecular mechanisms underlying behavioral impairment are also discussed.

  18. Morphological evidence of neurotoxicity in retina after methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Mela, Maritana; Grötzner, Sonia Regina; Legeay, Alexia; Mesmer-Dudons, Nathalie; Massabuau, Jean-Charles; Ventura, Dora Fix; de Oliveira Ribeiro, Ciro Alberto

    2012-06-01

    The visual system is particularly sensitive to methylmercury (MeHg) exposure and, therefore, provides a useful model for investigating the fundamental mechanisms that direct toxic effects. During a period of 70 days, adult of a freshwater fish species Hoplias malabaricus were fed with fish prey previously labeled with two different doses of methylmercury (0.075 and 0.75 μgg(-1)) to determine the mercury distribution and morphological changes in the retina. Mercury deposits were found in the photoreceptor layer, in the inner plexiform layer and in the outer plexiform layer, demonstrating a dose-dependent bioaccumulation. The ultrastructure analysis of retina revealed a cellular deterioration in the photoreceptor layer, morphological changes in the inner and outer segments of rods, structural changes in the plasma membrane of rods and double cones, changes in the process of removal of membranous discs and a structural discontinuity. These results lead to the conclusion that methylmercury is able to cross the blood-retina barrier, accumulate in the cells and layers of retina and induce changes in photoreceptors of H. malabaricus even under subchronic exposure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Behavioral Effects of Developmental Methylmercury Drinking Water Exposure in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Bisen-Hersh, Emily B.; Farina, Marcelo; Barbosa, Fernando; Rocha, Joao BT; Aschner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Early methylmercury (MeHg) exposure can have long-lasting consequences likely arising from impaired developmental processes, the outcome of which has been exposed in several longitudinal studies of affected populations. Given the large number of newborns at an increased risk of learning disabilities associated with in utero MeHg exposure, it is important to study neurobehavioral alterations using ecologically valid and physiologically relevant models. This review highlights the benefits of using the MeHg drinking water exposure paradigm and outlines behavioral outcomes arising from this procedure in rodents. Combination treatments that exacerbate or ameliorate MeHg-induced effects, and possible molecular mechanisms underlying behavioral impairment are also discussed. PMID:24210169

  20. An archeological perspective on methylmercury exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Egeland, G.; Ponce, R.; Middaugh, J.

    1995-12-31

    Hair analyses of remains identified in Arctic archeological sites show that some individuals living in pre-industrial times would fall near or above current acceptable levels of MeHg exposure. For example, total mercury in hair was 4.8 ppm in the mummy of a 25 year-old found in Barrow, Alaska; in Greenland, the mean total hair Hg level of 15th century mummies was 3.1 ppm among six adults and 10 ppm among 2 children. In contrast, FDA`s recommended limit for MeHg in blood would translate to hair MeHg levels of 5 ppm. What are the methodological issues pertinent in interpreting these data and what are the implications of these data for current-day risk assessment and risk management related to the consumption of subsistence foods in the Arctic? How can archeological data help answer questions of relevance for subsistence populations of today? A program to examine pre-industrial MeHg levels in Alaska using human hair and animal fur from existing archeological collections has been initiated. Methodological issues will be discussed.

  1. Methylmercury exposure and mortality in Japan: a life table analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Tamashiro, H.; Fukutomi, K.; Lee, E.S.

    1987-03-01

    The effects on life expectancy from elevated methylmercury (MeHg) exposure were studied in five coastal towns of southern Japan. Hair concentrations of MeHg in the study area were 3 to 6 times higher than the surrounding areas. From 1969-1972 to 1978-1982 life expectancy increased in the study area, with no appreciable difference between that area and the two control areas. When four major causes of death were deleted analytically in both study and control areas, malignant neoplasms contributed the most in recent years to potential gains in life expectancy for both sexes. For the duration of their working ages, however, accidents were the leading contributor for males, followed by malignant neoplasms, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. The relative contribution of these causes of death to gain in life expectancy in the study area population is discussed in the context of elevated MeHg exposure.

  2. Prenatal methylmercury exposure and children: neurologic, developmental, and behavioral research.

    PubMed Central

    Myers, G J; Davidson, P W

    1998-01-01

    Mercury is present in the earth's crust and is methylated by bacteria in aquatic environments to methylmercury (MeHg). It is then concentrated by the food chain so predatory fish and sea mammals have the highest levels. Thus, consuming seafood leads to exposure. MeHg readily crosses the placenta and the blood-brain barrier and is neurotoxic. The developing fetal nervous system is especially sensitive to its effects. Prenatal poisoning with high dose MeHg causes mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Lower level exposures from maternal consumption of a fish diet have not been consistently associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, most studies have considerable uncertainty associated with their results. Two large controlled longitudinal studies of populations consuming seafood are underway that are likely to determine if any adverse effects can be identified. No adverse associations have been found in the Seychelles, where exposure is mainly from fish consumption. In the Faroe Islands where exposure is primarily from consumption of whale meat and not fish, adverse associations have been reported. The Seychelles population consumes large amounts of marine fish containing MeHg concentrations similar to commercial fish in the United States. Current evidence does not support the hypothesis that consumption of such fish during pregnancy places the fetus at increased neurodevelopmental risk. PMID:9646047

  3. Human exposure to methylmercury from crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in China.

    PubMed

    Peng, Qian; Greenfield, Ben K; Dang, Fei; Zhong, Huan

    2016-02-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in aquatic food raises global concerns about human exposure to MeHg. Crayfish is the world's third largest farmed crustacean species and a favorite aquatic food in many countries. However, human health hazard due to MeHg exposure via crayfish consumption is unclear, partly because appropriate survey data are lacking. We report on mercury concentrations and speciation in edible tail muscle of crayfish collected from restaurants in 23 Chinese cities. On average, MeHg constituted 99.1 % of mercury in tail muscle, and MeHg concentrations were comparable with those reported for fish in China. Variation in MeHg concentrations was not attributable to broad geographic region (i.e., provinces) or tail length. For different populations, potential health risk (characterized by hazard quotient or HQ) of MeHg exposure through crayfish consumption depended largely on crayfish consumption rates. In particular, a health hazard (HQ > 1) was found for high-rate consumers (i.e., 95 %ile or higher) in some cities in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (MLYR), during the peak consumption season. Our results suggest that more attention should be paid to dietary MeHg intake via crayfish consumption in China, particularly for communities with high consumption in MLYR.

  4. Prenatal exposure to methylmercury alters development of adrenergic receptor binding sites in peripheral sympathetic target tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Slotkin, T.A.; Orband, L.; Cowdery, T.; Kavlock, R.J.; Bartolome, J.

    1987-01-01

    In order to assess the impact of prenatal exposure to methylmercury on sympathetic neurotransmission, effects on development of adrenergic receptor binding sites in peripheral tissues was evaluated. In the liver, methylmercury produced a dose-dependent increase in alpha/sub 1/, alpha/sub 2/, and beta-receptor binding of radioliganda throughout the first 5 weeks of postnatal life. Similarly, renal alpha-receptor subtypes showed increased binding capabilities, but binding to alpha-receptor sites was reduced. At least some of the changes in receptors appear to be of functional significance, as physiological reactivity to adrenergic stimulation is altered in the same directions in these two tissues. The actions of methylmercury displayed tissue specificity in that the same receptor populations were largely unaffected in other tissues (lung, heart). These results suggest that methylmercury exposure in utero alters adrenergic responses through targeted effects on postsynaptic receptor populations in specific tissues.

  5. Country-specific estimates of the incidence of intellectual disability associated with prenatal exposure to methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Bellinger, David C; O'Leary, Keri; Rainis, Holly; Gibb, Herman J

    2016-05-01

    This paper describes country-specific estimates of the incidence of intellectual disability in children associated with prenatal exposure to methylmercury. A systematic review was undertaken to identify country-specific data on hair mercury concentrations in women of reproductive age. A variety of approaches were used to estimate biomarker concentrations for countries lacking such data. A dose-effect relationship derived on the basis of the data from three large prospective studies relating prenatal methylmercury exposure to IQ in children was used to estimate the country-specific incidences of mild, moderate, severe, and profound intellectual disability in children as a result of prenatal methylmercury exposure. The incidence of methylmercury-associated mild intellectual disability (IQ scores 50-70) varied nearly 40-fold across countries, with the greatest incidences generally in countries that are islands or that are coastal. Countries with high birth rates and greater consumption of foods that contribute most to methylmercury intake in humans (seafood, rice) can be expected to make the largest contributions to the worldwide burden of disease associated with methylmercury. The assumptions and limitations of the estimates are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Selenomethionine reduces visual deficits due to developmental methylmercury exposures

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Daniel N.; Connaughton, Victoria P.; Dellinger, John A.; Klemer, David; Udvadia, Ava; Carvan, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    Developmental exposures to methylmercury (MeHg) have life-long behavioral effects. Many micronutrients, including selenium, are involved in cellular defenses against oxidative stress and may reduce the severity of MeHg-induced deficits. Zebrafish embryos (<4 hours post fertilization, hpf) were exposed to combinations of 0.0-0.30 μM MeHg and/or selenomethionine (SeMet) until 24 hpf then placed in clean medium. Fish were tested as adults under low light conditions (~60 μW/m2) for visual responses to a rotating black bar. Dose-dependent responses to MeHg exposure were evident (ANOVA, P<0.001) as evidenced by reduced responsiveness, whereas SeMet did not induce deficits except at 0.3 μM,. Ratios of SeMet:MeHg of 1:1 or 1:3 resulted in responses that were indistinguishable from controls (ANOVA, P<0.001). No gross histopathologies were observed (H&E stain) in the retina or optic tectum at any MeHg concentration. Whole-cell, voltage-gated, depolarization-elicited outward K+ currents of bipolar cells in intact retina of slices adult zebrafish were recorded and outward K+ current amplitude was larger in bipolar cells of MeHg-treated fish. This was due to the intense response of cells expressing the delayed rectifying IK current; cells expressing the transient IA current displayed a slight trend for smaller amplitude among MeHg-treated fish. Developmental co-exposure to SeMet reduced but did not eliminate the increase in the MeHg-induced IK response, however, IA responses increased significantly over MeHg-treated fish to match control levels. Electrophysiological deficits parallel behavioral patterns in MeHg-treated fish, i.e., initial reactions to the rotating bar were followed by periods of inactivity and then a resumption of responses. PMID:17905328

  7. Low level methylmercury exposure affects neuropsychological function in adults

    PubMed Central

    Yokoo, Edna M; Valente, Joaquim G; Grattan, Lynn; Schmidt, Sérgio Luís; Platt, Illeane; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2003-01-01

    Background The neurotoxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg) have been demonstrated in both human and animal studies. Both adult and fetal brains are susceptible to the effects of MeHg toxicity. However, the specific effects of adult exposures have been less well-documented than those of children with prenatal exposures. This is largely because few studies of MeHg exposures in adults have used sensitive neurological endpoints. The present study reports on the results of neuropsychological testing and hair mercury concentrations in adults (>17 yrs) living in fishing communities of Baixada Cuiabana (Mato Grosso) in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in six villages on the Cuiaba River. Participants included 129 men and women older than 17 years of age. They were randomly selected in proportion to the age range and number of inhabitants in each village. Questionnaire information was collected on demographic variables, including education, occupation, and residence history. Mercury exposure was determined by analysis of hair using flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The neurocognitive screening battery included tests from the Wechsler Memory Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Concentrated Attention Test of the Toulouse-Pierron Factorial Battery, the Manual Ability Subtests of the Tests of Mechanical Ability, and the Profile of Mood States. Results Mercury exposures in this population were associated with fish consumption. The hair mercury concentration in the 129 subjects ranged from 0.56 to 13.6 μg/g; the mean concentration was 4.2 ± 2.4 micrograms/g and the median was 3.7 μg/g. Hair mercury levels were associated with detectable alterations in performance on tests of fine motor speed and dexterity, and concentration. Some aspects of verbal learning and memory were also disrupted by mercury exposure. The magnitude of the effects increased with hair mercury concentration, consistent with a dose

  8. [Methylmercury exposure in the general population; toxicokinetics; differences by gender, nutritional and genetic factors].

    PubMed

    González-Estecha, Montserrat; Bodas-Pinedo, Andrés; Guillén-Pérez, José Jesús; Rubio-Herrera, Miguel Ángel; Ordóñez-Iriarte, José M; Trasobares-Iglesias, Elena M; Martell-Claros, Nieves; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; Farré-Rovira, Rosaura; Herráiz-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Martínez-Astorquiza, Txantón; Calvo-Manuel, Elpidio; Sáinz-Martín, María; Bretón-Lesmes, Irene; Prieto-Menchero, Santiago; Llorente-Ballesteros, M Teresa; Martínez-García, M José; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Bermejo-Barrera, Pilar; García-Donaire, José Antonio; Cuadrado-Cenzual, M Ángeles; Gallardo-Pino, Carmen; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Arroyo-Fernández, Manuel; Calle-Pascual, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental toxicant that causes numerous adverse effects on human health and natural ecosystems. The factors that determine the existance of adverse effects, as well as their severity are, among others: the chemical form of mercury (elemental, inorganic, organic), dosis, age, period of exposure, pathways of exposure and environmental, nutritional and genetic factors. In the aquatic cycle of mercury, once it has been deposited, it is transformed into methylmercury due to the action of certain sulphate-reducing bacteria, which bioaccumulates in the aquatic organisms and moves into the food chain. The methylmercury content of large, long-lived fish such as swordfish, shark, tuna or marlin, is higher. Methylmercury binds to protein in fish and is therefore not eliminated by cleaning or cooking the fish. Fetuses and small children are more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of methylmercury from the consumption of contaminated fish. Methylmercury is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. The intake of certain dietary components such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, selenium, fiber, thiol compounds, certain phytochemicals and other nutrients can modify methylmercury bioaccesibility and its toxicity. Apart from environmental factors, genetic factors can influence mercury toxicity and explain part of the individual vulnerability. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

  9. Long term neurocognitive impact of low dose prenatal methylmercury exposure in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Lam, Hugh Simon; Kwok, Ka Ming; Chan, Peggy Hiu Ying; So, Hung Kwan; Li, Albert Martin; Ng, Pak Cheung; Fok, Tai Fai

    2013-04-01

    International studies suggest that low dose prenatal methylmercury exposure (>29 nmol/L) has long-term adverse neurocognitive effects. There is evidence that the majority of children in Hong Kong exceed this level as a result of high fish consumption of mothers during pregnancy. To study whether there are any associations between low-dose prenatal methylmercury exposure and neurocognitive outcomes in Hong Kong children. All 1057 children from the original birth cohort were eligible for entry into the study, except children with conditions that would affect neurocognitive development, but were unrelated to methylmercury exposure. Subjects were assessed by a wide panel of tests covering a broad range of neurocognitive functions: Hong Kong Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (HK-WISC), Hong Kong List Learning Test (HKLLT), Tests of Everyday Attention for Children (TEACH), Boston Naming Test, and Grooved Pegboard Test. 608 subjects were recruited (median age 8.2 years, IQR 7.3, 8.8; 53.9% boys). After correction by confounders including child age and sex, multivariate analysis showed that cord blood mercury concentration was significantly associated with three subtests: Picture Arrangement of HK-WISC (coefficient -0.944, P=0.049) and Short and Long Delay Recall Difference of the HKLLT (coefficient -1.087, P=0.007 and coefficient -1.161, P=0.005, respectively), i.e., performance worsened with increasing prenatal methylmercury exposure in these subtests. Small, but statistically significant adverse associations between prenatal methylmercury exposure and long-term neurocognitive effects (a visual sequencing task and retention ability of verbal memory) were found in our study. These effects are compatible with findings of studies with higher prenatal methylmercury exposure levels and suggest that safe strategies to further reduce exposure levels in Hong Kong are desirable. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Patterns and Consequences of in ovo Exposure to Methylmercury in Common Loons, poster presentation

    EPA Science Inventory

    A critical component of a common loon/mercury (Hg) risk assessment model under development is the determination of the concentration of Hg in eggs that poses a population level risk. We conducted a field study to (1) characterize in ovo methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in Wisconsin...

  11. Patterns and Consequences of in ovo Exposure to Methylmercury in Common Loons, poster presentation

    EPA Science Inventory

    A critical component of a common loon/mercury (Hg) risk assessment model under development is the determination of the concentration of Hg in eggs that poses a population level risk. We conducted a field study to (1) characterize in ovo methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in Wisconsin...

  12. [Consensus document on the prevention of exposure to methylmercury in Spain].

    PubMed

    González-Estecha, Montserrat; Bodas-Pinedo, Andrés; Guillén-Pérez, José Jesús; Rubio-Herrera, Miguel Ángel; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; Herráiz-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Martell-Claros, Nieves; Ordóñez-Iriarte, José M; Sáinz-Martín, María; Farré-Rovira, Rosaura; Martínez-Astorquiza, Txantón; García-Donaire, José Antonio; Calvo-Manuel, Elpidio; Bretón-Lesmes, Irene; Prieto-Menchero, Santiago; Llorente-Ballesteros, M Teresa; Martínez-García, M José; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Bermejo-Barrera, Pilar; Cuadrado-Cenzual, María Ángeles; Gallardo-Pino, Carmen; Blanco Fuentes, María; Torres-Moreno, Miriam; Trasobares-Iglesias, Elena M; Barceló Martín, Bernardino; Arroyo-Fernández, Manuel; Calle-Pascual, Alfonso

    2014-11-21

    The beneficial effects of fish consumption in both children and adults are well known. However, the intake of methylmercury, mainly from contaminated fish and shellfish, can have adverse health effects. The study group on the prevention of exposure to methylmercury (GEPREM-Hg), made up of representatives from different Spanish scientific societies, has prepared a consensus document in a question and answer format, containing the group's main conclusions, recommendations and proposals. The objective of the document is to provide broader knowledge of factors associated with methylmercury exposure, its possible effects on health among the Spanish population, methods of analysis, interpretation of the results and economic costs, and to then set recommendations for fish and shellfish consumption. The group sees the merit of all initiatives aimed at reducing or prohibiting the use of mercury as well as the need to be aware of the results of contaminant analyses performed on fish and shellfish marketed in Spain. In addition, the group believes that biomonitoring systems should be set up in order to follow the evolution of methylmercury exposure in children and adults and perform studies designed to learn more about the possible health effects of concentrations found in the Spanish population, ta king into account the lifestyle, eating patterns and the Mediterranean diet.

  13. Long-term exposure to methylmercury and its effects on hypertension in Minamata.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide; Kashima, Saori; Takao, Soshi; Harada, Masazumi

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies suggest potential adverse effects of methylmercury exposure on cardiovascular disease, although the evidence of association with hypertension is still inconsistent. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of methylmercury exposure on hypertension in Minamata. We used data derived from the 1971 population-based survey in Minamata and neighboring communities. We also utilized data on hair mercury content of the participants (derived from a 1960 investigation). We adopted two exposure indices (residential area and hair mercury content) and two hypertension outcomes (past history of hypertension and hypertension defined by measurements in the examination). Then, we estimated the adjusted prevalence odds ratio (POR) and its confidence interval (CI) of both hypertension outcomes in relation to residential area and hair mercury content. In the Minamata area (high exposure area), 87% (833) of the eligible population (aged > or =10 years) participated in the 1971 investigations. In the Goshonoura area (middle exposure area) and the Ariake area (low exposure area), 93% (1450) and 77% (755), respectively, of the eligible population participated. Compared with subjects in the Ariake area, the subjects in the Minamata area manifested hypertension more frequently, and PORs observed for two hypertension outcomes were 1.6 (95% CI: 1.2-2.1) and 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1-1.9), respectively. Furthermore, dose-response trends with hair mercury content were observed for both hypertension outcomes. The present finding supports the causal relationship between methylmercury exposure and hypertension.

  14. Gestational Exposure to Methylmercury and Selenium: Effects on a Spatial Discrimination Reversal in Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Miranda N; Paletz, Elliott M.; Newland, M. Christopher

    2007-01-01

    Selenium, a nutrient, and methylmercury, a developmental neurotoxicant, are both found in fish. There are reports that selenium sometimes ameliorates methylmercury’s neurotoxicity, but little is known about the durability of this protection after low-level gestational exposure. Developmental methylmercury exposure disrupts behavioral plasticity, and these effects extend well into adulthood and aging. The present experiment was designed to examine interactions between developmental low-level methylmercury and nutritionally relevant dietary selenium on discrimination reversals in adulthood. Female rats were exposed, in utero, to 0, 0.5, or 5 ppm mercury as methylmercury via drinking water, approximating mercury exposures of 0, 40, and 400 μg/kg/day. They also received both prenatal and postnatal exposure to a diet containing selenium from casein only (0.06 ppm) or 0.6 ppm selenium, creating a 2 (chronic Se) x 3 (gestational MeHg) full factorial design, with 6 – 8 rats per cell. Behavior was evaluated with a spatial discrimination procedure using two levers and sucrose reinforcers. All groups acquired the original discrimination similarly. Rats exposed to low selenium (0.06 ppm), regardless of MeHg exposure, required more sessions to complete the first reversal and made more omissions during this reversal than high selenium (0.6 ppm) animals, but the two diet groups did not differ on subsequent reversals. Rats exposed to MeHg, regardless of selenium exposure, made more errors than controls on the first and third reversals, which was away from the original discrimination. MeHg-exposed animals also had shorter choice latencies than controls during the first session of a reversal. Low selenium increased the number of omissions during a reversal, whereas high MeHg exposure produced perseverative responding (errors) on the lever that was reinforced during the original discrimination. However, there was no interaction between selenium and MeHg exposure. PMID:16759706

  15. Methylmercury content of eggs in yellow perch related to maternal exposure in four Wisconsin lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Wiener, James G.; Frazier, Brdaley E.; Rada, Ronald G.

    1999-01-01

    We examined the influence of maternal mercury and selected lacustrine variables on the mercury content of eggs from yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Total mercury, methylmercury, and inorganic mercury were determined in eggs and carcasses (less eggs) from three seepage lakes with a pH range of 6.1a??7.0 and a fourth lake in which pH was experimentally increased from 5.5 to 6.8 by addition of alkaline groundwater. The concentration of total mercury in eggs was strongly correlated with that in the maternal carcass. Concentrations and burdens of mercury in eggs and carcasses were inversely correlated with lake water pH, acid-neutralizing capacity, calcium, and dissolved organic carbon. In eggs containing more than 30 ng/g dry weight (4.5 ng/g wet weight) of total mercury, methylmercury averaged 91% of total mercury and ranged from 85% to 96%. Mean burdens of total mercury in individual eggs varied greatly among lakes (range, 2.3a??63 pg), and the egg mass averaged 1.9% of the whole-body burden. We conclude that exposure of the developing yellow perch embryo to methylmercury is strongly affected by maternal bioaccumulation, which can vary substantially among and within lakes; however, the toxicological significance of the observed exposure of embryos to methylmercury is unclear.

  16. Methylmercury content of eggs in yellow perch related to maternal exposure in four Wisconsin lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Hammerschmidt, C.R.; Frazier, B.E.; Rada, R.G.; Wiener, J.G.

    1999-04-01

    The authors examined the influence of maternal mercury and selected lacustrine variables on the mercury content of eggs from yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Total mercury, methylmercury, and inorganic mercury were determined in eggs and carcasses (less eggs) from three seepage lakes with a pH range of 6.1--7.0 and a fourth lake in which pH was experimentally increased from 5.5 to 6.8 by addition of alkaline groundwater. The concentration of total mercury in eggs was strongly correlated with that in the material carcass. Concentrations and burdens of mercury in eggs and carcasses were inversely correlated with lake water pH, acid-neutralizing capacity, calcium, and dissolved organic carbon. In eggs containing more than 30 ng/g dry weight of total mercury, methylmercury averaged 91% of total mercury and ranged from 85% to 96%. Mean burdens of total mercury in individual eggs varied greatly among lakes and the egg mass averaged 1.9% of the whole-body burden. The authors conclude that exposure of the developing yellow perch embryo to methylmercury is strongly affected by maternal bioaccumulation, which can vary substantially among and within lakes; however, the toxicological significance of the observed exposure of embryos to methylmercury is unclear.

  17. Functional consequences of prenatal methylmercury exposure: effects on renal and hepatic responses to trophic stimuli and on renal excretory mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Slotkin, T.A.; Kavlock, R.J.; Cowdery, T.; Orband, L.; Bartolome, M.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury on the functional development of renal and hepatic response systems was examined in the developing rat. Methylmercury produced an elevation of basal activity of renal ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, an enzyme involved in regulation of cellular maturation) and an eventual relative hypertrophy; liver ODC was reduced and hypertrophy was not evident. In contrast, the reactivity of liver ODC to trophic stimulants (vasopressin, isoproterenol) was markedly enhanced by prenatal methylmercury exposure, whereas renal ODC responses were much less affected (vasopressin) or actually reduced (isoproterenol). Targeted actions of methylmercury on renal excretory function were also prominent, with increased fractional excretions urea and electrolytes and an eventual reduction in glomerular filtration as assessed by creatinine clearance. These studies show that doses of methylmercury ordinarily associated with selective actions on development of neurobehavioral patterns also influence the functional ontogeny of other organ systems; furthermore, the fact that the target tissues are different for prenatal vs postnatal methylmercury exposure, indicates that the functional teratology of methylmercury exhibits critical periods of sensitivity.

  18. Relation of Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure from Environmental Sources to Childhood IQ.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Joseph L; Muckle, Gina; Ayotte, Pierre; Dewailly, Éric; Jacobson, Sandra W

    2015-08-01

    Although prenatal methylmercury exposure has been linked to poorer intellectual function in several studies, data from two major prospective, longitudinal studies yielded contradictory results. Associations with cognitive deficits were reported in a Faroe Islands cohort, but few were found in a study in the Seychelles Islands. It has been suggested that co-exposure to another contaminant, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), may be responsible for the positive findings in the former study and that co-exposure to nutrients in methylmercury-contaminated fish may have obscured and/or protected against adverse effects in the latter. We aimed to determine the degree to which co-exposure to PCBs may account for the adverse effects of methylmercury and the degree to which co-exposure to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may obscure these effects in a sample of Inuit children in Arctic Québec. IQ was estimated in 282 school-age children from whom umbilical cord blood samples had been obtained and analyzed for mercury and other environmental exposures. Prenatal mercury exposure was related to poorer estimated IQ after adjustment for potential confounding variables. The entry of DHA into the model significantly strengthened the association with mercury, supporting the hypothesis that beneficial effects from DHA intake can obscure adverse effects of mercury exposure. Children with cord mercury ≥ 7.5 μg/L were four times as likely to have an IQ score < 80, the clinical cut-off for borderline intellectual disability. Co-exposure to PCBs did not alter the association of mercury with IQ. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document an association of prenatal mercury exposure with poorer performance on a school-age assessment of IQ, a measure whose relevance for occupational success in adulthood is well established. This association was seen at levels in the range within which many U.S. children of Asian-American background are exposed.

  19. Dosimetry of Exposure to Sulfur Mustard of Human Skin: Immunofluorescence Microscopy of DNA-Adducts.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    used to develop methods for dosimetry by immunofluorescence microscopy of adducts to DNA after exposure to HD. This technique might be of great help...distinguished by cell-type specific immunochemical staining. Such techniques will facilitate investigations on the healing of skin injuries....recent years, monoclonal antibodies have been raised against a major HD-DNA adduct , i.e. N7-(2’-hydroxyethylthioethyl)-guanine. These antibodies have been

  20. Relation of Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure from Environmental Sources to Childhood IQ

    PubMed Central

    Muckle, Gina; Ayotte, Pierre; Dewailly, Éric

    2015-01-01

    Background Although prenatal methylmercury exposure has been linked to poorer intellectual function in several studies, data from two major prospective, longitudinal studies yielded contradictory results. Associations with cognitive deficits were reported in a Faroe Islands cohort, but few were found in a study in the Seychelles Islands. It has been suggested that co-exposure to another contaminant, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), may be responsible for the positive findings in the former study and that co-exposure to nutrients in methylmercury-contaminated fish may have obscured and/or protected against adverse effects in the latter. Objectives We aimed to determine the degree to which co-exposure to PCBs may account for the adverse effects of methylmercury and the degree to which co-exposure to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may obscure these effects in a sample of Inuit children in Arctic Québec. Methods IQ was estimated in 282 school-age children from whom umbilical cord blood samples had been obtained and analyzed for mercury and other environmental exposures. Results Prenatal mercury exposure was related to poorer estimated IQ after adjustment for potential confounding variables. The entry of DHA into the model significantly strengthened the association with mercury, supporting the hypothesis that beneficial effects from DHA intake can obscure adverse effects of mercury exposure. Children with cord mercury ≥ 7.5 μg/L were four times as likely to have an IQ score < 80, the clinical cut-off for borderline intellectual disability. Co-exposure to PCBs did not alter the association of mercury with IQ. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to document an association of prenatal mercury exposure with poorer performance on a school-age assessment of IQ, a measure whose relevance for occupational success in adulthood is well established. This association was seen at levels in the range within which many U.S. children of Asian-American background are

  1. Exposure to methylmercury in utero: effects on biochemical development of catecholamine neurotransmitter systems

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolome, J.; Whitmore, W.L.; Seidler, F.J.; Slotkin, T.A.

    1984-08-06

    Administration of methylmercury to pregnant rats resulted in major alterations in synaptic dynamics of brain dopamine systems in the offspring which were prominent even at doses of the organomercurial which did not produce acute toxicity, fetal or neonatal death, low birth weight or reduced litter sizes. The abnormalities were typified by shortfalls in both the levels and turnover rate of the transmitter in vivo, accompanied by elevations in synaptic uptake as assessed in synaptosomal preparations in vitro. These effects were not apparent in the immediate postnatal period but instead showed a delayed onset beginning at about the time of weaning. Methylmercury exposure displayed selectivity in that central noradrenergic systems showed only the synaptic uptake alterations without changes in transmitter levels or turnover; targeted interactions were also apparent in peripheral sympathetic pathways to the heart and kidney. The threshold dose required to elicit damage to biochemical development of neurotransmitter systems was the same as that to alter more generalized cellular development, as assessed through measurements of brain ornithine decarboxylase activity. These studies indicate that neurochemical damage produced by prenatal exposure of the developing organism to methylmercury involves transmitter-selective alterations in synaptic dynamics and function which may contribute to adverse hehavioral outcomes; the underlying mechanisms, however, do not necessarily reflect actions of the organomercurial which are primary or specific to these particular neutronal tissues.

  2. Cognitive deficits at age 22 years associated with prenatal exposure to methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pal; Grandjean, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to mercury has been associated with adverse effects on child neurodevelopment. The present study aims to determine the extent to which methylmercury-associated cognitive deficits persist into adult age. In a Faroese birth cohort originally formed in 1986–1987 (N=1,022), prenatal methylmercury exposure was assessed in terms of the mercury concentration in cord blood and maternal hair. Clinical examinations of 847 cohort members at age 22 years were carried out in 2008–2009 using a panel of neuropsychological tests that reflected major functional domains. Subjects with neurological and psychiatric diagnoses were excluded from the data analysis, thus leaving 814 subjects. Multiple regression analysis included covariates previously identified for adjustment. Deficits in Boston Naming Test and other tests of verbal performance were significantly associated with the cord-blood mercury concentration. Deficits were also present in all other tests applied, although most were not statistically significant. Structural equation models were developed to ascertain the possible differences in vulnerability of specific functional domains and the overall association with general intelligence. In models for individual domains, all of them showed negative associations, with crystallized intelligence being highly significant. A hierarchical model for general intelligence based on all domains again showed a highly significant negative association with the exposure, with an approximate deficit that corresponds to about 2.2 IQ points at a 10-fold increased prenatal methylmercury exposure. Thus, although the cognitive deficits observed were smaller than at examinations at younger ages, maternal seafood diets were associated with adverse effects in this birth cohort at age 22 years. The deficits affected major domains of brain functions as well as general intelligence. Thus, prenatal exposure to this marine contaminant appears to cause permanent adverse effects on

  3. Effects of breast feeding on neuropsychological development in a community with methylmercury exposure from seafood.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Tina Kold; Grandjean, Philippe; Jørgensen, Esben Budtz; White, Roberta F; Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pál

    2005-09-01

    Breastfeeding has been associated with an advantage to infant neurobehavioral development, possibly in part due to essential nutrients in breast milk. However, breast milk may be contaminated by environmental neurotoxicants, such as methylmercury. In the Faroe Islands, where maternal consumption of pilot whale may cause transfer of marine toxicants into breast milk, a cohort of 1022 consecutive singleton births was generated during 1986-87. Methylmercury exposure was assessed from mercury concentrations in cord blood and in the hair of the child at age 12 months, and the duration of breastfeeding was recorded. At approximately 7 years of age, 917 (90%) of the children underwent detailed neurobehavioral examination. After adjustment for confounders, breastfeeding was associated with only marginally better neuropsychological performance on most tests. These associations were robust even after adjustment for cord-blood and hair mercury concentration at age 1 year. Thus, in this cohort of children with a relatively high prenatal toxicant exposure and potential exposure to neurotoxicants through breast milk, breastfeeding was associated with less benefits on neurobehavioral development than previously published studies though not associated with a deficit in neuropsychological performance at age 7. Although the advantage may be less, Faroese women can still safely breastfeed their children.

  4. Maternal methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion and offspring neurodevelopment: A prospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Rothenberg, Sarah E; Yu, Xiaodan; Liu, Jihong; Biasini, Fred J; Hong, Chuan; Jiang, Xu; Nong, Yanfen; Cheng, Yue; Korrick, Susan A

    2016-11-01

    Dietary methylmercury intake can occur not only through fish ingestion but also through rice ingestion; however, rice does not contain the same beneficial micronutrients as fish. In rural China, where rice is a staple food, associations between prenatal methylmercury exposure (assessed using maternal hair mercury) and impacts on offspring neurodevelopment were investigated. A total of 398 mothers were recruited at parturition at which time a sample of scalp hair was collected. Offspring (n=270, 68%) were assessed at 12 months using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, yielding age-adjusted scores for the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI). Among 270 mothers, 85% ingested rice daily, 41% never or rarely ingested fish/shellfish and 11% ingested fish/shellfish at least twice/weekly. Maternal hair mercury averaged 0.41μg/g (median: 0.39μg/g, range: 0.079-1.7μg/g). In unadjusted models, offspring neurodevelopment (both MDI and PDI) was inversely correlated with hair mercury. Associations were strengthened after adjustment for fish/shellfish ingestion, rice ingestion, total energy intake (kcal), and maternal/offspring characteristics for both the MDI [Beta: -4.9, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): -9.7, -0.12] and the PDI (Beta: -2.7, 95% CI: -8.3, 2.9), although confidence intervals remained wide for the latter. For 12-month old offspring living in rural China, prenatal methylmercury exposure was associated with statistically significant decrements in offspring cognition, but not psychomotor development. Results expose potential new vulnerabilities for communities depending on rice as a staple food. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Short-term effect of severe exposure to methylmercury on atherosclerotic heart disease and hypertension mortality in Minamata.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Sachiko; Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide; Doi, Hiroyuki

    2012-02-15

    Recent studies suggest potential adverse effects of methylmercury exposure on myocardial infarction and hypertension, although the evidence is still limited. We thus evaluated this association using age-standardized mortality ratios (ASMRs) in Minamata, where severe methylmercury poisoning had occurred. We obtained mortality data from annual vital statistics and demographic statistics from census. We then compared mortality of atherosclerotic heart disease including degenerative heart disease and hypertension in Minamata-city with those in Kumamoto Prefecture, which includes Minamata city, as a control. We estimated ASMRs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) during the period from 1953 to 1970. ASMRs of atherosclerotic heart disease were continuously decreased during the period from 1953 to 1967. In contrast, the ASMR of hypertension was significantly elevated during the period from 1963 to 1967 (SMR=1.38, CI; 1.06-1.80); but they decreased later. Although dilution is present in this ecological study, our study supports the notion that methylmercury exposure induces hypertension.

  6. Effects of early life exposure to methylmercury in Daphnia pulex on standard and reduced food ration

    PubMed Central

    Doke, Dzigbodi A.; Hudson, Sherri L.; Dawson, John A.; Gohlke, Julia M.

    2015-01-01

    As a well-known eco-toxicological model organism, Daphnia pulex may also offer advantages in human health research for assessing long-term effects of early life exposures to coupled stressors. Here, we examine consequences of early life exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) under standard and reduced food ration. We exposed Daphnia for 24 h in early life to varying concentrations of methylmercury(II) chloride (0, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 ng/L) and thereafter kept Daphnia on either a standard or a reduced food ration. The data suggests an additive effect of MeHg concentration and food ration on decreasing lifespan, although MeHg concentration does not affect survival linearly. Food ration and MeHg concentration were predictive of reduced reproduction, and there is some evidence of an interaction (p = 0.048). Multi-stressor work in alternative model systems may be useful for prioritizing research, taking into account potential antagonistic, additive or synergistic effects that nutritional status may have on chemical toxicity. PMID:25263226

  7. Neurodevelopmental effects of maternal nutritional status and exposure to methylmercury from eating fish during pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Philip W; Strain, J J; Myers, Gary J; Thurston, Sally W; Bonham, Maxine P; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Stokes-Riner, Abbie; Wallace, Julie M W; Robson, Paula J; Duffy, Emeir M; Georger, Lesley A; Sloane-Reeves, Jean; Cernichiari, Elsa; Canfield, Richard L; Cox, Christopher; Huang, Li Shan; Janciuras, Joanne; Clarkson, Thomas W

    2008-09-01

    Fish contain nutrients that promote optimal brain growth and development but also contain methylmercury (MeHg) that can have toxic effects. The present study tested the hypothesis that the intake of selected nutrients in fish or measures of maternal nutritional status may represent important confounders when estimating the effects of prenatal methylmercury exposure on child development. The study took place in the Republic of Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago where fish consumption is high. A longitudinal cohort study design was used. A total of 300 mothers were enrolled early in pregnancy. Nutrients considered to be important for brain development were measured during pregnancy along with prenatal MeHg exposure. The children were evaluated periodically to age 30 months. There were 229 children with complete outcome and covariate data for analysis. The primary endpoint was the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II (BSID-II), administered at 9 and 30 months of age. Combinations of four secondary measures of infant cognition and memory were also given at 5, 9 and 25 months. Cohort mothers consumed an average of 537 g of fish (nine meals containing fish) per week. The average prenatal MeHg exposure was 5.9 ppm in maternal hair. The primary analysis examined the associations between MeHg, maternal nutritional measures and children's scores on the BSID-II and showed an adverse association between MeHg and the mean Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) score at 30 months. Secondary analyses of the association between the PDI and only MeHg alone or nutritional factors alone showed only a borderline significant association between MeHg and the PDI at 30 months and no associations with nutritional factors. One experimental measure at 5 months of age was positively associated with iodine status, but not prenatal MeHg exposure. These findings suggest a possible confounding role of maternal nutrition in studies examining associations between prenatal MeHg exposures and

  8. Expression of VEGF-related proteins in cultured human brain microvascular endothelial cells and pericytes after exposure to methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Hirooka, Takashi; Yamamoto, Chika; Yasutake, Akira; Eto, Komyo; Kaji, Toshiyuki

    2013-01-01

    The localization of neuropathological lesions along deep sulci and fissures is one of the characteristics of a cerebrum damaged by methylmercury. Edematous changes in white matter have been proposed as the cause of the localization of lesions; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying methylmercury-induced edema remain unclear. Since the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) system regulates vascular permeability and can be involved in the progression of edematous changes, we examined the effect of methylmercury on the expression of VEGF-related proteins in cultured human brain microvascular endothelial cells and pericytes. After methylmercury exposure, mRNA and protein levels of VEGF-A in pericytes and placenta growth factor (PlGF) and VEGF-receptor-1/-2 in endothelial cells were elevated. The induction of pericyte VEGF-A expression was independent of hypoxia-inducible factor-α and hypoxia-response element signaling. Taken together, these results suggest that methylmercury activates the VEGF system in brain microvessels in a paracrine fashion. When the activation occurs in narrow areas such as along the deep sulci in the cerebrum, hyperpermeability and subsequent edematous changes would cause a circulatory disturbance and result in neural cell damage. We propose this as a reason for the localization of the neuropathological lesions along the deep sulci and fissures in the cerebral cortex, such as the calcarine fissure, in patients with Minamata disease.

  9. Attempt to assess the inheritable effect of methylmercury toxicity subsequent to prenatal exposure of mice

    SciTech Connect

    Inouye, M.; Kajiwara, Y.

    1988-10-01

    In a previous experiment, the authors treated pregnant mice with 20 mg/kg methylmercuric chloride and observed the growth of their offspring. After the termination of the experiment, three male offspring were mated with ten untreated females. Four fetuses with neural tube defects and two with minor malformations were found among 73 offspring when examined at term. Although it was hoped that this high percentage of malformations might be just a change occurrence, they decided to examine the effect of maternal exposure to methylmercury on the reproduction of the second filial generation (F2). Since many offspring died during the perinatal period in the previous experiment when pregnant mice were treated with 20 mg/kg methylmercuric chloride, dams were given 15 mg/kg of the chemical to obtain a viable first filial generation (F1) in the present experiment. The F1 males were used to determine the potential of methylmercury to produce male-mediated fetal effects, and female littermates were examined for mercury retention.

  10. Re-evaluation of the reference dose for methylmercury and assessment of current exposure levels

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, A.H. )

    1993-06-01

    Methylmercury (Me-Hg) is widely distributed through freshwater and saltwater food chains and human consumption of fish and shellfish has lead to widespread exposure. Both the US EPA Reference Dose (0.3 [mu]g/kg/day) and the FAO/WHO Permissible Tolerable Weekly Intake (3.3 [mu]g/kg/week) are currently based on the prevention of paraesthesia in adult and older children. However, Me-Hg exposure in utero is known to result in a range of developmental neurologic effects including clinical CNS symptoms and delayed onset of walking. Based on a critical review of development toxicity data from human and animal studies, it is concluded that current guidelines for the prevention of paraesthesia are not adequate to address developmental effects. A dose of 0.07 [mu]g/kg/day is suggested as the best estimate of a potential reference dose for developmental effects. Data on nationwide fish consumption rates and Me-Hg levels in fish/seafood weighted by proportion of the catch intended for human consumption are analyzed in a Monte Carlo simulation to derive a probability distribution of background Me-Hg exposure. While various uncertainties in the toxicologic and exposure data limit the precision with which health risk can be estimated, this analysis suggests that at current levels of Me-Hg exposure, a significant fraction of women of childbearing age have exposures above this suggested reference dose.

  11. Effects of methylmercury and alcohol exposure in Drosophila melanogaster: Potential risks in neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Ved; Chauhan, Abha

    2016-06-01

    Extensive evidence suggests the role of oxidative stress in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. In this study, we investigated whether methylmercury (MeHg) and/or alcohol exposure has deleterious effects in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). A diet containing different concentrations of MeHg in Drosophila induced free radical generation and increased lipid peroxidation (markers of oxidative stress) in a dose-dependent manner. This effect of MeHg on oxidative stress was enhanced by further exposure to alcohol. It was observed that alcohol alone could also induce free radical generation in flies. After alcohol exposure, MeHg did not affect the immobilization of flies, but it increased the recovery time in a concentration-dependent manner. MeHg significantly inhibited the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in a dose-dependent manner. Linear regression analysis showed a significant negative correlation between ADH activity and recovery time upon alcohol exposure in the flies fed a diet with MeHg. This relationship between ADH activity and recovery time after alcohol exposure was confirmed by adding 4-methyl pyrazole (an inhibitor of ADH) to the diet for the flies. These results suggest that consumption of alcohol by pregnant mothers who are exposed to MeHg may lead to increased oxidative stress and to increased length of time for alcohol clearance, which may have a direct impact on the development of the fetus, thereby increasing the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  12. Early-life exposure to methylmercury in wildtype and pdr-1/parkin knockout C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Finley, Ebany J.; Chakraborty, Sudipta; Slaughter, James C.; Aschner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    We examined the impact of early-life exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) on Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) pdr-1 mutants, addressing gene-environment interactions. We tested the hypothesis that early-life exposure to MeHg and knockout (KO) of pdr-1 (mammalian: parkin/PARK2) exacerbates MeHg toxicity and damage to the dopaminergic (DAergic) system. pdr-1KO worms showed increased lethality and decreased lifespan following MeHg exposure. Mercury (Hg) content, measured with Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) was increased in pdr-1KO worms compared to wildtype (N2) controls. 2′7′ dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCF-DA) assay revealed a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) in both strains following MeHg exposure; however, while N2 worms showed an increase in skn-1 transcript levels following MeHg exposure, there was no difference in skn-1 induction in pdr-1KO worms. Dopamine-dependent behavioral analysis revealed an effect of MeHg on N2 wildtype worms, but no effect on pdr-1KO worms. Taken together, these results suggest that pdr-1KO worms are more sensitive to MeHg than wildtype worms, but MeHg does not exacerbate behavioral changes related to the absence of pdr-1. PMID:23609499

  13. The effect of a low iron diet and early life methylmercury exposure in Daphnia pulex.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Sherri L; Doke, Dzigbodi A; Gohlke, Julia M

    2016-03-01

    Iron (Fe) deficiency increases risk for adverse health outcomes in humans; however little is known about the potential interaction with methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. Studies testing multiple stressor hypotheses are expensive and time consuming in mammalian model systems; therefore, determining relevance of alternative models is important. Daphnia pulex were fed standard or low-Fe diets of freshwater algae, Ankistrodesmus falcatus. MeHgCl (1600 ng/L) or vehicle was added to culture media for 24 h during early life, and the combinatorial effects of a low-Fe diet and MeHg exposure on lifespan, maturation time, and reproduction were evaluated. Lipid storage effects were measured using image analysis of Oil Red O staining and triacylglyceride quantification. Our results show a dose-dependent reduction in lifespan in D. pulex fed low Fe diets. Lipid analysis suggests an interactive effect of diet and MeHg exposure, with MeHg exposure increasing lipid storage in D. pulex fed a low-Fe diet. These findings suggest the effects of dietary iron intake and early life MeHg exposure in D. pulex may be mediated by changes in energetics that result in differential lipid storage. Therefore, lipid storage in D. pulex may be a useful screen for detecting long-term effects of multiple stressors early in life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The effect of a low iron diet and early life methylmercury exposure in Daphnia pulex

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Sherri L.; Doke, Dzigbodi A.; Gohlke, Julia M.

    2016-01-01

    Iron (Fe) deficiency increases risk for adverse health outcomes in humans; however little is known about the potential interaction with methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. Studies testing multiple stressor hypotheses are expensive and time consuming in mammalian model systems; therefore, determining relevance of alternative models is important. Daphnia pulex were fed standard or low-Fe diets of freshwater algae, Ankistrodesmus falcatus. MeHgCl (1600 ng/L) or vehicle was added to culture media for 24 h during early life, and the combinatorial effects of a low-Fe diet and MeHg exposure on lifespan, maturation time, and reproduction were evaluated. Lipid storage effects were measured using image analysis of Oil Red O staining and triacylglyceride quantification. Our results show a dose-dependent reduction in lifespan in D. pulex fed low Fe diets. Lipid analysis suggests an interactive effect of diet and MeHg exposure, with MeHg exposure increasing lipid storage in D. pulex fed a low-Fe diet. These findings suggest the effects of dietary iron intake and early life MeHg exposure in D. pulex may be mediated by changes in energetics that result in differential lipid storage. Therefore, lipid storage in D. pulex may be a useful screen for detecting long-term effects of multiple stressors early in life. PMID:26806633

  15. Effects of methylmercury exposure on the immune function of juvenile common loons (Gavia immer)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenow, K.P.; Grasman, K.A.; Hines, R.K.; Meyer, M.W.; Gendron-Fitzpatrick, A.; Spalding, M.G.; Gray, B.R.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted a dose-response laboratory study to quantify the level of exposure to dietary Hg, delivered as methylmercury chloride (CH3HgCl), that is associated with suppressed immune function in captive-reared common loon (Gavia immer) chicks. We used the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin test to assess T-lymphocyte function and the sheep red blood cell (SRBC) hemagglutination test to measure antibody-mediated immunity. The PHA stimulation index among chicks receiving dietary Hg treatment did not differ significantly from those of chicks on the control diet (p = 0.15). Total antibody (immunoglobulin [Ig] M [primary antibody] + IgG [secondary response]) production to the SRBC antigen in chicks treated with dietary methylmercury (MeHg), however, was suppressed (p = 0.04) relative to chicks on control diets. Analysis indicated suppression of total Ig production (p = 0.025 with comparisonwise ?? level = 0.017) between control and 0.4 ??g Hg/g wet food intake treatment groups. Furthermore, the control group exhibited a higher degree of variability in antibody response compared to the Hg groups, suggesting that in addition to reducing the mean response, Hg treatment reduced the normal variation attributable to other biological factors. We observed bursal lymphoid depletion in chicks receiving the 1.2 ??g Hg/g treatment (p = 0.017) and a marginally significant effect (p = 0.025) in chicks receiving the 0.4 ??g Hg/g diet. These findings suggest that common loon chick immune systems may be compromised at an ecologically relevant dietary exposure concentration (0.4 ??g Hg/g wet wt food intake). We also found that chicks hatched from eggs collected from low-pH lakes exhibited higher levels of lymphoid depletion in bursa tissue relative to chicks hatched from eggs collected from neutral-pH lakes. ?? 2007 SETAC.

  16. Economic evaluation of health consequences of prenatal methylmercury exposure in France

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Evidence of a dose–response relationship between prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) and neurodevelopmental consequences in terms of IQ reduction, makes it possible to evaluate the economic consequences of MeHg exposures. Objective To perform an economic evaluation of annual national benefits of reduction of the prenatal MeHg exposure in France. Methods We used data on hair-Hg concentrations in French women of childbearing age (18–45 years) from a national sample of 126 women and from two studies conducted in coastal regions (n = 161and n = 503). A linear dose response function with a slope of 0.465 IQ point reduction per μg/g increase in hair-Hg concentration was used, along with a log transformation of the exposure scale, where a doubling of exposure was associated with a loss of 1.5 IQ points. The costs calculations utilized an updated estimate of €2008 17,363 per IQ point decrement, with three hypothetical exposure cut-off points (hair-Hg of 0.58, 1.0, and 2.5 μg/g). Results Because of higher exposure levels of women in coastal communities, the annual economic impacts based on these data were greater than those using the national data, i.e. € 1.62 billion (national), and € 3.02 billion and € 2.51 billion (regional), respectively, with the linear model, and € 5.46 billion (national), and € 9.13 billion and € 8.17 billion (regional), with the log model, for exposures above 0.58 μg/g. Conclusions These results emphasize that efforts to reduce MeHg exposures would have high social benefits by preventing the serious and lifelong consequences of neurodevelopmental deficits in children. PMID:22883022

  17. [Usefulness of umbilical cord mercury concentrations as biomarkers of fetal exposure to methylmercury].

    PubMed

    Murata, Katsuyuki; Dakeishi, Miwako; Shimada, Miyuki; Satoh, Hiroshi

    2007-09-01

    In epidemiological studies on the health effect of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure, maternal-hair mercury concentration has been used as an exposure biomarker because of its ease of collection and capability to recapture the exposure history. However, artificial hair-waving reduces the mercury concentration and there is little agreement about which part of the hair strand properly represents fetal exposure. We presented an overview of the studies addressing umbilical cord and mercury in PubMed and evaluated the usefulness of umbilical cord mercury concentrations as biomarkers of fetal exposure to MeHg. The mean total mercury (T-Hg) concentration in cord blood was between 0.5 and 35.6microg/l, and the cord blood-to-maternal blood ratio of T-Hg concentrations was estimated to be approximately 1.5. MeHg concentrations in dried cord tissue did not exceed 0.4 microg/g in Japanese populations without particular exposure to MeHg. Dried cord tissue appeared to be better than wet tissue because the definition of wet weight of the umbilical cord is ambiguous. Both cord-blood and cord-tissue mercury concentrations seemed to correlate closely with maternal-hair and maternal-blood ones. Since cord mercury concentrations are a direct exposure biomarker of the fetus and the cord blood-to-maternal blood ratio of mercury differed markedly among mother-child pairs, mercury concentration in cord blood or dried cord tissue should therefore be used in assessing the possible effects of fetal exposure to MeHg on the susceptible brain. Further studies are required to clarify at which period of exposure during gestation the cord mercury concentration represents in relation to mercury concentrations in maternal segmental hair.

  18. GENE EXPRESSION CHANGES IN FEMALE ZEBRAFISH (DANIO RERIO) BRAIN IN RESPONSE TO ACUTE EXPOSURE TO METHYLMERCURY

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Catherine A.; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Martyniuk, Chris; Knoebl, Iris; Pope, Marie; Wright-Osment, Maureen K.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxicant and endocrine disruptor that accumulates in aquatic systems. Previous studies have shown suppression of hormone levels in both male and female fish, suggesting effects on gonadotropin regulation in the brain. The gene expression profile in adult female zebrafish whole brain induced by acute (96 hr) MeHg exposure was investigated. Fish were exposed by injection to 0 or 0.5 μg MeHg/g. Gene expression changes in the brain were examined using a 22,000 feature zebrafish microarray. At a significance level of p<0.01, 79 genes were up-regulated and 76 genes were down-regulated in response to MeHg exposure. Individual genes exhibiting altered expression in response to MeHg exposure implicate effects on glutathione metabolism in the mechanism of MeHg neurotoxicity. Gene ontology (GO) terms significantly enriched among altered genes included protein folding, cell redox homeostasis, and steroid biosynthetic process. The most affected biological functions were related to the nervous system development and function, as well as lipid metabolism and molecular transport. These results support the involvement of oxidative stress and effects on protein structure in the mechanism of action of MeHg in the female brain. Future studies will compare the gene expression profile induced in response to MeHg with that induced by other toxicants and investigate responsive genes as potential biomarkers of MeHg exposure. PMID:21082716

  19. Gene expression changes in female zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain in response to acute exposure to methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richter, Catherine A.; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Martyniuk, Chris; Knoebl, Iris; Pope, Marie; Wright-Osment, Maureen K.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxicant and endocrine disruptor that accumulates in aquatic systems. Previous studies have shown suppression of hormone levels in both male and female fish, suggesting effects on gonadotropin regulation in the brain. The gene expression profile in adult female zebrafish whole brain induced by acute (96 h) MeHg exposure was investigated. Fish were exposed by injection to 0 or 0.5(mu or u)g MeHg/g. Gene expression changes in the brain were examined using a 22,000-feature zebrafish microarray. At a significance level of pexposure. Individual genes exhibiting altered expression in response to MeHg exposure implicate effects on glutathione metabolism in the mechanism of MeHg neurotoxicity. Gene ontology (GO) terms significantly enriched among altered genes included protein folding, cell redox homeostasis, and steroid biosynthetic process. The most affected biological functions were related to nervous system development and function, as well as lipid metabolism and molecular transport. These results support the involvement of oxidative stress and effects on protein structure in the mechanism of action of MeHg in the female brain. Future studies will compare the gene expression profile induced in response to MeHg with that induced by other toxicants and will investigate responsive genes as potential biomarkers of MeHg exposure.

  20. Effects of Gestational Exposure to Methylmercury and Dietary Selenium on Reinforcement Efficacy in Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Miranda N.; Banna, Kelly M.; Donlin, Wendy D.; Newland, M. Christopher

    2008-01-01

    It has recently been demonstrated that developmental exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) is associated with perseveration on operant tasks. An understanding of the behavioral mechanisms underlying this phenomenon may improve human testing of MeHg exposures and could provide insight into clinical syndromes that include perseveration as a component. One possible mechanism is that MeHg-induced enhancement of reinforcer efficacy produces a “reinforcement trap” that inhibits change in novel situations. Rats were exposed gestationally to 0, 0.5 or 5 ppm mercury (Hg) as MeHg via maternal drinking water. They also received a diet during gestation and throughout life that was marginal (0.06 ppm) or rich (0.6 ppm) in selenium (Se), a nutrient believed to protect against MeHg's toxicity. Reinforcer efficacy was evaluated using a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement during adulthood. Maximum ratio obtained (MRO) was determined using 20 or 60 mg sucrose pellets and with ratio requirements that increased at 5% or 20% per reinforcer. MRO was related to the rate at which the ratio increased, reinforcer magnitude, sex, and exposure regimen; MRO was increased for the 0.6 ppm Se, 5 ppm Hg group. This extends an earlier observation that developmental MeHg exposure enhances reinforcer efficacy, an effect that could be related to reports of perseveration. PMID:18096364

  1. Developmental neurotoxicity: methylmercury and prenatal exposure protection in the context of the Minamata Convention.

    PubMed

    Boischio, Ana

    2015-09-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant of public environmental health concern due to its long-range atmospheric distribution, environmental distribution, and neurotoxic effects. Following biological methylation, methylmercury (MeHg) can be un-evenly bioaccumulated within aquatic food chains. Fish consumption can be a significant route of human exposure to MeHg. MeHg exposure in the prenatal stage, at relatively low levels, has recently been established as harmful during neurological development, potentially leading to intellectual disability. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global agreement, currently under ratification, to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. The resolution regarding the role of the World Health Organization and ministries of health in the implementation of the Convention includes protection of human health from critical exposures to MeHg. Riverside populations living in areas with artisanal small-scale gold mining, and relying heavily on fish consumption, have been identified as the most vulnerable population in terms of MeHg exposure and developmental neurotoxicity. This article focuses on the proper design and dissemination of fish advisories within the context of implementation of the Convention.

  2. Methylmercury exposure and health effects from rice and fish consumption: a review.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle

    2010-06-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in humans is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. The general population is primarily exposed to MeHg through consumption of contaminated fish and marine mammals, but recent studies have reported high levels of MeHg in rice and confirmed that in China the main human exposure to MeHg is related to frequent rice consumption in mercury (Hg) polluted areas. This article reviews the progress in the research on MeHg accumulation in rice, human exposure and health effects, and nutrient and co-contaminant interactions. Compared with fish, rice is of poor nutritional quality and lacks specific micronutrients identified as having health benefits (e.g., n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, selenium, essential amino acids). The effects of these nutrients on the toxicity of MeHg should be better addressed in future epidemiologic and clinical studies. More emphasis should be given to assessing the health effects of low level MeHg exposure in the long term, with appropriate recommendations, as needed, to reduce MeHg exposure in the rice-eating population.

  3. Methylmercury Exposure and Health Effects from Rice and Fish Consumption: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in humans is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. The general population is primarily exposed to MeHg through consumption of contaminated fish and marine mammals, but recent studies have reported high levels of MeHg in rice and confirmed that in China the main human exposure to MeHg is related to frequent rice consumption in mercury (Hg) polluted areas. This article reviews the progress in the research on MeHg accumulation in rice, human exposure and health effects, and nutrient and co-contaminant interactions. Compared with fish, rice is of poor nutritional quality and lacks specific micronutrients identified as having health benefits (e.g., n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, selenium, essential amino acids). The effects of these nutrients on the toxicity of MeHg should be better addressed in future epidemiologic and clinical studies. More emphasis should be given to assessing the health effects of low level MeHg exposure in the long term, with appropriate recommendations, as needed, to reduce MeHg exposure in the rice-eating population. PMID:20644695

  4. Neurodevelopmental Effects of Maternal Nutritional Status and Exposure to Methylmercury from Eating Fish during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Philip W.; Strain, J.J.; Myers, Gary J.; Thurston, Sally W.; Bonham, Maxine P.; Shamlaye, Conrad F.; Stokes-Riner, Abbie; Wallace, Julie M.W.; Robson, Paula J.; Duffy, Emeir M.; Georger, Lesley A.; Sloane-Reeves, Jean; Cernichiari, Elsa; Canfield, Richard L.; Cox, Christopher; Huang, Li Shan; Janciuras, Joanne; Clarkson, Thomas W.

    2008-01-01

    Fish contain nutrients that promote optimal brain growth and development but also contain methylmercury (MeHg) that can have toxic effects. The present study tested the hypothesis that the intake of selected nutrients in fish or measures of maternal nutritional status may represent important confounders when estimating the effects of prenatal methylmercury exposure on child development. The study took place in the Republic of Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago where fish consumption is high. A longitudinal cohort study design was used. A total of 300 mothers were enrolled early in pregnancy. Nutrients considered to be important for brain development were measured during pregnancy along with prenatal MeHg exposure. The children were evaluated periodically to age 30 months. There were 229 children with complete outcome and covariate data for analysis. The primary endpoint was the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II (BSID-II), administered at 9 and 30 months of age. Combinations of four secondary measures of infant cognition and memory were also given at 5, 9 and 25 months. Cohort mothers consumed an average of 537 gm of fish (9 meals containing fish) per week. The average prenatal MeHg exposure was 5.9 ppm in maternal hair. The primary analysis examined the associations between MeHg, maternal nutritional measures and children’s scores on the BSID-II and showed an adverse association between MeHg and the mean Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) score at 30 months. Secondary analyses of the association between the PDI and only MeHg alone or nutritional factors alone showed only a borderline significant association between MeHg and the PDI at 30 months and no associations with nutritional factors. One experimental measure at 5 months of age was positively associated with iodine status, but not prenatal MeHg exposure. These findings suggest a possible confounding role of maternal nutrition in studies examining associations between prenatal MeHg exposures and

  5. METHYLMERCURY AND NUTRITION: ADULT EFFECTS OF FETAL EXPOSURE IN EXPERIMENTAL MODELS

    PubMed Central

    Paletz, Elliott M.; Reed, Miranda N.

    2008-01-01

    Human exposure to the life-span developmental neurotoxicant, methylmercury (MeHg), is primarily via the consumption of fish or marine mammals. Fish are also excellent sources of important nutrients, including selenium and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Laboratory models of developmental MeHg exposure can be employed to assess the roles of nutrients and MeHg and to identify potential mechanisms of action if the appropriate exposure measures are used. In describing chronic exposures, relationships between daily intake and brain mercury are consistent and orderly across species, even when large differences in blood:brain ratios exist. It is well-established that low level developmental MeHg produces sensory deficits. Recent studies also show that perseveration in reversal-learning tasks occurs after gestational exposures that produce low micromolar concentrations in the brain. A no-effect level has not been identified for this effect. These exposures do not affect the acquisition or performance of discrimination learning, set shifting (extra-dimensional shift), or memory. Reversal learning deficits may be related to enhanced impact of reinforcers as measured using progressive ratio reinforcement schedules, an effect that could result in perseveration. Also reported is enhanced sensitivity to dopamine reuptake inhibitors and diminished sensitivity to pentobarbital, a GABAA agonist. Diets rich in PUFAs or selenium do not protect against MeHg's effects on reversal learning but, by themselves, may diminish variability in performance, enhance attention or psychomotor function and may confer some protection against age-related deficits in these areas. It is hypothesized that altered reward processing, dopamine and GABAergic neurotransmitter systems, and cortical regions associated with choice and perseveration are especially sensitive to developmental MeHg at low exposure levels. Human testing for MeHg's neurotoxicity should

  6. Dietary exposure of Hong Kong secondary school students to total mercury and methylmercury from fish intake.

    PubMed

    Tang, Anna Shiu Ping; Kwong, Ka Ping; Chung, Stephen Wai Cheung; Ho, Yuk Yin; Xiao, Ying

    2009-01-01

    Fish is the main source of dietary exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), which is a public health concern owing to its potential neurotoxicity. To evaluate the public health risk, this study estimated the total mercury (tHg) and MeHg exposure from fish intake in Hong Kong secondary school students. Median tHg and MeHg concentrations of 280 samples purchased from different commercial outlets (covering 89 species of whole fish and three types of canned tuna), together with the local food consumption data of secondary school students obtained by semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire in 2000, were used to estimate dietary exposure from fish intake for the average and high consumer (95th percentile exposure). For tHg, the median concentration was 63 µg kg(-1) (range 3-1370 µg kg(-1)) and estimated exposures ranged 0.5-0.6 µg kg(-1) body weight (bw) week(-1) for an average consumer and 1.6-1.9 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for a high consumer. For MeHg, median concentration was 48 µg kg(-1) (range 3-1010 µg kg(-1)) and estimated dietary exposures were 0.4-0.5 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for an average consumer and 1.2-1.4 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for a high consumer. These values are below the respective provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) established by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The health risk is greater for high consumers since MeHg exposures may approach or exceed the PTWI when other dietary sources are taken into account.

  7. Developmental Methylmercury Exposure Affects Swimming Behavior and Foraging Efficiency of Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) Larvae.

    PubMed

    Mora-Zamorano, Francisco X; Klingler, Rebekah; Basu, Niladri; Head, Jessica; Murphy, Cheryl A; Binkowski, Frederick P; Larson, Jeremy K; Carvan, Michael J

    2017-08-31

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a pervasive and ubiquitous environmental neurotoxicant within aquatic ecosystems, known to alter behavior in fish and other vertebrates. This study sought to assess the behavioral effects of developmental MeHg exposure on larval yellow perch (Perca flavescens)-a nonmodel fish species native to the Great Lakes. Embryos were exposed to MeHg (0, 30, 100, 300, and 1000 nM) for 20 h and then reared to 25 days post fertilization (dpf) for analyses of spontaneous swimming, visual motor response (VMR), and foraging efficiency. MeHg exposures rendered total mercury (THg) body burdens of 0.02, 0.21, 0.95, 3.14, and 14.93 μg/g (wet weight). Organisms exposed to 1000 nM exhibited high mortality; thus, they were excluded from downstream behavioral analyses. All MeHg exposures tested were associated with a reduction in spontaneous swimming at 17 and 25 dpf. Exposure to 30 and 100 nM MeHg caused altered locomotor output during the VMR assay at 21 dpf, whereas exposure to 100 nM MeHg was associated with decreased foraging efficiency at 25 dpf. For the sake of comparison, the second-lowest exposure tested here rendered a THg burden that represents the permissible level of consumable fish in the United States. Moreover, this dose is reported in roughly two-thirds of consumable fish species monitored in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Although the THg body burdens reported here were higher than expected in the environment, our study is the first to analyze the effects of MeHg exposure on fundamental survival behaviors of yellow perch larvae and advances in the exploration of the ecological relevance of behavioral end points.

  8. Methylmercury and nutrition: adult effects of fetal exposure in experimental models.

    PubMed

    Newland, M Christopher; Paletz, Elliott M; Reed, Miranda N

    2008-09-01

    Human exposure to the life-span developmental neurotoxicant, methylmercury (MeHg), is primarily via the consumption of fish or marine mammals. Fish are also excellent sources of important nutrients, including selenium and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Laboratory models of developmental MeHg exposure can be employed to assess the roles of nutrients and MeHg and to identify potential mechanisms of action if the appropriate exposure measures are used. When maternal exposure is protracted, relationships between daily intake and brain mercury are consistent and orderly across species, even when large differences in blood:brain ratios exist. It is well established that low-level developmental MeHg produces sensory deficits. Recent studies also show that perseveration in reversal-learning tasks occurs after gestational exposures that produce low micromolar concentrations in the brain. A no-effect level has not been identified for this effect. These exposures do not affect the acquisition or performance of discrimination learning, set shifting (extradimensional shift), or memory. Reversal-learning deficits may be related to enhanced impact of reinforcers as measured using progressive ratio reinforcement schedules, an effect that could result in perseveration. Also reported is enhanced sensitivity to dopamine reuptake inhibitors and diminished sensitivity to pentobarbital, a GABA(A) agonist. Diets rich in PUFAs or selenium do not protect against MeHg's effects on reversal learning but, by themselves, may diminish variability in performance, enhance attention or psychomotor function and may confer some protection against age-related deficits in these areas. It is hypothesized that altered reward processing, dopamine and GABAergic neurotransmitter systems, and cortical regions associated with choice and perseveration are especially sensitive to developmental MeHg at low exposure levels. Human testing for MeHg's neurotoxicity

  9. National estimation of seafood consumption in Mexico: Implications for exposure to methylmercury and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Cantoral, Alejandra; Batis, Carolina; Basu, Niladri

    2017-05-01

    Seafood is a good source of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFA) but also contains the toxic contaminant methylmercury (MeHg). National estimates of exposure to both compounds through seafood intake in Mexico are not known. The objective of the current study was to describe national seafood consumption habits and to estimate seafood-based exposure to ω3-PUFAs and MeHg. We analyzed data from a 24-h dietary recall extracted from the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey of Mexico (n = 10,096 subjects aged 1y and older). National per capita seafood intake as well as information on age, sex, socioeconomic status, and geographic region was obtained. The contribution of each seafood item to the total MeHg exposure was estimated, as was the balance between estimated exposures to ω3-PUFAs and MeHg. A mean daily seafood intake of 10 g/day was estimated. The top species consumed in decreasing order were: canned tuna, sunfish, shrimp, mullet, carp and schoolshark (constituted 60% of seafood intake). Canned tuna and schoolshark contributed 75% of the population's estimated exposure to MeHg. The best balance of population-level exposures to ω3-PUFAs and MeHg was found in salmon, sardine, trout and anchovies. Environmental dietary exposure to MeHg is a public health concern and thus a good understanding of seafood consumption is needed to create national consumption guidelines. The current study provides nationally-representative data in Mexico from which decisions can be made (e.g., UN Minamata Convention) and future studies conducted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Developmental Methylmercury Exposure Affects Swimming Behavior and Foraging Efficiency of Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) Larvae

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a pervasive and ubiquitous environmental neurotoxicant within aquatic ecosystems, known to alter behavior in fish and other vertebrates. This study sought to assess the behavioral effects of developmental MeHg exposure on larval yellow perch (Perca flavescens)—a nonmodel fish species native to the Great Lakes. Embryos were exposed to MeHg (0, 30, 100, 300, and 1000 nM) for 20 h and then reared to 25 days post fertilization (dpf) for analyses of spontaneous swimming, visual motor response (VMR), and foraging efficiency. MeHg exposures rendered total mercury (THg) body burdens of 0.02, 0.21, 0.95, 3.14, and 14.93 μg/g (wet weight). Organisms exposed to 1000 nM exhibited high mortality; thus, they were excluded from downstream behavioral analyses. All MeHg exposures tested were associated with a reduction in spontaneous swimming at 17 and 25 dpf. Exposure to 30 and 100 nM MeHg caused altered locomotor output during the VMR assay at 21 dpf, whereas exposure to 100 nM MeHg was associated with decreased foraging efficiency at 25 dpf. For the sake of comparison, the second-lowest exposure tested here rendered a THg burden that represents the permissible level of consumable fish in the United States. Moreover, this dose is reported in roughly two-thirds of consumable fish species monitored in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Although the THg body burdens reported here were higher than expected in the environment, our study is the first to analyze the effects of MeHg exposure on fundamental survival behaviors of yellow perch larvae and advances in the exploration of the ecological relevance of behavioral end points.

  11. Assessment of neuroanatomical and behavioural effects of in ovo methylmercury exposure in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Yu, Maria S; Eng, Margaret L; Williams, Tony D; Guigueno, Mélanie F; Elliott, John E

    2017-01-07

    Methylmercury (MeHg) readily crosses the blood brain barrier and is a known neuro-toxicant. MeHg accumulation in the brain causes histopathological alterations, neurobehavioral changes, and impairments to cognitive motor functions in mammalian models. However, in birds the neurotoxic effects of MeHg on the developing pre-hatching brain and consequent behavioral alterations in adult birds have not received much attention. Moreover, passerine birds are poorly represented in MeHg neurotoxicology studies in comparison to other avian orders. Hence in this study, we used the egg injection method to investigate the long term effects of in ovo MeHg exposure on brain histopathology and courtship behavior in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Egg treatment groups included: a low MeHg dose of 0.2μg Hg g(-1) egg, a high MeHg dose of 3.2μg Hg g(-1) egg, and a vehicle control (water). No adverse effects of in ovo MeHg treatment were detected on courtship song quality or on mating behavior in experimental males at sexually maturity which would suggest that observable neurobehavioral effects of MeHg exposure may depend on the timing of exposure during offspring development. However, neuroanatomical analysis indicated an increase in telencephalon volume with increased MeHg concentrations which may suggest a prolonged inflammatory response in this region of the brain.

  12. Consensus document on the prevention of methylmercury exposure in Spain: Study group for the prevention of Me-Hg exposure in Spain (GEPREM-Hg).

    PubMed

    González-Estecha, Montserrat; Bodas-Pinedo, Andrés; Guillén-Pérez, José Jesús; Rubio-Herrera, Miguel Ángel; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; Herráiz-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Martell-Claros, Nieves; Ordóñez-Iriarte, José M; Sáinz-Martín, María; Farré-Rovira, Rosaura; Martínez-Astorquiza, Txantón; García-Donaire, José Antonio; Calvo-Manuel, Elpidio; Bretón-Lesmes, Irene; Prieto-Menchero, Santiago; Llorente-Ballesteros, M Teresa; Martínez-García, M José; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Bermejo-Barrera, Pilar; Cuadrado-Cenzual, M Ángeles; Gallardo-Pino, Carmen; Fuentes, María Blanco; Torres-Moreno, Miriam; Trasobares-Iglesias, Elena M; Martín, Bernardino Barceló; Arroyo-Fernández, Manuel; Calle-Pascual, Alfonso

    2015-10-01

    The beneficial effects of fish consumption in both children and adults are well known. However, the intake of methylmercury, mainly from contaminated fish and shellfish, can have adverse health effects. The study group on the prevention of exposure to methylmercury (GEPREM-Hg), made up of representatives from different Spanish scientific societies, has prepared a consensus document in a question and answer format, containing the group's main conclusions, recommendations and proposals. The objective of the document is to provide broader knowledge of factors associated with methylmercury exposure, its possible effects on health amongst the Spanish population, methods of analysis, interpretation of the results and economic costs, and to then set recommendations for fish and shellfish consumption. The group sees the merit of all initiatives aimed at reducing or prohibiting the use of mercury as well as the need to be aware of the results of contaminant analyses performed on fish and shellfish marketed in Spain. In addition, the group believes that biomonitoring systems should be set up in order to follow the evolution of methylmercury exposure in children and adults and perform studies designed to learn more about the possible health effects of concentrations found in the Spanish population, taking into account the lifestyle, eating patterns and the Mediterranean diet.

  13. Public health benefits of hair-mercury analysis and dietary advice in lowering methylmercury exposure in pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Line E; Jørgensen, Jan S; Nielsen, Flemming; Grandjean, Philippe

    2017-06-01

    To evaluate whether a public health intervention using focused dietary advice combined with a hair-mercury analysis can lower neurotoxic methylmercury exposure among pregnant women without decreasing their overall intake of seafood. A total of 146 pregnant women were consecutively recruited from the antenatal clinic at a Danish university hospital at their initial ultrasound scan. Dietary advice was provided on avoiding methylmercury exposure from large predatory fish and a hair sample from each participant was analysed for mercury, with the results being communicated shortly thereafter to the women. A dietary questionnaire was filled in. Follow-up three months later included a dietary questionnaire and a repeat hair-mercury analysis. In the follow-up group, 22% of the women had hair-mercury concentrations above a safe limit of 0.58 µg/g at enrolment, decreasing to 8% three months later. Average hair-mercury concentrations decreased by 21%. However, the total seafood intake remained at the same level after three months. Increased exposure to methylmercury among pregnant women is an important public health concern in Denmark. The observed lowering of hair-mercury concentrations associated with dietary advice corresponds to a substantial public health benefit that probably makes such an intervention highly profitable.

  14. Hormetic Effects of Acute Methylmercury Exposure on Grp78 Expression in Rat Brain Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ye; Lu, Rongzhu; Liu, Wenshuai; Wu, Ying; Qian, Hai; Zhao, Xiaowu; Wang, Suhua; Xing, Guangwei; Yu, Feng; Aschner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to explore the expression of GRP78, a marker of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, in the cortex of rat brains acutely exposed to methylmercury (MeHg). Thirty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into six groups, and decapitated 6 hours (h) after intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of MeHg (2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 mg/kg body weight) or normal saline. Protein and mRNA expression of Grp78 were detected by western blotting and real-time PCR, respectively. The results showed that a gradual increase in GRP78 protein expression was observed in the cortex of rats acutely exposed to MeHg (2, 4 or 6 mg/kg). Protein levels peaked in the 6 mg/kg group (p < 0.05 vs. controls), decreased in the 8 mg/kg group, and bottomed below the control level in the 10 mg/kg group. Parallel changes were noted for Grp78 mRNA expression. It may be implied that acute exposure to MeHg induced hormetic dose-dependent changes in Grp78 mRNA and protein expression, suggesting that activation of ER stress is involved in MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. Low level MeHg exposure may induce GRP78 protein expression to stimulate endogenous cytoprotective mechanisms. PMID:23549286

  15. Developmental exposure to methylmercury alters learning and induces depression-like behavior in male mice.

    PubMed

    Onishchenko, Natalia; Tamm, Christoffer; Vahter, Marie; Hökfelt, Tomas; Johnson, Jeffrey A; Johnson, Delinda A; Ceccatelli, Sandra

    2007-06-01

    To investigate the long-term effects of developmental exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), pregnant mice were exposed to at 0.5 mg MeHg/kg/day via drinking water from gestational day 7 until day 7 after delivery. The behavior of offspring was monitored at 5-15 and 26-36 weeks of age using an automated system (IntelliCage) designed for continuous long-term recording of the home cage behavior in social groups and complex analysis of basic activities and learning. In addition, spontaneous locomotion, motor coordination on the accelerating rotarod, spatial learning in Morris water maze, and depression-like behavior in forced swimming test were also studied. The analysis of behavior performed in the IntelliCage without social deprivation occurred to be more sensitive in detecting alterations in activity and learning paradigms. We found normal motor function but decreased exploratory activity in MeHg-exposed male mice, especially at young age. Learning disturbances observed in MeHg-exposed male animals suggest reference memory impairment. Interestingly, the forced swimming test revealed a predisposition to depressive-like behavior in the MeHg-exposed male offspring. This study provides novel evidence that the developmental exposure to MeHg can affect not only cognitive functions but also motivation-driven behaviors.

  16. Assessing exposure risks for freshwater tilapia species posed by mercury and methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yi-Hsien; Lin, Yi-Jun; You, Shu-Han; Yang, Ying-Fei; How, Chun Ming; Tseng, Yi-Ting; Chen, Wei-Yu; Liao, Chung-Min

    2016-08-01

    Waterborne and dietborne exposures of freshwater fish to mercury (Hg) in the forms of inorganic (Hg(II)) and organic (methylmercury or MeHg) affect their growth, development, and reproduction. However, an integrated mechanistic risk model framework to predict the impact of Hg(II)/MeHg on freshwater fish is lacking. Here, we integrated biokinetic, physiological and biogeographic data to calibrate and then establish key risk indices-hazardous quotient and exceedance risk-for freshwater tilapia species across geographic ranges of several major rivers in Taiwan. We found that Hg(II) burden was highest in kidney followed by gill, intestine, liver, blood, and muscle. Our results showed that Hg was less likely to pose mortality risk (mortality rate less than 5 %) for freshwater tilapia species. However, Hg is likely to pose the potential hazard to aquatic environments constrained by safety levels for aquatic organisms. Sensitivity analysis showed that amount of Hg accumulated in tilapia was most influenced by sediment uptake rate. Our approach opens up new possibilities for predicting future fish population health with the impacts of continued Hg exposure to provide information on which fish are deemed safe for human consumption.

  17. A Hypothesis About How Early Developmental Methylmercury Exposure Disrupts Behavior in Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Newland, M. Christopher; Reed, Miranda N.; Rasmussen, Erin

    2015-01-01

    Events that disrupt the early development of the nervous system have lifelong, irreversible behavioral consequences. The environmental contaminant, methylmercury (MeHg), impairs neural development with effects that are manifested well into adulthood and even into aging. Noting the sensitivity of the developing brain to MeHg, the current review advances an argument that one outcome of early MeHg exposure is a distortion in the processing of reinforcing consequences that results in impaired choice, poor inhibition of prepotent responding, and perseveration on discrimination reversals (in the absence of alteration of extradimensional shifts). Neurochemical correlates include increased sensitivity to dopamine agonists and decreased sensitivity to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) agonists. This leads to a hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex or dopamine neurotransmission is especially sensitive to even subtle gestational MeHg exposure and suggests that public health assessments of MeHg based on intellectual performance may underestimate the impact of MeHg in public health. Finally, those interested in modeling neural development may benefit from MeHg as an experimental model. PMID:25795099

  18. The role of gut microbiota in fetal methylmercury exposure: Insights from a pilot study

    DOE PAGES

    Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Keiser, Sharon; Ajami, Nadim J.; ...

    2016-02-01

    The mechanisms by which gut microbiota contribute to methylmercury metabolism remain unclear. Among a cohort of pregnant mothers, the main objectives of our pilot study were to determine 1) associations between gut microbiota and mercury concentrations in biomarkers (stool, hair and cord blood) and 2) the contributions of gut microbial mercury methylation/demethylation to stool methylmercury. Moreover, for pregnant women (36-39 weeks gestation, n=17) donated hair and stool specimens, and cord blood was collected for a subset (n=7). The diversity of gut microbiota was determined using 16S rRNA gene profiling (n=17). For 6 stool samples with highest/lowest methylmercury concentrations, metagenomic wholemore » genome shotgun sequencing was employed to search for one mercury methylation gene (hgcA), and two mer operon genes involved in methylmercury detoxification (merA and merB). There were seventeen bacterial genera that were significantly correlated (increasing or decreasing) with stool methylmercury, stool inorganic mercury, or hair total mercury; however, aside from one genus, there was no overlap between biomarkers. No definitive matches for hgcA or merB, while merA were detected at low concentrations in all six samples. Proportional differences in stool methylmercury were not likely attributed to gut microbiota through methylation/demethylation. Gut microbiota potentially altered methylmercury metabolism using indirect pathways.« less

  19. The role of gut microbiota in fetal methylmercury exposure: Insights from a pilot study

    SciTech Connect

    Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Keiser, Sharon; Ajami, Nadim J.; Wong, Matthew C.; Gesell, Jonathan; Petrosino, Joseph F.; Johs, Alexander

    2016-02-01

    The mechanisms by which gut microbiota contribute to methylmercury metabolism remain unclear. Among a cohort of pregnant mothers, the main objectives of our pilot study were to determine 1) associations between gut microbiota and mercury concentrations in biomarkers (stool, hair and cord blood) and 2) the contributions of gut microbial mercury methylation/demethylation to stool methylmercury. Moreover, for pregnant women (36-39 weeks gestation, n=17) donated hair and stool specimens, and cord blood was collected for a subset (n=7). The diversity of gut microbiota was determined using 16S rRNA gene profiling (n=17). For 6 stool samples with highest/lowest methylmercury concentrations, metagenomic whole genome shotgun sequencing was employed to search for one mercury methylation gene (hgcA), and two mer operon genes involved in methylmercury detoxification (merA and merB). There were seventeen bacterial genera that were significantly correlated (increasing or decreasing) with stool methylmercury, stool inorganic mercury, or hair total mercury; however, aside from one genus, there was no overlap between biomarkers. No definitive matches for hgcA or merB, while merA were detected at low concentrations in all six samples. Proportional differences in stool methylmercury were not likely attributed to gut microbiota through methylation/demethylation. Gut microbiota potentially altered methylmercury metabolism using indirect pathways.

  20. Response inhibition is impaired by developmental methylmercury exposure: Acquisition of low-rate lever-pressing☆

    PubMed Central

    Newland, M. Christopher; Hoffman, Daniel J.; Heath, John C.; Donlin, Wendy D.

    2013-01-01

    Developmental methylmercury (MeHg) exposure produces response perseveration on discrimination reversal procedures, disrupts sensitivity to reinforcement, and enhances sensitivity to dopamine agonists – a profile suggesting a deficit in behavioral inhibition. To examine inhibition, we examined MeHg’s effects on the acquisition and persistence of low-rate lever-pressing following a history of high-rate responding. Additionally, we examined whether chronic exposure to selenium protects against MeHg’s developmental neurotoxicity. Female rats were exposed in utero via maternal exposure to drinking water containing 0 ppm, 0.5 ppm or 5 ppm of Hg as MeHg, producing approximately 0 μg/kg/day, 40 μg/kg/day, or 400 μg/kg/day of Hg. The mothers (during gestation) and the offspring (throughout life) consumed a purified diet containing 0.06 ppm or 0.6 ppm of Se (as sodium selenite), forming a 2 (lifespan diet) × 3 (developmental MeHg) factorial design. Adult offspring lever-pressed under two schedules of reinforcement. A differential reinforcement of high-rate (DRH) schedule imposed rigid response requirements that remained constant through the study. A high-rate percentile schedule (PCNT-H) incorporated a flexible criterion that reinforced short interresponse times using an adjusting criterion that was sensitive to recent performance. After high-rate responding stabilized, the PCNT-H schedule was abruptly inverted by reinforcing long interresponse times. Acquisition of low-rate responding was impaired in the MeHg-exposed rats because of intrusions of high-rate response bursts. DRH response rates did not change. Dietary selenium did not influence MeHg’s effects. High-rate operant behavior perseverated, suggesting that gestational MeHg exposure impairs response inhibition – an effect that extends results previously reported using choice procedures or spatial and visual discrimination reversals. PMID:23721962

  1. Dietary selenium protects against selected signs of aging and methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Heath, John C; Banna, Kelly M; Reed, Miranda N; Pesek, Erin F; Cole, Nathan; Li, Jun; Newland, M Christopher

    2010-03-01

    Acute or short-term exposure to high doses of methylmercury (MeHg) causes a well-characterized syndrome that includes sensory and motor deficits. The environmental threat from MeHg, however, comes from chronic, low-level exposure, the consequences of which are poorly understood. Selenium (Se), an essential nutrient, both increases deposition of mercury (Hg) in neurons and mitigates some of MeHg's neurotoxicity in the short term, but it is unclear whether this deposition produces long-term adverse consequences. To investigate these issues, adult Long-Evans rats were fed a diet containing 0.06 or 0.6 ppm of Se as sodium selenite. After 100 days on these diets, the subjects began consuming 0.0, 0.5, 5.0, or 15 ppm of Hg as methylmercuric chloride in their drinking water for 16 months. Somatosensory sensitivity, grip strength, hindlimb cross (clasping reflex), flexion, and voluntary wheel-running in overnight sessions were among the measures examined. MeHg caused a dose- and time-dependent impairment in all measures. No effects appeared in rats consuming 0 or 0.5 ppm of Hg. Somatosensory function, grip strength, and flexion were among the earliest signs of exposure. Selenium significantly delayed or blunted MeHg's effects. Selenium also increased running in unexposed animals as they aged, a novel finding that may have important clinical implications. Nerve pathology studies revealed axonal atrophy or mild degeneration in peripheral nerve fibers, which is consistent with abnormal sensorimotor function in chronic MeHg neurotoxicity. Lidocaine challenge reproduced the somatosensory deficits but not hindlimb cross or flexion. Together, these results quantify the neurotoxicity of long-term MeHg exposure, support the safety and efficacy of Se in ameliorating MeHg's neurotoxicity, and demonstrate the potential benefits of Se during aging.

  2. Effects of in utero exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, methylmercury, and polyunsaturated fatty acids on birth size.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Chihiro; Sasaki, Seiko; Ikeno, Tamiko; Araki, Atsuko; Ito, Sachiko; Kajiwara, Jumboku; Todaka, Takashi; Hachiya, Noriyuki; Yasutake, Akira; Murata, Katsuyuki; Nakajima, Tamie; Kishi, Reiko

    2015-11-15

    The adverse effects of in utero exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or methylmercury (MeHg), and the beneficial effects of nutrients from maternal fish intake might have opposing influences on fetal growth. In this study, we assessed the effects of in utero exposure to PCBs and MeHg on birth size in the Japanese population, which is known to have a high frequency of fish consumption. The concentrations of PCBs and polyunsaturated fatty acids in maternal blood, and the total mercury in hair (as a biomarker of MeHg exposure) were measured during pregnancy and at delivery. Maternal intakes of fish (subtypes: fatty and lean) and shellfishes were calculated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at delivery. Newborn anthropometric measurement data were obtained from birth records. The associations between chemical exposures and birth size were analyzed by using multiple regression analysis with adjustment for confounding factors among 367 mother-newborn pairs. The birth weight was 3073±37 g (mean±SD). The incidence of babies small for gestational age (SGA) by weight was 4.9%. The median concentrations of total PCBs and hair mercury were 108 ng/g lipid and 1.41 μg/g, respectively. There was no overall association between mercury concentrations and birth weight, birth length, chest circumference, and head circumference. We observed that the risk of SGA by weight decreased with increasing mercury concentration in regression analyses with adjustment for polyunsaturated fatty acids. Our results suggest that the beneficial effect of essential nutrition may mask the adverse effects of MeHg on birth size. The concentrations of PCBs had no association with birth size.

  3. Development of adrenergic receptor binding sites in brain regions of the neonatal rat: effects of prenatal or postnatal exposure to methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolome, J.V.; Kavlock, R.J.; Cowdery, T.; Orband-Miller, L.; Slotkin, T.A.

    1987-01-01

    In order to understand the effects of developmental exposure to methylmercury on the ontogeny of synaptic function, the impact of prenatal or postnatal exposure on acquisition of receptor binding sites for norepinephrine was examined. The actions of the mercurial were both regionally - and receptor subtype-selective and depended upon the maturational profile of each region. Alpha 1 and alpha 2 and Beta-receptor sites in the cerebellum, the region which develops last, were the most vulnerable to methylmercury. In contrast, the same receptor subtypes in the midbrain + brainstem, which develops earliest, were resistant to methylmercury. The cerebal cortex, which matures at a time midway between cerebellum and midbrain + brainstem, also displayed intermediate vulnerability to actions of methylmercury on receptors. Within the cerebellum, prenatal exposure to 1 mg/kg to methylmercury, interfered the most with ontogeny of alpha 1-receptor binding, less so far alpha 2-receptors and least for Beta-receptors. Lower doses of methylmercury tended to increase receptor binding for all subtypes, a fact which may contribute to promotion of neurological development seen in animals exposed to those levels.

  4. Differential acclimation of a marine diatom to inorganic mercury and methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yun; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2013-08-15

    Aquatic organisms originating from metal polluted water may exhibit differences in their sensitivity to metals, but the underlying physiological mechanisms resulting in such responses have not been well reported. In the present study, a marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii was chronically exposed to different inorganic mercury (Hg(II), 0.5 and 5 μg Hg/L) or methylmercury (MeHg, 0.02 and 0.4 μg Hg/L) concentrations for over 18 generations. We then quantified the changes in the Hg(II) or MeHg sensitivity, Hg accumulation, subcellular distribution, as well as thiol compound induction in the diatoms. We found an unchanged tolerance to Hg(II) but an enhanced tolerance to MeHg in the preconditioned T. weissflogii. The underlying mechanisms may be related to the changes in cellular mercury accumulation and the detoxification ability of the cells. Specifically, exposure to high-Hg(II) led to increased metal distribution in cellular debris fraction, as well as the induction of a variety of non-protein thiol compounds, but the uptake kinetics was not significantly modified by Hg(II) exposure. Instead, exposure to high-MeHg decreased the mercury uptake rate along with the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) and (γ-EC)₂-Gly (PC₂). All these responses contributed to the different tolerance developments between Hg(II) and MeHg. This study suggests that moderation of Hg bioavailability was probably more important than internal detoxification in the development of Hg acclimation in marine diatoms.

  5. High-fish consumption and risk prevention: assessment of exposure to methylmercury in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, C M L; Matos, A I N M; Mateus, M L; Santos, A P M; Batoreu, M C C

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) of potential populations at risk living in Portugal. To ascertain youth exposure, a questionnaire was distributed to 300 students of a middle secondary school in Sesimbra and to 429 students studying in Canecas, selected as the control population. The average number of fish meals consumed by person was 4.1 and 3 per week in Sesimbra and Canecas, respectively. The subpopulations of high intake (PHI) corresponding to those ingesting 7 or more fish meals per week were also analyzed separately, with 17% of the students belonging to the PHI of Sesimbra versus 6.1% in Canecas. Socioeconomic aspects such as relative's professional involvement with fisheries correlated with the higher intakes in Sesimbra. Fish samples were collected in the dock of Sesimbra and total mercury (Hg) was determined by flow injection cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (FI-CV-AFS). The mean value found for nonpredators was 0.035 microg/g. Dogfish specimens surpassed the legislated limit for predator species and increased the predators mean to 1 microg/g. The cross-sectional data were integrated with the fish analysis results to estimate the population exposure to MeHg. The indices of risk calculated for youth reached values of 4.5, demonstrating the existence of risk to a part of the population exceeding the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) level mandated by WHO (1.6 microg/kg bw). The results indicate that monitoring of Hg levels in fish is mandatory and counseling should be provided to populations at risk, encouraging them to prevent the risk.

  6. Brain and tissue levels of mercury after chronic methylmercury exposure in the monkey

    SciTech Connect

    Rice, D.C.

    1989-01-01

    Estimated half-lives of mercury following methylmercury exposure in humans are 52-93 d for whole body and 49-164 d for blood. In its most recent 1980 review, the World Health Organization concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that brain half-life differed from whole-body half-life. In the present study, female monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were dosed for at least 1.7 yr with 10, 25, or 50 micrograms/kg.d of mercury as methylmercuric chloride. Dosing was discontinued, and blood half-life was determined to be about 14 d. Approximately 230 d after cessation of dosing, monkeys were sacrificed and organ and regional brain total mercury levels determined. One monkey that died while still being dosed had brain mercury levels three times higher than levels in blood. Theoretical calculations were performed assuming steady-state brain:blood ratios of 3, 5, or 10. Brain mercury levels were at least three orders of magnitude higher than those predicted by assuming the half-life in brain to be the same as that in blood. Estimated half-lives in brain were between 56 (brain:blood ratio of 3) and 38 (brain:blood ratio of 10) d. In addition, there was a dose-dependent difference in half-lives for some brain regions. These data clearly indicate that brain half-life is considerably longer than blood half-life in the monkey under conditions of chronic dosing.

  7. Future Impacts of Hydroelectric Power Development on Methylmercury Exposures of Canadian Indigenous Communities.

    PubMed

    Calder, Ryan S D; Schartup, Amina T; Li, Miling; Valberg, Amelia P; Balcom, Prentiss H; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2016-12-06

    Developing Canadian hydroelectric resources is a key component of North American plans for meeting future energy demands. Microbial production of the bioaccumulative neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) is stimulated in newly flooded soils by degradation of labile organic carbon and associated changes in geochemical conditions. We find all 22 Canadian hydroelectric facilities being considered for near-term development are located within 100 km of indigenous communities. For a facility in Labrador, Canada (Muskrat Falls) with planned completion in 2017, we probabilistically modeled peak MeHg enrichment relative to measured baseline conditions in the river to be impounded, downstream estuary, locally harvested fish, birds and seals, and three Inuit communities. Results show a projected 10-fold increase in riverine MeHg levels and a 2.6-fold increase in estuarine surface waters. MeHg concentrations in locally caught species increase 1.3 to 10-fold depending on time spent foraging in different environments. Mean Inuit MeHg exposure is forecasted to double following flooding and over half of the women of childbearing age and young children in the most northern community are projected to exceed the U.S. EPA's reference dose. Equal or greater aqueous MeHg concentrations relative to Muskrat Falls are forecasted for 11 sites across Canada, suggesting the need for mitigation measures prior to flooding.

  8. Methylmercury exposure and neurological outcomes in Taiji residents accustomed to consuming whale meat.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Masaaki; Hachiya, Noriyuki; Murata, Ken-ya; Nakanishi, Ichiro; Kondo, Tomoyoshi; Yasutake, Akira; Miyamoto, Ken-ichiro; Ser, Ping Han; Omi, Sanae; Furusawa, Hana; Watanabe, Chiho; Usuki, Fusako; Sakamoto, Mineshi

    2014-07-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a major environmental neurotoxicant that causes damage to the central nervous system. In Japan, industrial emission of MeHg has resulted in MeHg intoxication in Minamata and Niigata, the so-called Minamata disease. Humans are exposed to MeHg derived from natural sources, primarily fish and fish predators. Therefore, MeHg continues to be an environmental risk to human health, particularly in susceptible populations that frequently consume substantial amounts of fish or fish predators such as whale. This study aimed to investigate the health effects of MeHg exposure in adults. The subjects were 194 residents (117 males, 77 females; age 20-85 years) who resided in the coastal town of Taiji, the birthplace of traditional whaling in Japan. We analyzed hair for mercury content and performed detailed neurological examinations and dietary surveys. Audiometry, magnetic resonance imaging, and electromyography were performed to diagnose neurological defects. Whole blood mercury and selenium (Se) levels were measured in 23 subjects. The geometric mean of the hair mercury levels was 14.9 μg/g. Twelve subjects revealed hair mercury levels >50 μg/g (NOAEL) set by WHO. Hair mercury levels significantly correlated with daily whale meat intake. These results suggested that residents in Taiji were highly exposed to MeHg by ingesting MeHg-contaminated whale meat. Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated no significant correlations between hair mercury levels and neurological outcomes, whereas some of the findings significantly correlated with age. A significantly positive correlation between whole blood mercury and Se levels was observed and the whole blood mercury/Se molar ratios of all subjects were <1. These findings suggested that sufficient Se intake might be one of causes of the absence of adverse effects of MeHg exposure in this study.

  9. Isothiocyanates Reduce Mercury Accumulation via an Nrf2-Dependent Mechanism during Exposure of Mice to Methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Toyama, Takashi; Shinkai, Yasuhiro; Yasutake, Akira; Uchida, Koji; Yamamoto, Masayuki

    2011-01-01

    Background: Methylmercury (MeHg) exhibits neurotoxicity through accumulation in the brain. The transcription factor Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) plays an important role in reducing the cellular accumulation of MeHg. Objectives: We investigated the protective effect of isothiocyanates, which are known to activate Nrf2, on the accumulation of mercury after exposure to MeHg in vitro and in vivo. Methods: We used primary mouse hepatocytes in in vitro experiments and mice as an in vivo model. We used Western blotting, luciferase assays, atomic absorption spectrometry assays, and MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assays, and we identified toxicity in mice based on hind-limb flaccidity and mortality. Results: The isothiocyanates 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate (6-HITC) and sulforaphane (SFN) activated Nrf2 and up-regulated downstream proteins associated with MeHg excretion, such as glutamate-cysteine ligase, glutathione S-transferase, and multidrug resistance–associated protein, in primary mouse hepatocytes. Under these conditions, intracellular glutathione levels increased in wild-type but not Nrf2-deficient primary mouse hepatocytes. Pretreatment with 6-HITC and SFN before MeHg exposure suppressed cellular accumulation of mercury and cytotoxicity in wild-type but not Nrf2-deficient primary mouse hepatocytes. In comparison, in vivo administration of MeHg to Nrf2-deficient mice resulted in increased sensitivity to mercury concomitant with an increase in mercury accumulation in the brain and liver. Injection of SFN before administration of MeHg resulted in a decrease in mercury accumulation in the brain and liver of wild-type, but not Nrf2-deficient, mice. Conclusions: Through activation of Nrf2, 6-HITC and SFN can suppress mercury accumulation and intoxication caused by MeHg intake. PMID:21382770

  10. Methylmercury in the breast milk of Japanese mothers and lactational exposure of their infants.

    PubMed

    Iwai-Shimada, Miyuki; Satoh, Hiroshi; Nakai, Kunihiko; Tatsuta, Nozomi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2015-05-01

    The human fetus is known to be exposed to methylmercury (MeHg), but little is known about the risk of infant exposure via breast milk. To evaluate the lactational exposure to MeHg via breast milk in Japanese infants, the levels of total mercury (THg) and MeHg were determined in breast milk and maternal blood using samples from a birth cohort study at the Tohoku Study of Child Development. Maternal blood and breast milk were collected one day postpartum and one month after delivery, respectively. The median THg (and MeHg) concentrations in maternal RBCs, plasma and breast milk were 17.8 ng g(-1) (17.8 ng g(-1)), 1.51 ng g(-1) (1.33 ng g(-1)) and 0.81 ng g(-1) (0.45 ng g(-1)), respectively (n=27). The median percentage of MeHg in THg was 54% in breast milk. Breast milk contained substantial amounts of MeHg, which was strongly associated with the internal accumulation of MeHg and the lipid content of the milk (r=0.684). The range of lipid contents in milk varied widely from 0.50 to 6.60 g/100 g of milk, with a median of 3.60 g/100 g. The median (range) weekly average intake of MeHg via breast milk was estimated to be 0.63 μg kg(-1) (0.08-1.68 μg kg(-1)) BW/week. Because the MeHg and lipid contents in milk substantially fluctuate, an investigation of the variations of MeHg and lipid content in breast milk may be required for a more precise risk assessment.

  11. Methylmercury exposure, PON1 gene variants and serum paraoxonase activity in Eastern James Bay Cree adults.

    PubMed

    Drescher, Olivia; Dewailly, Eric; Diorio, Caroline; Ouellet, Nathalie; Sidi, Elhadji Anassour Laouan; Abdous, Belkacem; Valera, Beatriz; Ayotte, Pierre

    2014-11-01

    There is growing evidence that cardiovascular health can be affected by exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), by a mechanism involving oxidative stress. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a high-density lipoprotein-bound enzyme that hydrolyzes toxic oxidized lipids and protects against cardiovascular diseases. Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that MeHg can inhibit PON1 activity but little is known regarding this effect in humans. We investigated whether increased blood mercury levels are associated with decreased serum PON1 activity in Cree people who are exposed to MeHg by fish consumption. We conducted a multi-community study of 881 Cree adults living in Eastern James Bay communities (Canada). Multivariate analyses considered sociodemographic, anthropometric, clinical, dietary and lifestyle variables and six PON1 gene variants (rs705379 (-108C/T), rs662 (Q192R), rs854560 (L55M), rs854572 (-909C/G), rs854571 (-832C/T) and rs705381 (-162C/T)). In a multiple regression model adjusted for all potential confounding factors and the rs854560 PON1 variant, a statistically significant MeHg*rs705379 interaction was observed. Blood mercury levels were inversely associated with serum PON1 activities in individual homozygous for the -108T allele (P=0.009). Our results suggest a gene-environment interaction between the rs705379 polymorphism and MeHg exposure on PON1 activity levels in this aboriginal population. This finding will need to be replicated in other population studies.

  12. Biomarkers of Methylmercury Exposure Immunotoxicity among Fish Consumers in Amazonian Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Fillion, Myriam; Barbosa, Fernando; Shirley, Devon L.; Chine, Chiameka; Lemire, Melanie; Mergler, Donna; Silbergeld, Ellen K.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant with neurodevelopmental and immune system effects. An informative biomarker of Hg-induced immunotoxicity could aid studies on the potential contribution to immune-related health effects. Objectives: Our objectives were to test the hypothesis that methylmercury (MeHg) exposures affect levels of serum biomarkers and to examine interactions between Hg and selenium (Se) in terms of these responses. Methods: This cross-sectional epidemiological study assessed adults living along the Tapajós River, a system long affected by MeHg. We measured antinuclear (ANA) and antinucleolar (ANoA) autoantibody levels and eight cytokines in serum samples (n = 232). Total Hg (including MeHg) and Se were measured in blood, plasma, hair, and urine. Results: The median (range) total Hg concentrations were 14.1 μg/g (1.1–62.4), 53.5 μg/L (4.3–288.9), 8.8 μg/L (0.2–40), and 3.0 μg/L (0.2–16.1) for hair, blood, plasma, and urine, respectively. Elevated titers of ANA (but not ANoA) were positively associated with MeHg exposure (log-transformed, for blood and plasma), unadjusted [odds ratio (OR) = 2.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 6.2] and adjusted for sex and age (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.1, 7.5). Proinflammatory [interleukin (IL)-6 and interferon (IFN)-©], anti-inflammatory (IL-4), and IL-17 cytokine levels were increased with MeHg exposure; however, in the subset of the population with elevated ANA, proinflammatory IL-1®, IL-6, IFN-©, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-〈 and anti-inflammatory (IL-4) cytokine levels were decreased with MeHg exposure. Although Se status was associated with MeHg level (correlation coefficient = 0.86; 95% CI: 0.29, 1.43), Se status was not associated with any changes in ANA and did not modify associations between Hg and ANA titers. Conclusions: MeHg exposure was associated with an increased ANA and changes in serum cytokine profile. Moreover, alterations in serum cytokine profiles

  13. Global methylmercury exposure from seafood consumption and risk of developmental neurotoxicity: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Thomas A; Navas-Acien, Ana; Breysse, Patrick N; McGready, John; Fox, Mary A

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective To examine biomarkers of methylmercury (MeHg) intake in women and infants from seafood-consuming populations globally and characterize the comparative risk of fetal developmental neurotoxicity. Methods A search was conducted of the published literature reporting total mercury (Hg) in hair and blood in women and infants. These biomarkers are validated proxy measures of MeHg, a neurotoxin found primarily in seafood. Average and high-end biomarkers were extracted, stratified by seafood consumption context, and pooled by category. Medians for average and high-end pooled distributions were compared with the reference level established by a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Findings Selection criteria were met by 164 studies of women and infants from 43 countries. Pooled average biomarkers suggest an intake of MeHg several times over the FAO/WHO reference in fish-consuming riparians living near small-scale gold mining and well over the reference in consumers of marine mammals in Arctic regions. In coastal regions of south-eastern Asia, the western Pacific and the Mediterranean, average biomarkers approach the reference. Although the two former groups have a higher risk of neurotoxicity than the latter, coastal regions are home to the largest number at risk. High-end biomarkers across all categories indicate MeHg intake is in excess of the reference value. Conclusion There is a need for policies to reduce Hg exposure among women and infants and for surveillance in high-risk populations, the majority of which live in low-and middle-income countries. PMID:24700993

  14. N-Acetylcysteine as a Potential Antidote and Biomonitoring Agent of Methylmercury Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Aremu, David A.; Madejczyk, Michael S.; Ballatori, Nazzareno

    2008-01-01

    Background Many people, by means of consumption of seafood or other anthropogenic sources, are exposed to levels of methylmercury (MeHg) that are generally considered to be quite low, but that may nevertheless produce irreversible brain damage, particularly in unborn babies. The only way to prevent or ameliorate MeHg toxicity is to enhance its elimination from the body. Objectives Using N-acetylcysteine (NAC), we aimed to devise a monitoring protocol for early detection of acute exposure or relatively low MeHg levels in a rodent model, and to test whether NAC reduces MeHg levels in the developing embryo. Results NAC produced a transient, dose-dependent acceleration of urinary MeHg excretion in rats of both sexes. Approximately 5% of various MeHg doses was excreted in urine 2 hr after injection of 1 mmol/kg NAC. In pregnant rats, NAC markedly reduced the body burden of MeHg, particularly in target tissues such as brain, placenta, and fetus. In contrast, NAC had no significant effect on urinary MeHg excretion in preweanling rats. Conclusions Because NAC causes a transient increase in urinary excretion of MeHg that is proportional to the body burden, it is promising as a biomonitoring agent for MeHg in adult animals. In view of this and because NAC is effective at enhancing MeHg excretion when given either orally or intravenously, can decrease brain and fetal levels of MeHg, has minimal side effects, and is widely available in clinical settings, NAC should be evaluated as a potential antidote and biomonitoring agent in humans. PMID:18197295

  15. Global methylmercury exposure from seafood consumption and risk of developmental neurotoxicity: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, Mary C; Burke, Thomas A; Navas-Acien, Ana; Breysse, Patrick N; McGready, John; Fox, Mary A

    2014-04-01

    To examine biomarkers of methylmercury (MeHg) intake in women and infants from seafood-consuming populations globally and characterize the comparative risk of fetal developmental neurotoxicity. A search was conducted of the published literature reporting total mercury (Hg) in hair and blood in women and infants. These biomarkers are validated proxy measures of MeHg, a neurotoxin found primarily in seafood. Average and high-end biomarkers were extracted, stratified by seafood consumption context, and pooled by category. Medians for average and high-end pooled distributions were compared with the reference level established by a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Selection criteria were met by 164 studies of women and infants from 43 countries. Pooled average biomarkers suggest an intake of MeHg several times over the FAO/WHO reference in fish-consuming riparians living near small-scale gold mining and well over the reference in consumers of marine mammals in Arctic regions. In coastal regions of south-eastern Asia, the western Pacific and the Mediterranean, average biomarkers approach the reference. Although the two former groups have a higher risk of neurotoxicity than the latter, coastal regions are home to the largest number at risk. High-end biomarkers across all categories indicate MeHg intake is in excess of the reference value. There is a need for policies to reduce Hg exposure among women and infants and for surveillance in high-risk populations, the majority of which live in low-and middle-income countries.

  16. Investigating Methylmercury Exposure in North Atlantic Cetaceans Using Multiple Isotope Tracers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; Mikkelsen, B.; Yin, R.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Sunderland, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    Anthropogenic emissions have substantially perturbed the global biogeochemical cycle of mercury (Hg) and high latitude ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to Hg pollution and climate change. We investigated temporal changes in methylmercury (MeHg) exposures of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas, n=59) between 1985-2015 using multiple isotopes (δ202Hg, Δ199Hg, Δ200Hg, Δ201Hg, δ13C, δ15N) as tracers of the physical environment and foraging ecology. Mass-independent fraction (MIF) of Hg (Δ199Hg, Δ201Hg) is mainly driven by photochemical demethylation in seawater. Enriched δ202Hg has been shown to result from demethylation. The ranges in Δ199Hg and Δ201Hg values in whales are similar across time periods with the exception of a few years following the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland that may have affected light penetration in surface waters. The mean δ202Hg values of whale muscle samples are consistently 1.5 ‰ across the study period, which is 1 ‰ higher than their prey (squid, blue whiting, and greater argentine). This fractionation is consistent with in vivo demethylation as a detoxification mechanism in the whales. Individuals with the highest MeHg concentrations have the lowest δ202Hg values and we infer this may result from more limited MeHg demethylation. We find a linear relationship between Δ200Hg anomalies (-0.1 to 0.2‰) and Δ199Hg (R2=0.76) that has not previously been reported. Variability in Δ200Hg is thought to be driven by photochemical reactions in the tropopause and may provide an effective tracer for atmospheric Hg inputs to the ocean that are methylated and accumulated in aquatic biota.

  17. Associations among exposure to methylmercury, reduced Reelin expression, and gender in the cerebellum of developing mice.

    PubMed

    Biamonte, Filippo; Latini, Laura; Giorgi, Filippo Sean; Zingariello, Maria; Marino, Ramona; De Luca, Roberto; D'Ilio, Sonia; Majorani, Costanza; Petrucci, Francesco; Violante, Nicola; Senofonte, Oreste; Molinari, Marco; Keller, Flavio

    2014-12-01

    Genetic risk factors acting during pregnancy or early after birth have been proposed to account for the exponential increase of autism diagnoses in the past 20 years. In particular, a potential link with exposure to environmental mercury has been suggested. Male sex constitutes a second risk factor for autism. A third potential genetic risk factor is decreased Reelin expression. Male heterozygous reeler (rl(+/-)) mice show an autism-like phenotype, including Purkinje cells (PCs) loss and behavioral rigidity. We evaluated the complex interactions between 3 risk factors, i.e. genetic status, sex, and exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), in rl(+/-) mice. Mice were exposed to MeHg during the prenatal and early postnatal period, either at a subtoxic dose (2 ppm in Dams' drinking water), or at a toxic dose (6 ppm Dams' drinking water), based on observations in other rodent species and mice strains. We show that: (a) 2 ppm MeHg does not cause PCs loss in the different animal groups, and does not enhance PCs loss in rl(+/-) males; consistent with a lack of overt neurotoxicity, 2 ppm MeHg per se does not cause behavioral alterations (separation-induced ultrasonic calls in newborns, or sociability and social preference in adults); (b) in stark contrast, 6 ppm MeHg causes a dramatic reduction of PCs number in all groups, irrespective of genotype and sex. Cytochrome C release from mitochondria of PCs is enhanced in 6 ppm MeHg-exposed groups, with a concomitant increase of μ-calpain active subunit. At the behavioral level, 6 ppm MeHg exposure strongly increases ultrasonic vocalizations in all animal groups. Notably, 6 ppm MeHg significantly decreases sociability in rl(+/-) male mice, while the 2 ppm group does not show such as decrease. At a subtoxic dose, MeHg does not enhance the autism-like phenotype of male rl(+/-) mice. At the higher MeHg dose, the scenario is more complex, with some "autism-like" features (loss of sociability, preference for sameness) being evidently

  18. Human exposure to methylmercury through rice intake in mercury mining areas, Guizhou province, China.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xinbin; Li, Ping; Qiu, Guangle; Wang, Shaofeng; Li, Guanghui; Shang, Lihai; Meng, Bo; Jiang, Hongmei; Bai, Weiyang; Li, Zhonggen; Fu, Xuewu

    2008-01-01

    The toxicity of methylmercury (Me-Hg) has caused widespread public human concern as a result of several widely publicized disasters. Me-Hg is highly toxic, and the nervous system is its principal target tissue for humans. Although the general population is primarily exposed to Me-Hg through contaminated fish and marine mammals, in Hg mining areas a long history of mining activities can produce serious Hg pollution to the local environment In a study of 98 persons from the Wanshan Hg mining area, hair Me-Hg levels indicated Me-Hg exposure. Rice, the staple food of the local inhabitants also showed high total Hg (T-Hg) and Me-Hg levels. The geometric mean concentration of T-Hg and mean concentration of Me-Hg in rice samples collected from 3 villages in Wanshan Hg mining area were 36.2 (ranging from 4.9 to 214.7), and 8.5 (ranging from 1.9 to 27.6) microg/kg, respectively, which were significantly elevated compared to the rice samples collected from a reference area, where the mean T-Hg and Me-Hg concentrations were 7.0 (3.2-15.1) and 2.5 (0.8-4.3) microg/kg, respectively. Pork meat, vegetable, and drinking water samples collected in Wanshan Hg mining area contained highly elevated T-Hg, but very low levels of Me-Hg. The relationships between the estimated rice Me-Hg intake and hair Me-Hg levels (r = 0.65, p < 0.001) confirmed rice with high Me-Hg levels indeed was the main route of Me-Hg exposure for the local residents in the Wanshan Hg mining area. From our study, we can conclude that the main human exposure to Me-Hg via food consumption is not restricted to fish, but in some cases in mining areas of China to frequent rice meals.

  19. Effects of embryonic pre-exposure to methylmercury and Hg/sup 2 +/ on larval tolerance in Fundulus heteroclitus

    SciTech Connect

    Weis, P.; Weis, J.S.

    1983-11-01

    Many reports demonstrate enhanced metal tolerance as a result of previous exposure to low concentrations. Pretreatment of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) eggs with cadmium made the larvae more resistant to subsequent Cd treatment. Larvae of the flagfish, Jordanella floridae, initially exposed as embryos to Zn and to mixtures of Zn and Cd were much more tolerant than those not previously exposed, indicating acclimation during embryonic exposure. Acclimation to metals after pre-exposure was attributed to stimulation of the synthesis of metal-binding proteins, or metallothioneins, in the liver, which form a nontoxic complex with the metal. In this paper we report on the effects of embryonic pre-exposure to methylmercury(meHf) and Hg/sup 2 +/ on larval susceptibility to these toxicants in the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus.

  20. An exposure assessment for methylmercury from seafood for consumers in the United States.

    PubMed

    Carrington, Clark D; Bolger, Michael P

    2002-08-01

    An exposure model was developed to relate seafood consumption to levels of methylmercury (reported as mercury) in blood and hair in the U.S. population, and two subpopulations defined as children aged 2-5 and women aged 18-45. Seafood consumption was initially modeled using short-term (three-day) U.S.-consumption surveys that recorded the amount of fish eaten per meal. Since longer exposure periods include more eaters with a lower daily mean intake, the consumption distribution was adjusted by broadening the distribution to include more eaters and reducing the distribution mean to keep total population intake constant. The estimate for the total number of eaters was based on long-term purchase diaries. Levels of mercury in canned tuna, swordfish, and shark were based on FDA survey data. The distribution of mercury levels in other species was based on reported mean levels, with the frequency of consumption of each species based on market share. The shape distribution for the given mean was based on the range of variation encountered among shark, tuna, and swordfish. These distributions were integrated with a simulation that estimated average daily intake over a 360-day period, with 10,000 simulated individuals and 1,000 uncertainty iterations. The results of this simulation were then used as an input to a second simulation that modeled levels of mercury in blood and hair. The relationship between dietary intake and blood mercury in a population was modeled from data obtained from a 90-day study with controlled seafood intake. The relationship between blood and hair mercury in a population was modeled from data obtained from several sources. The biomarker simulation employed 2,000 simulated individuals and 1,000 uncertainty iterations. These results were then compared to the recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that tabulated blood and hair mercury levels in a cross-section of the U.S. population. The output of the model and NHANES results

  1. Porphyrins as biomarkers of methylmercury and PCB exposure in experimental quail

    SciTech Connect

    Leonzio, C.; Fossi, M.C.; Casini, S.

    1996-02-01

    Chemicals such as heavy metals and polyhalogenated hydrocarbons have a high capacity to interfere with the enzymatic processes responsible for haem biosynthesis. These compounds can produce accumulation in tissues and organs and increased elimination of porphyrins in excreta. The development of fast and easy analytical methods and the wide variety of biological media in which porphynins can be detected have suggested their use as biomarkers of environmental pollution. The analysis of porphynins in the excreta is of special interest because it enables non-destructive monitoring of wild animals in the assessment of threatened or endangered species. Methylmercury and PCBs are ubiquitous global pollutants and there is evidence they accumulate in ternfuinal consumers, particularly those belonging to marine trophic chain. There have been some reports on methylmercury-induced and PCB-induced porphyria but little data on their combined effect. In order to investigate the quality of porphyrins as biomarkers we performed an experiment in which Japanese quail were fed a diet containing methylmercury and polychlorobyphenyls (PCBs as Arochlor 1260) individually or combined in different ratios. The present study aims to provide preliminary data on liver and fecal levels of porphynins in response to methylmercury and PCB administration, and on whether the indicator is sensitive to synergism or antagonism between the two compounds, administered simultaneously.

  2. Transcriptomic and Physiological Responses of the Green Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii during Short-Term Exposure to Subnanomolar Methylmercury Concentrations.

    PubMed

    Beauvais-Flück, Rebecca; Slaveykova, Vera I; Cosio, Claudia

    2016-07-05

    The effects of short-term exposure to subnanomolar methyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations, representative of contaminated environments, on the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were assessed using both physiological end points and gene expression analysis. MeHg bioaccumulated and induced significant increase of the photosynthesis efficiency, while the algal growth, oxidative stress, and chlorophyll fluorescence were unaffected. At the molecular level, MeHg significantly dysregulated the expression of genes involved in motility, energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, metal transport, and antioxidant enzymes. Data suggest that the cells were able to cope with subnanomolar MeHg exposure, but this tolerance resulted in a significant cost to the cell energy and reserve metabolism as well as ample changes in the nutrition and motility of C. reinhardtii. The present results allowed gaining new insights on the effects and uptake mechanisms of MeHg at subnanomolar concentrations in aquatic primary producers.

  3. EFFECTS OF SUBSCUTE EXPOSURE TO NANOMOLAR CONCENTRATIONS OF METHYLMERCURY ON VOLTAGE-GATES SODIUM AND CALCIUM CURRENTS IN PC12 CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methylmercury (CH3Hg+) alters the function of voltage-gated Na+ and Ca2+ channels in neuronal preparations following acute, in vitro, exposure. Because the developing nervous system is particularly sensitive to CH3Hg+ neurotoxicity, effects on voltage-gated Na+ (INa) and Ca2+ (IC...

  4. EFFECTS OF SUBSCUTE EXPOSURE TO NANOMOLAR CONCENTRATIONS OF METHYLMERCURY ON VOLTAGE-GATES SODIUM AND CALCIUM CURRENTS IN PC12 CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methylmercury (CH3Hg+) alters the function of voltage-gated Na+ and Ca2+ channels in neuronal preparations following acute, in vitro, exposure. Because the developing nervous system is particularly sensitive to CH3Hg+ neurotoxicity, effects on voltage-gated Na+ (INa) and Ca2+ (IC...

  5. Effects of embryonic exposure to methylmercury on larval prey-capture ability in the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus

    SciTech Connect

    Weis, J.S. . Dept. of Biological Sciences); Weis, P. . Dept. of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Injury Science)

    1995-01-01

    Embryos of the mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) were exposed to 2, 5, or 10 [mu]g/L methylmercury (meHg) throughout development; these are concentrations below those which cause teratological effects in this species. After hatching, larvae were maintained in clean seawater and tested for pre-capture ability, using Artemia salina nauplii. Larvae that had been exposed to 10 [mu]g/L methylmercury initially exhibited slower prey-capture ability than did the other groups. This is an indication of a subtle functional impairment due to the toxicant (behavioral teratology). However, the effect was transitory, and by about 1 week after hatching the pre capture of these larvae equaled that of the controls and the other treated groups. Growth of these larvae was also comparable to that of controls. The exposure may have caused retardation of neurological development, which was subsequently compensated for, and therefore no long-lasting effects were produced. In the field, however, embryos exposed to toxicants would probably continue to be exposed as larvae, and might not have the opportunity to recover from the deleterious effects, but rather might have them augmented.

  6. Methylmercury and Pregnancy

    MedlinePlus

    ... is methylmercury? Methylmercury is a toxic form of mercury found mostly in water, soil, plants and animals. Methylmercury (organic mercury) is different from elemental mercury (thermometers, dental amalgams). ...

  7. Neurobehavioral effect of chronic and bolus doses of methylmercury following prenatal exposure in C57BL/6 weanling mice.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jacky; Inskip, Mike; Newhook, Deborah; Messier, Claude

    2009-01-01

    Several studies with animals have shown that even low and medium prenatal and postnatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) can result in locomotor, motor coordination and learning deficits. However, some behavioural effects of MeHg remain controversial and the methods to model human MeHg exposure in animal still remain to be optimized. We investigated the neurobehavioral effects of two different patterns of MeHg exposure. MeHg was given mixed in palatable food that mice readily ate. For the first pattern (chronic group), C57BL/6 mice dams were given 1.4 microg/g body weight (BW)/day (n=20) throughout gestation mixed in palatable food. For the second pattern (bolus) dams were given 6.0 microg/g BW/day mixed in palatable food on gestation day 12 and 16 together with a lower chronic dose of 0.85 microg/g BW/day mixed in palatable food on all remaining gestation days (n=20). Day 12 and 16 were chosen because neuron proliferation and the start of migration for many brain regions occur during that period. Behavioural testing on weanling animals started at 8 weeks. Both the chronic and bolus groups showed an impairment of working memory and visual spatial ability in the radial arm maze task. Other tests did not provide clear evidence that methylmercury exposure had significant adverse effects on locomotor activity, motor coordination or emotional reactivity. However, the chronic groups had a tendency for lower performance in most tests including activity in Skinner box and open field trials, as well as a higher number of anxiety-like behaviors. Chronic exposure to lower levels of MeHg combined to acute exposure with high levels of a few days during gestation appears to be less damaging than chronic exposure to slightly higher levels without acute MeHg exposure even though, equal amounts were administered during gestation. Possibly, as indicated by preliminary data, the relatively larger impact of chronic administration of a higher daily dose could be the consequence of a

  8. Balancing the benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risks of methylmercury exposure from fish consumption

    PubMed Central

    Mahaffey, Kathryn R; Sunderland, Elsie M; Chan, Hing Man; Choi, Anna L; Grandjean, Philippe; Mariën, Koenraad; Oken, Emily; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Schoeny, Rita; Weihe, Pál; Yan, Chong-Huai; Yasutake, Akira

    2011-01-01

    Fish and shellfish are widely available foods that provide important nutrients, particularly n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), to many populations globally. These nutrients, especially docosahexaenoic acid, confer benefits to brain and visual system development in infants and reduce risks of certain forms of heart disease in adults. However, fish and shellfish can also be a major source of methylmercury (MeHg), a known neurotoxicant that is particularly harmful to fetal brain development. This review documents the latest knowledge on the risks and benefits of seafood consumption for perinatal development of infants. It is possible to choose fish species that are both high in n-3 PUFAs and low in MeHg. A framework for providing dietary advice for women of childbearing age on how to maximize the dietary intake of n-3 PUFAs while minimizing MeHg exposures is suggested. PMID:21884130

  9. Early Developmental Low-Dose Methylmercury Exposure Alters Learning and Memory in Periadolescent but Not Young Adult Rats.

    PubMed

    Albores-Garcia, Damaris; Acosta-Saavedra, Leonor C; Hernandez, Alberto J; Loera, Miriam J; Calderón-Aranda, Emma S

    2016-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effects of developmental methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on learning and memory at different ages. The possibility of the amelioration or worsening of the effects has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aimed to assess whether low-dose MeHg exposure in utero and during suckling induces differential disturbances in learning and memory of periadolescent and young adult rats. Four experimental groups of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were orally exposed to MeHg or vehicle from gestational day 5 to weaning: (1) control (vehicle), (2) 250 μg/kg/day MeHg, (3) 500 μg/kg/day MeHg, and (4) vehicle, and treated on the test day with MK-801 (0.15 mg/kg i.p.), an antagonist of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor. The effects were evaluated in male offspring through the open field test, object recognition test, Morris water maze, and conditioned taste aversion. For each test and stage assessed, different groups of animals were used. MeHg exposure, in a dose-dependent manner, disrupted exploratory behaviour, recognition memory, spatial learning, and acquisition of aversive memories in periadolescent rats, but alterations were not observed in littermates tested in young adulthood. These results suggest that developmental low-dose exposure to MeHg induces age-dependent detrimental effects. The relevance of decreasing exposure to MeHg in humans remains to be determined.

  10. Early Developmental Low-Dose Methylmercury Exposure Alters Learning and Memory in Periadolescent but Not Young Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Albores-Garcia, Damaris; Hernandez, Alberto J.; Loera, Miriam J.

    2016-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effects of developmental methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on learning and memory at different ages. The possibility of the amelioration or worsening of the effects has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aimed to assess whether low-dose MeHg exposure in utero and during suckling induces differential disturbances in learning and memory of periadolescent and young adult rats. Four experimental groups of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were orally exposed to MeHg or vehicle from gestational day 5 to weaning: (1) control (vehicle), (2) 250 μg/kg/day MeHg, (3) 500 μg/kg/day MeHg, and (4) vehicle, and treated on the test day with MK-801 (0.15 mg/kg i.p.), an antagonist of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor. The effects were evaluated in male offspring through the open field test, object recognition test, Morris water maze, and conditioned taste aversion. For each test and stage assessed, different groups of animals were used. MeHg exposure, in a dose-dependent manner, disrupted exploratory behaviour, recognition memory, spatial learning, and acquisition of aversive memories in periadolescent rats, but alterations were not observed in littermates tested in young adulthood. These results suggest that developmental low-dose exposure to MeHg induces age-dependent detrimental effects. The relevance of decreasing exposure to MeHg in humans remains to be determined. PMID:26885512

  11. Effects of adolescent exposure to methylmercury and d-amphetamine on reversal learning and an extradimensional shift in male mice.

    PubMed

    Boomhower, Steven R; Newland, M Christopher

    2017-04-01

    Adolescence is associated with the continued maturation of dopamine neurotransmission and is implicated in the etiology of many psychiatric illnesses. Adolescent exposure to neurotoxicants that distort dopamine neurotransmission, such as methylmercury (MeHg), may modify the effects of chronic d-amphetamine (d-AMP) administration on reversal learning and attentional-set shifting. Male C57Bl/6n mice were randomly assigned to two MeHg-exposure groups (0 ppm and 3 ppm) and two d-AMP-exposure groups (saline and 1 mg/kg/day), producing four treatment groups (n = 10-12/group): control, MeHg, d-AMP, and MeHg + d-AMP. MeHg exposure (via drinking water) spanned postnatal days 21-59 (the murine adolescent period), and once daily intraperitoneal injections of d-AMP or saline spanned postnatal days 28-42. As adults, mice were trained on a spatial-discrimination-reversal (SDR) task in which the spatial location of a lever press predicted reinforcement. Following 2 SDRs, a visual-discrimination task (extradimensional shift) was instated in which the presence of a stimulus light above a lever predicted reinforcement. Responding was modeled using a logistic function, which estimated the rate (slope) of a behavioral transition and trials required to complete half a transition (half-max). MeHg, d-AMP, and MeHg + d-AMP exposure increased estimates of half-max on the second reversal. MeHg exposure increased half-max and decreased the slope term following the extradimensional shift, but these effects did not occur following MeHg + d-AMP exposure. MeHg + d-AMP exposure produced more perseverative errors and omissions following a reversal. Adolescent exposure to MeHg can modify the behavioral effects of chronic d-AMP administration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Diagnostic immunofluorescence*

    PubMed Central

    Cherry, William B.; Reimer, Charles B.

    1973-01-01

    The standardization of diagnostic immunofluorescence is a complex problem because diagnostic results are greatly influenced by interacting factors, such as the equipment, materials, and techniques for expressing and recording fluorescence. Furthermore, the characteristics of immunofluorescence reagents depend on how they are manufactured and used. The adoption of stable reference preparations of such reagents appears to be the only practicable way of standardizing laboratory test results. Several professional and regulatory organizations are actively promoting this objective. Consensus evaluation may be the best method of introducing proposed standards. Basic and applied research must provide the information needed to improve reagents and tests. Material fluorescent standards are proving helpful in standardizing fluorescence emission, but the most promising development is the use of insolubilized antigens to provide standards for more relevant immunological-fluorescence comparisons. Several important direct and indirect diagnostic immunofluorescence tests and reagents currently used in microbiological, histological, and pathological examinations require standardization. The medical profession should insist that commercial reagents be adequately characterized and that manufacturers supply the data necessary for their safe and informed use. PMID:4594319

  13. Prenatal methylmercury exposure and language delay at three years of age in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Vejrup, Kristine; Schjølberg, Synnve; Knutsen, Helle Katrine; Kvalem, Helen Engelstad; Brantsæter, Anne Lise; Meltzer, Helle Margrete; Alexander, Jan; Magnus, Per; Haugen, Margaretha

    2016-01-01

    Prenatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure and its possible neurodevelopmental effects in susceptible children are of concern. Studies of MeHg exposure and negative health outcomes have shown conflicting results and it has been suggested that co-exposure to other contaminants and/or nutrients in fish may confound the effect of MeHg. Our objective was to examine the association between prenatal exposure to MeHg and language and communication development at three years, adjusting for intake of fish, n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) and co-exposure to dioxins and dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs). We used data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) collected between 2002 and 2008. The study sample consisted of 46,750 mother-child pairs. MeHg exposure was calculated from reported fish intake during pregnancy by a FFQ in mid-pregnancy. Children's language and communication skills were measured by maternal report on the Dale and Bishop grammar rating and the Ages and Stages communication scale (ASQ). We estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regressions. Median MeHg exposure was 1.3μg/day, corresponding to 0.14μg/kgbw/week. An exposure level above the 90th percentile (>2.6μg/day, >0.29μg/kgbw/week) was defined as the high MeHg exposure. Results indicated an association between high MeHg exposure and unintelligible speech with an adjusted OR 2.22 (1.31, 3.72). High MeHg exposure was also associated with weaker communication skills adjusted OR 1.33 (1.03, 1.70). Additional adjustment for fish intake strengthened the associations, while adjusting for PCBs and n-3 LCPUFA from diet or from supplements had minor impact. In conclusion, significant associations were found between prenatal MeHg exposure above the 90th percentile and delayed language and communication skills in a generally low exposed population.

  14. Milestone achievement and neurodevelopment of rural Amazonian toddlers (12 to 24 months) with different methylmercury and ethylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Dórea, José G; Marques, Rejane C; Abreu, Luciana

    2014-01-01

    Neurological outcomes (Gesell development schedules [GDS]), age of walking, and age of talking were studied in 299 toddlers (12 to 24 mo) in relation to environmental (fish consumption and tin mining) exposure. Exposure to fish methylmercury (MeHg) consumption and iatrogenic ethylmercury (EtHg) in Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCV) was quantified in toddlers from two rural villages (n = 91, Itapuã; n = 218, Bom Futuro) respectively populated by fishers and cassiterite miners. Median total hair Hg (HHg) concentrations of infants from Itapuã (3.5 μg/g) were significantly higher than those of infants from Bom Futuro (2.2 μg/g). Median EtHg exposure from TCV was also significantly higher in toddlers from Itapuã (137.5 μg) than in those from Bom Futuro (112.5 μg). There were no significant differences between groups for any of the Gesell schedules; however, there were proportionally more compromised toddlers (GDS < 70) in Itapuã than Bom Futuro. Median age of talking was not statistically different but median age of walking was significantly higher in Bom Futuro. In toddlers from both villages, of fishers and miners, HHg concentrations were significantly correlated with family fish consumption. A logistic regression model was applied to all infants after classification into two groups: above or below the median Gesell schedules. Overall, there was no distinctive pattern of neurodevelopment associated with either HHg or EtHg exposure; however, nutritional status was significantly associated with GDS. In conclusion, milestone achievement was delayed in toddlers from tin-ore mining communities. Despite significantly higher exposure to both forms of organic Hg (MeHg from maternal fish consumption, and EtHg from TCV) in toddlers from the fishing village, significant differences were seen only among the proportions of most severely affected toddlers (GDS < 70).

  15. Dietary mercury exposure resulted in behavioral differences in mice contaminated with fish-associated methylmercury compared to methylmercury chloride added to diet.

    PubMed

    Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Marumoto, Masumi; Yasutake, Akira; Fujimura, Masatake

    2012-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin, and humans are mainly exposed to this pollutant through fish consumption. However, in classical toxicological studies, pure methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) is injected, given to drink or incorporated within feed assuming that its effects are identical to those of MeHg naturally associated to fish. In the present study, we wanted to address the question whether a diet containing MeHg associated to fish could result in observable adverse effects in mice as compared to a diet containing the same concentration of MeHg added pure to the diet and whether beneficial nutriments from fish were able to counterbalance the deleterious effects of fish-associated mercury, if any. After two months of feeding, the fish-containing diet resulted in significant observable effects as compared to the control and MeHg-containing diets, encompassing altered behavioral performances as monitored in a Y-shaped maze and an open field, and an increased dopamine metabolic turnover in hippocampus, despite the fact that the fish-containing diet was enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium compared to the fish-devoid diets.

  16. Dietary Mercury Exposure Resulted in Behavioral Differences in Mice Contaminated with Fish-Associated Methylmercury Compared to Methylmercury Chloride Added to Diet

    PubMed Central

    Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Marumoto, Masumi; Yasutake, Akira; Fujimura, Masatake

    2012-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin, and humans are mainly exposed to this pollutant through fish consumption. However, in classical toxicological studies, pure methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) is injected, given to drink or incorporated within feed assuming that its effects are identical to those of MeHg naturally associated to fish. In the present study, we wanted to address the question whether a diet containing MeHg associated to fish could result in observable adverse effects in mice as compared to a diet containing the same concentration of MeHg added pure to the diet and whether beneficial nutriments from fish were able to counterbalance the deleterious effects of fish-associated mercury, if any. After two months of feeding, the fish-containing diet resulted in significant observable effects as compared to the control and MeHg-containing diets, encompassing altered behavioral performances as monitored in a Y-shaped maze and an open field, and an increased dopamine metabolic turnover in hippocampus, despite the fact that the fish-containing diet was enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium compared to the fish-devoid diets. PMID:22899888

  17. Chronic exposure of adult rats to low doses of methylmercury induced a state of metabolic deficit in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kong, Hang-Kin; Wong, Ming-Hung; Chan, Hing-Man; Lo, Samuel Chun-Lap

    2013-11-01

    Because of the ever-increasing bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in the marine food chain, human consumers are exposed to low doses of MeHg continually through seafood consumption. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that chronic prenatal exposure to nanomolar of MeHg has immense negative impacts on neurological development in neonates. However, effects of chronic exposure to low doses (CELDs) of MeHg in adult brains on a molecular level are unknown. The current study aims to investigate the molecular effects of CELD of MeHg on adult somatosensory cortex in a rat model using proteomic techniques. Young adult rats were fed with a low dose of MeHg (40 μg/kg body weight/day) for a maximum of 12 weeks. Whole proteome expression of the somatosensory cortex (S1 area) of normal rats and those with CELD to MeHg were compared. Levels of MeHg, total calcium, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and pyruvate were also measured. Comparative proteomic studies of the somatosensory cortexes revealed that 94 proteins involved in the various metabolic processes (including carbohydrate metabolism, generation of precursors for essential metabolites, energy, proteins, cellular components for morphogenesis, and neurotransmission) were down-regulated. Consequently, levels of important end products of active metabolism including ATP, pyruvate, and total calcium were also found to be significantly reduced concomitantly. Our results showed that CELD of MeHg induced a state of metabolic deficit in the somatosensory cortex of adult rats.

  18. Parental Whole Life Cycle Exposure to Dietary Methylmercury in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Affects the Behavior of Offspring.

    PubMed

    Mora-Zamorano, Francisco X; Klingler, Rebekah; Murphy, Cheryl A; Basu, Niladri; Head, Jessica; Carvan, Michael J

    2016-05-03

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an established neurotoxicant of concern to fish-eating organisms. While most studies have focused on the fish consumers, much less is known about the effects of MeHg on the fish themselves, especially following exposures to chronic and environmentally relevant scenarios. Here we evaluated the behavioral effects of developmental MeHg insult by exposing parental generations of zebrafish to an environmentally realistic MeHg dietary concentration (1 ppm) and two higher concentrations (3 and 10 ppm) throughout their whole life span. Upon reaching adulthood, their offspring were analyzed through a series of behavioral tests, including the visual-motor response (VMR) assay, analysis of spontaneous swimming and evaluation of foraging efficiency. The VMR assay identified decreased locomotor output in the 6 day postfertilization (dpf) offspring of fish exposed to 3 and 10 ppm MeHg. However, in a second test 7 dpf fish revealed an increase in locomotor activity in all MeHg exposures tested. Increases in locomotion continued to be observed until 16 dpf, which coincided with increased foraging efficiency. These results suggest an association between MeHg and hyperactivity, and imply that fish chronically exposed to MeHg in the wild may be vulnerable to predation.

  19. Mauritia flexuosa L. protects against deficits in memory acquisition and oxidative stress in rat hippocampus induced by methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Leão, Luana K R; Herculano, Anderson M; Maximino, Caio; Brasil Costa, Alódia; Gouveia, Amauri; Batista, Evander O; Rocha, Fernando F; Crespo-Lopez, Maria Elena; Borges, Rosivaldo; Oliveira, Karen

    2017-06-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most toxic form of mercury that can affect humans through the food chain by bioaccumulation. Human organism is capable of triggering visual and cognitive disorders, neurodegeneration, as well as increased production of reactive species of O2 and depletion of natural anti-oxidant agents. In this context, Mauritia flexuosa L., a fruit rich in compounds with anti-oxidant properties, emerged as an important strategy to prevent the MeHg damages. So, this work has aimed to elucidate the protective effect of Mauritia flexuosa L. on the damage caused by the exposure of rats to MeHg. In order to evaluate the effect of MeHg on rat aversive memory acquisition and panic-like behavior, we have used elevated T-maze apparatus and after behavioral test, the hippocampus was removed to perfom lipid peroxidation. Our results demonstrated that the exposure to MeHg caused deficits in inhibitory avoidance acquisition (aversive conditioning) and in the learning process, and increased levels of lipid peroxidation in hippocampus tissue. However, the pretreatment with feed enriched with Mauritia flexuosa L. showed a protective effect against cognitive deficits caused by MeHg and also prevented the occurrence of cytoplasmic membrane damage induced by lipid peroxidation in the hippocampal region. Therefore, this study suggests that Mauritia flexuosa L. represents an important strategy to prevent neurocytotoxics and behavioral effects of MeHg.

  20. Modeled methylmercury exposure and risk from rice consumption for vulnerable populations in a traditional fish-eating area in China.

    PubMed

    Tong, Yin-Dong; Ou, Lang-Bo; Chen, Long; Wang, Huan-Huan; Chen, Cen; Wang, Xue-Jun; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Guang

    2015-05-01

    The circulation of rice from contaminated areas could escalate exposure risk from a local problem to a national issue and affect a wider population beyond the region of origin, as confirmed by the "Poison Rice Incident" in May 2013 in Guangzhou, China. In the present study, the authors established a food chain model based on the aquivalence method to identify major sources of methylmercury (MeHg), estimate the levels of MeHg, and quantify exposure to MeHg via rice and aquatic food consumption. Different types of organism samples from the Haihe River also were collected to verify the calculated values. The MeHg intake in pregnant women was 1529.1 ng/d from the aquatic food chain and as high as 2804.0 ng/d from rice, although the intake varied among scenarios. The maximum possible MeHg concentration in the blood of pregnant women was 5.21 µg/L, higher than the threshold value of MeHg recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (4.4 µg/L), which indicated that pregnant women could face risk from MeHg exposure. The authors also assessed the risk of MeHg exposure in pregnant women and their breastfed infants using a new index, HQEquivalent . In 4 scenarios, the HQEquivalent indices ranged from 0.42 to 1.18 for pregnant women and from 0.29 to 0.83 for breastfed infants. © 2014 SETAC.

  1. Poor psychometric scores of children living in isolated riverine and agrarian communities and fish-methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Márlon de F; Dórea, José G; Bastos, Wanderley R; Marques, Rejane C; Torres, João P M; Malm, Olaf

    2008-11-01

    Because of heavy dependence on fish, Amazonian riparian communities are chronically exposed to high levels of methylmercury (MeHg). We studied fish-MeHg exposure (total hair-Hg, HHg) as a determinant of neurocognitive scores of children living in two geographically distant, culturally distinct and isolated poor communities of non-urban environments: Amazonian riverines (Riparians, n=38) of the Puruzinho Lake community in the Rio Madeira Basin and rural agrarians from Iúna, Espírito Santo (Agrarians, n=32). Nutritional status was estimated by anthropometry (Z-scores) and individual cognitive abilities were assessed by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) and the Human Figure Drawings (HFD), both validated versions for Brazilian children. Anthropometric assessment showed slightly elevated Z-scores for the Agrarian children (not statistically significant) but median HHg concentrations were 14.4 and 0.25microgg(-1) respectively for Riparian and Agrarian children (p=0.000). Despite paradoxical MeHg exposures, both groups showed comparable HFD scores but very poor performance in WISC-III test battery; median of sum of WISC-III subtests scores (SigmaTOT) were 17.9 and 28.6 (p<0.000) for Riparian and Agrarian children, respectively (percentage scale). Spearman correlation between nutritional status (attained growth) and psychometric scores were statistically significant between height-for-age Z-score and Object Assembly subtest (r=0.269; p=0.043), SigmaTOT (r=0.319; p=0.016), Performance-IQ (r=0.311; p=0.019) and Perceptual Organization Index scores (r=0.302; p=0.023). In these isolated communities there are stronger determinants of neurocognitive poor performance than MeHg exposure. Global strategies for reducing human exposure to MeHg by curtailing fish consumption are unrealistic options for riverine subsistence populations and are not justifiable to prevent low cognitive scores.

  2. Developmental neurotoxicity of the hippocampus following in utero exposure to methylmercury: impairment in cell signaling.

    PubMed

    Heimfarth, Luana; Delgado, Jeferson; Mignori, Moara Rodrigues; Gelain, Daniel Pens; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2017-08-18

    In this study, we assessed some hippocampal signaling cascades and behavioral impairments in 30-day-old rat pups prenatally exposed to methylmercury (MeHg). Pregnant rats were exposed to 1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg MeHg by gavage in alternated days from gestational day 5 until parturition. We found increased anxiety-like and decreased exploration behavior evaluated by open field test and deficit of both short- and long-term memories by novel object recognition task, respectively, in MeHg-treated pups. Downregulated PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and activated/hypophosphorylated (Ser9) GSK3β in MeHg-treated pups could be upstream of hyperphosphorylated Tau (Ser396) destabilizing microtubules and contributing to neural dysfunction in the hippocampus of these rats. Hyperphosphorylated/activated p38MAPK and downregulated phosphoErk1/2 support a role for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade on MeHg neurotoxicity. Decreased receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE) immunocontent supports the assumption that downregulated RAGE/Erk1/2 pathway could be involved in hypophosphorylated lysine/serine/proline (KSP) repeats on neurofilament subunits and disturbed axonal transport. Downregulated myelin basic protein (MBP), the major myelin protein, is compatible with dysmyelination and neurofilament hypophosphorylation. Increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels suggest reactive astrocytes, and active apoptotic pathways BAD/BCL-2, BAX/BCL-XL, and caspase 3 suggest cell death. Taken together, our findings get light on important signaling mechanisms that could underlie the behavioral deficits in 30-day-old pups prenatally exposed to MeHg.

  3. Methylmercury exposure for 14 days (short-term) produces behavioral and biochemical changes in mouse cerebellum, liver, and serum.

    PubMed

    Macedo-Júnior, Sérgio José; Luiz-Cerutti, Murilo; Nascimento, Denise B; Farina, Marcelo; Soares Santos, Adair Roberto; de Azevedo Maia, Alcíbia Helena

    2017-08-29

    Various studies on methylmercury (MeHg)-induced toxicity focused on the central nervous system (CNS) as a primary target. However, MeHg-mediated toxicity is related to metallic interaction with electrophilic groups, which are not solely restricted to the CNS, but these reactive groups are present ubiquitously in several systems/organs. The aim of this study was thus to examine MeHg-induced systemic toxicity in mice using a standardized neurotoxicology testing exposure model to measure cerebellar neurotoxicity by determining biochemical and behavioral parameters in the cerebellum. After 2 weeks exposure to MeHg (40 µg/ml; diluted in drinking water; ad libitum), adult male Swiss mice showed a marked motor impairment characteristic of cerebellar toxicity as noted in the following tests: rotarod, beam walking, pole, and hind limb clasping. MeHg treatment resulted in Hg deposition in the cerebellum as well as reduction in cerebellar weight, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and interleukin (IL)-6 levels. MeHg ingestion increased cerebellar glutathione reductase (GR) activity and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. In addition to cerebellar toxicity, MeHg treatment also elevated total and non-high density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol levels, as well as serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) enzymatic activities, systemic parameters. Increased liver weight and reduced serum urea levels were also noted in MeHg-exposed mice. Taken together, our findings demonstrated that a well-standardized exposure protocol to examine MeHg-induced neurotoxicity also produced systemic toxicity in mice, which was characterized by changes in markers of hepatic function as well as serum lipid homeostasis.

  4. Neural stem cell apoptosis after low-methylmercury exposures in postnatal hippocampus produce persistent cell loss and adolescent memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Sokolowski, Katie; Obiorah, Maryann; Robinson, Kelsey; McCandlish, Elizabeth; Buckley, Brian; DiCicco-Bloom, Emanuel

    2013-12-01

    The developing brain is particularly sensitive to exposures to environmental contaminants. In contrast to the adult, the developing brain contains large numbers of dividing neuronal precursors, suggesting that they may be vulnerable targets. The postnatal day 7 (P7) rat hippocampus has populations of both mature neurons in the CA1-3 region as well as neural stem cells (NSC) in the dentate gyrus (DG) hilus, which actively produce new neurons that migrate to the granule cell layer (GCL). Using this well-characterized NSC population, we examined the impact of low levels of methylmercury (MeHg) on proliferation, neurogenesis, and subsequent adolescent learning and memory behavior. Assessing a range of exposures, we found that a single subcutaneous injection of 0.6 µg/g MeHg in P7 rats induced caspase activation in proliferating NSC of the hilus and GCL. This acute NSC death had lasting impact on the DG at P21, reducing cell numbers in the hilus by 22% and the GCL by 27%, as well as reductions in neural precursor proliferation by 25%. In contrast, non-proliferative CA1-3 pyramidal neuron cell number was unchanged. Furthermore, animals exposed to P7 MeHg exhibited an adolescent spatial memory deficit as assessed by Morris water maze. These results suggest that environmentally relevant levels of MeHg exposure may decrease NSC populations and, despite ongoing neurogenesis, the brain may not restore the hippocampal cell deficits, which may contribute to hippocampal-dependent memory deficits during adolescence. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Prenatal exposure to low-level methylmercury alters the child's fine motor skills at the age of 18 months.

    PubMed

    Prpić, Igor; Milardović, Ana; Vlašić-Cicvarić, Inge; Špiric, Zdravko; Radić Nišević, Jelena; Vukelić, Petar; Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Mazej, Darja; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    To compare motor, cognitive and language characteristics in children aged 18 months who were prenatally exposed to low-level methyl-mercury (MeHg), and to analyze the eventual differences in these characteristics in relation to cord blood THg concentration. The total number of 205 child-mother pairs was included in the study, and total cord blood mercury was measured in 198 of them. Out of the 198 already measured samples, 47 of them have also been tested for methyl-mercury in cord blood. Data regarding the 47 samples of MeHg levels has been used for calculating the correlation between cord blood THg and cord blood MeHg. MeHg and THg showed a significant correlation (r=0.95, p<0.05). One month after the delivery, mothers were asked to complete the questionnaire regarding socioeconomic factors, breastfeeding of their infants, and dietary habits during pregnancy. Neurodevelopmental assessment of motor, cognitive and language skills were conducted on 168 children using The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III). Regarding the cord blood THg concentration, 135 children were divided in 4 quartile groups. Their neurodevelopmental characteristics have been compared. The cord blood THg concentration median and inter-quartile range was 2.98ng/g (1.41-5.61ng/g). There was a negative correlation between cord blood THg concentration and fine motor skills (rho=-0.22, p=0.01). It is evident that children grouped in 2nd ,3rd and 4th quartile had statistically significant lower fine motor skills assessment related to those grouped in 1st quartile (2nd quartile -1.24, p=0.03; 3rd quartile -1.28, p=0.03; 4th quartile -1.45, p=0.01). The differences in fine motor skills assessments between children in 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th quartile were not statistically significant. Intrauterine exposure to low-level THg (MeHg) is associated with alterations in fine motor skills at the age of 18 months. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Postnatal methylmercury exposure induces hyperlocomotor activity and cerebellar oxidative stress in mice: dependence on the neurodevelopmental period.

    PubMed

    Stringari, James; Meotti, Flávia C; Souza, Diogo O; Santos, Adair R S; Farina, Marcelo

    2006-04-01

    During the early postnatal period the central nervous system (CNS) is extremely sensitive to external agents. The present study aims at the investigation of critical phases where methylmercury (MeHg) induces cerebellar toxicity during the suckling period in mice. Animals were treated with daily subcutaneous injections of MeHg (7 mg/kg of body weight) during four different periods (5 days each) at the early postnatal period: postnatal day (PND) 1-5, PND 6-10, PND 11-15, or PND 16-20. A control group was treated with daily subcutaneous injections of a 150 mM NaCl solution (10 ml/kg of body weight). Subjects exposed to MeHg at different postnatal periods were littermate. At PND 35, behavioral tests were performed to evaluate spontaneous locomotor activity in the open field and motor performance in the rotarod task. Biochemical parameters related to oxidative stress (levels of glutathione and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, as well as glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activity) were evaluated in cerebellum. Hyperlocomotor activity and high levels of cerebellar thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were observed in animals exposed to MeHg during the PND 11-15 or PND 16-20 periods. Cerebellar glutathione reductase activity decreased in MeHg-exposed animals. Cerebellar glutathione peroxidase activity was also decreased after MeHg exposure and the lowest enzymatic activity was found in animals exposed to MeHg during the later days of the suckling period. In addition, low levels of cerebellar glutathione were found in animals exposed to MeHg during the PND 16-20 period. The present results show that the postnatal exposure to MeHg during the second half of the suckling period causes hyperlocomotor activity in mice and point to this phase as a critical developmental stage where mouse cerebellum is a vulnerable target for the neurotoxic and pro-oxidative effects of MeHg.

  7. Methylmercury Exposure during Early Xenopus laevis Development Affects Cell Proliferation and Death but not Neural Progenitor Specification

    PubMed Central

    Huyck, Ryan W.; Nagarkar, Maitreyi; Olsen, Nina; Clamons, Samuel E.; Saha, Margaret S.

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a widespread environmental toxin that preferentially and adversely affects developing organisms. To investigate the impact of MeHg toxicity on the formation of the vertebrate nervous system at physiologically relevant concentrations, we designed a graded phenotype scale for evaluating Xenopus laevis embryos exposed to MeHg in solution. Embryos displayed a range of abnormalities in response to MeHg, particularly in brain development, which is influenced by both MeHg concentration and the number of embryos per ml of exposure solution. A TC50 of ~50 μg/l and LC50 of ~100 μg/l were found when maintaining embryos at a density of one per ml, and both increased with increasing embryo density. In situ hybridization and microarray analysis showed no significant change in expression of early neural patterning genes including sox2, en2, or delta; however a noticeable decrease was observed in the terminal neural differentiation genes GAD and xGAT, but not xVGlut. PCNA, a marker for proliferating cells, was negatively correlated with MeHg dose, with a significant reduction in cell number in the forebrain and spinal cord of exposed embryos by tadpole stages. Conversely, the number of apoptotic cells in neural regions detected by a TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling) assay was significantly increased. These results provide evidence that disruption of embryonic neural development by MeHg may not be directly due to a loss of neural progenitor specification and gene transcription, but to a more general decrease in cell proliferation and increase in cell death throughout the developing nervous system. PMID:25496965

  8. Differential gene expression associated with dietary methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Liu, Qing; Basu, Niladri; Goetz, Giles; Jiang, Nan; Hutz, Reinhold J; Tonellato, Peter J; Carvan, Michael J

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this study was to identify and evaluate conserved biomarkers that could be used in most species of teleost fish at most life-stages. We investigated the effects of sublethal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on developing rainbow trout and zebrafish. Juvenile rainbow trout and young adult zebrafish were fed food with MeHg added at 0, 0.5, 5, and 50 ppm. Atomic absorption spectrometry was applied to measure whole body total Hg levels, and pathologic analysis was performed to identify MeHg-induced toxicity. Fish at 6 weeks were sampled from each group for microarray analysis using RNA from whole fish. MeHg-exposed trout and zebrafish did not show overt signs of toxicity or pathology, nor were significant differences seen in mortality, length, mass, or condition factor. The accumulation of MeHg in trout and zebrafish exhibited dose- and time-dependent patterns during 6 weeks, and zebrafish exhibited greater assimilation of total Hg than rainbow trout. The dysregulated genes in MeHg-treated fish have multiple functional annotations, such as iron ion homeostasis, glutathione transferase activity, regulation of muscle contraction, troponin I binding and calcium-dependent protein binding. Genes were selected as biomarker candidates based on their microarray data and their expression was evaluated by QPCR. Unfortunately, these genes are not good consistent biomarkers for both rainbow trout and zebrafish from QPCR evaluation using individual fish. Our conclusion is that biomarker analysis for aquatic toxicant assessment using fish needs to be based on tissue-, sex- and species-specific consideration.

  9. Differential gene expression associated with dietary methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qing; Basu, Niladri; Goetz, Giles; Jiang, Nan; Hutz, Reinhold J.; Tonellato, Peter J.; Carvan, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify and evaluate conserved biomarkers that could be used in most species of teleost fish at most life-stages. We investigated the effects of sublethal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on developing rainbow trout and zebrafish. Juvenile rainbow trout and young adult zebrafish were fed food with MeHg added at 0, 0.5, 5 and 50 ppm. Atomic absorption spectrometry was applied to measure whole body total Hg levels, and pathologic analysis was performed to identify MeHg-induced toxicity. Fish at six weeks were sampled from each group for microarray analysis using RNA from whole fish. MeHg-exposed trout and zebrafish did not show overt signs of toxicity or pathology, nor were significant differences seen in mortality, length, mass, or condition factor. The accumulation of MeHg in trout and zebrafish exhibited dose- and time-dependent patterns during six weeks, and zebrafish exhibited greater assimilation of total Hg than rainbow trout. The dysregulated genes in MeHg-treated fish have multiple functional annotations, such as iron ion homeostasis, glutathione transferase activity, regulation of muscle contraction, troponin I binding and calcium-dependent protein binding. Genes were selected as biomarker candidates based on their microarray data and their expression was evaluated by QPCR. Unfortunately, these genes are not good consistent biomarkers for both rainbow trout and zebrafish from QPCR evaluation using individual fish. Our conclusion is that biomarker analysis for aquatic toxicant assessment using fish needs to be based on tissue-, sex- and species-specific consideration. PMID:23529582

  10. Impact of a risk-benefit advisory on fish consumption and dietary exposure to methylmercury in France.

    PubMed

    Verger, P; Houdart, S; Marette, S; Roosen, J; Blanchemanche, S

    2007-08-01

    We designed the CORAI (COnsumer Risk Advisory Inquiry) study to observe consumer reactions' after an advisory revealing risk of methylmercury contamination together with benefits of Long-Chain Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids of the n-3 variety (LC n-3 PUFA). The message was very close to the ones commonly delivered by national food agencies and included recommendations for women of childbearing age and children below 15 years old. Two groups of subjects including consumers at risk were selected. Participants recorded the frequency of their fish consumption detailed by species for them and their family over a one-month period one month before, a month immediately after and 3 month after the advisory. Results were compared between consumers receiving the advisory and controls. Results show that the message revelation led to a significant decrease in total fish consumption which is greater for children below 6 years old than for the children between 6 and 15 years old and women. The consumption of the most contaminated fish quoted in the advisory, rarely consumed and poorly known by French consumers did not decrease in any group despite the advice to avoid their consumption. The consumption of other fish products quoted in the advisory but frequently consumed and better known, as canned tuna, did decrease and was a major contributor to the overall reduction of exposure for the advised group. Before the information, about 3% of women of childbearing age are exceeding the PTWI for MeHg and both the average and the high percentiles of the exposure to MeHg are decreasing significantly in the advised group. Regarding the number of subjects of the advised group exceeding the PTWI, they were 6, 3 and 2, respectively, in May, June and September. Accompanying questionnaires show that consumers imperfectly memorize most of the fish species quoted in the recommendation. This paper concludes that consumer advisory, which is a major tool for risk management, has a minimal effect

  11. Stable and episodic/bolus patterns of methylmercury exposure on mercury accumulation and histopathologic alterations in the nervous system.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Domingo, José L; Yamazaki, Hiroshi; Oliveira, Ricardo B; Sarrazin, Sandra L F; Eto, Komyo; Murata, Katsuyuki

    2017-01-01

    The main purpose of the present study was to compare the blood and brain mercury (Hg) accumulation and neurological alterations in adult male and pregnant female/fetal rats following stable and episodic/bolus patterns of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. In addition, MeHg accumulation in the human body was estimated by a one-compartment model using three different patterns of MeHg exposure. In the adult male rat experiment, doses of 0.3 and 1.5mg MeHg/kg/day were orally administered to the stable groups for 5 weeks, while 7-fold higher doses of 2.1 and 10.5mg MeHg/kg/once a week were administered to the bolus groups. The blood Hg levels increased constantly in the stable groups, but increased with repeated waves in the bolus groups. At completion of the experiment, there were no significant differences in the brain Hg concentrations or neurological alterations between the stable and bolus groups, when the total doses of MeHg were the same. In the pregnant female rat experiment, a dose of 1mg MeHg/kg/day was administered orally to the stable group for 20 days (until 1day before expected parturition), while a 5-fold higher dose of 5mg MeHg/kg/once every 5 days was administered to the bolus group. In the brains of the maternal/fetal rats, there were no significant differences in the Hg concentrations and neurological alterations between the stable and bolus groups. The mean Hg concentrations in the fetal brains were approximately 2-fold higher than those in the maternal brains for both stable and bolus groups. Using the one-compartment model, the Hg accumulation curves in humans at doses of 7µg MeHg/day, 48µg MeHg/once a week, and 96µg MeHg/once every 2 weeks were estimated to be similar, while the bolus groups showed dose-dependent amplitudes of repeated waves. These results suggest that stable and episodic/bolus patterns of MeHg exposure do not cause differences in Hg accumulation in the blood and brain, or in neurological alterations, when the total doses are the

  12. Prenatal methylmercury exposure hampers glutathione antioxidant system ontogenesis and causes long-lasting oxidative stress in the mouse brain

    SciTech Connect

    Stringari, James; Nunes, Adriana K.C.; Franco, Jeferson L.; Bohrer, Denise; Garcia, Solange C.; Dafre, Alcir L.; Milatovic, Dejan; Souza, Diogo O.; Rocha, Joao B.T.; Aschner, Michael; Farina, Marcelo

    2008-02-15

    During the perinatal period, the central nervous system (CNS) is extremely sensitive to metals, including methylmercury (MeHg). Although the mechanism(s) associated with MeHg-induced developmental neurotoxicity remains obscure, several studies point to the glutathione (GSH) antioxidant system as an important molecular target for this toxicant. To extend our recent findings of MeHg-induced GSH dyshomeostasis, the present study was designed to assess the developmental profile of the GSH antioxidant system in the mouse brain during the early postnatal period after in utero exposure to MeHg. Pregnant mice were exposed to different doses of MeHg (1, 3 and 10 mg/l, diluted in drinking water, ad libitum) during the gestational period. After delivery, pups were killed at different time points - postnatal days (PND) 1, 11 and 21 - and the whole brain was used for determining biochemical parameters related to the antioxidant GSH system, as well as mercury content and the levels of F{sub 2}-isoprostane. In control animals, cerebral GSH levels significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period; gestational exposure to MeHg caused a dose-dependent inhibition of this developmental event. Cerebral glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period in control animals; gestational MeHg exposure induced a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on both developmental phenomena. These adverse effects of prenatal MeHg exposure were corroborated by marked increases in cerebral F{sub 2}-isoprostanes levels at all time points. Significant negative correlations were found between F{sub 2}-isoprostanes and GSH, as well as between F{sub 2}-isoprostanes and GPx activity, suggesting that MeHg-induced disruption of the GSH system maturation is related to MeHg-induced increased lipid peroxidation in the pup brain. In utero MeHg exposure also caused a dose-dependent increase in the cerebral levels of

  13. Prenatal methylmercury exposure hampers glutathione antioxidant system ontogenesis and causes long-lasting oxidative stress in the mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Stringari, James; Nunes, Adriana KC; Franco, Jeferson L; Bohrer, Denise; Garcia, Solange C; Dafre, Alcir L; Milatovic, Dejan; Souza, Diogo O; Rocha, João BT; Aschner, Michael; Farina, Marcelo

    2010-01-01

    During the perinatal period, the central nervous system (CNS) is extremely sensitive to metals, including methylmercury (MeHg). Although the mechanism(s) associated with MeHg-induced developmental neurotoxicity remains obscure, several studies point to the glutathione (GSH) antioxidant system as an important molecular target for this toxicant. To extend our recent findings of MeHg-induced GSH dyshomeostasis, the present study was designed to assess the developmental profile of the GSH antioxidant system in the mouse brain during the early postnatal period after in utero exposure to MeHg. Pregnant mice were exposed to different doses of MeHg (1, 3 and 10 mg/L, diluted in drinking water, ad libitum) during the gestational period. After delivery, pups were killed at different time points - postnatal days (PNDs) 1, 11 and 21 - and the whole brain was used for determining biochemical parameters related to the antioxidant GSH system, as well as mercury content and the levels of F2-isoprostane. In control animals, cerebral GSH levels significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period; gestational exposure to MeHg caused a dose-dependent inhibition of this developmental event. Cerebral glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period in control animals; gestational MeHg exposure induced a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on both developmental phenomena. These adverse effects of prenatal MeHg exposure were corroborated by marked increases in cerebral F2-isoprostanes levels at all time points. Significant negative correlations were found between F2-isoprostanes and GSH, as well as between F2-isoprostanes and GPx activity, suggesting that MeHg-induced disruption of the GSH system maturation is related to MeHg-induced increased lipid peroxidation in the pup brain. In utero MeHg exposure also caused a dose-dependent increase in the cerebral levels of mercury at birth. Even

  14. Mercury Exposure in a Riverside Amazon Population, Brazil: A Study of the Ototoxicity of Methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Hoshino, Ana; Pacheco-Ferreira, Heloisa; Sanches, Seisse Gabriela G.; Carvallo, Renata; Cardoso, Nathália; Perez, Maurício; Câmara, Volney de Magalhães

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Mercury poisoning causes hearing loss in humans and animals. Acute and long-term exposures produce irreversible peripheral and central auditory system damage, and mercury in its various forms of presentation in the environment is ototoxic. Objective We investigated the otoacoustic emissions responses in a riverside population exposed to environmental mercury by analyzing the inhibitory effect of the medial olivocochlear system (MOCS) on transient otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE). Methods The purpose of the research was to evaluate the entire community independently of variables of sex and age. All of the participants were born and lived in a riverside community. After otolaryngologic evaluation, participants were received tympanometry, evaluation of contralateral acoustic reflexes, pure tone audiometry, and recording of TEOAEs with nonlinear click stimulation. Hair samples were collect to measure mercury levels. Results There was no significant correlation between the inhibitory effect of the MOCS, age, and the level of mercury in the hair. Conclusions The pathophysiological effects of chronic exposure may be subtle and nonspecific and can have a long period of latency; therefore, it will be important to monitor the effects of mercury exposure in the central auditory system of the Amazon population over time. Longitudinal studies should be performed to determine whether the inhibitory effect of the MOCS on otoacoustic emissions can be an evaluation method and diagnostic tool in populations exposed to mercury. PMID:25992169

  15. Human co-exposure to mercury vapor and methylmercury in artisanal mercury mining areas, Guizhou, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Shang, Lihai; Qiu, Guangle; Meng, Bo; Zhang, Hua; Guo, Yanna; Liang, Peng

    2011-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in human urine and hair samples from Gouxi (GX, n=25) and Laowuchang (LWC, n=18), Tongren, Guizhou, China, to evaluate human exposure from artisanal Hg mining. Geometric means of urinary Hg (U-Hg) were 216 and 560 μg g(-1) Creatinine (μg g(-1) Cr) for artisanal mining workers from GX and LWC, respectively, and clinical symptoms (finger tremor) were observed in three workers. The means of hair Me-Hg concentrations were 4.26 μg g(-1) (1.87-10.6 μg g(-1)) and 4.55 μg g(-1) (2.29-9.55 μg g(-1)) for the population in GX and LWC, respectively. Significant relationship was found between estimated rice Me-Hg intake and hair Me-Hg levels (r=0.73, p<0.001). Co-exposure to Hg vapor and Me-Hg may pose health risks for the study population. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Methylmercury exposure in a subsistence fishing community in Lake Chapala, Mexico: an ecological approach

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Elevated concentrations of mercury have been documented in fish in Lake Chapala in central Mexico, an area that is home to a large subsistence fishing community. However, neither the extent of human mercury exposure nor its sources and routes have been elucidated. Methods Total mercury concentrations were measured in samples of fish from Lake Chapala; in sections of sediment cores from the delta of Rio Lerma, the major tributary to the lake; and in a series of suspended-particle samples collected at sites from the mouth of the Lerma to mid-Lake. A cross-sectional survey of 92 women ranging in age from 18-45 years was conducted in three communities along the Lake to investigate the relationship between fish consumption and hair mercury concentrations among women of child-bearing age. Results Highest concentrations of mercury in fish samples were found in carp (mean 0.87 ppm). Sediment data suggest a pattern of moderate ongoing contamination. Analyses of particles filtered from the water column showed highest concentrations of mercury near the mouth of the Lerma. In the human study, 27.2% of women had >1 ppm hair mercury. On multivariable analysis, carp consumption and consumption of fish purchased or captured from Lake Chapala were both associated with significantly higher mean hair mercury concentrations. Conclusions Our preliminary data indicate that, despite a moderate level of contamination in recent sediments and suspended particulate matter, carp in Lake Chapala contain mercury concentrations of concern for local fish consumers. Consumption of carp appears to contribute significantly to body burden in this population. Further studies of the consequences of prenatal exposure for child neurodevelopment are being initiated. PMID:20064246

  17. Use of a 15 k gene microarray to determine gene expression changes in response to acute and chronic methylmercury exposure in the fathead minnow Pimephales promelas Rafinesque

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klaper, R.; Carter, Barbara J.; Richter, C.A.; Drevnick, P.E.; Sandheinrich, M.B.; Tillitt, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    This study describes the use of a 15 000 gene microarray developed for the toxicological model species, Pimephales promelas, in investigating the impact of acute and chronic methylmercury exposures in male gonad and liver tissues. The results show significant differences in the individual genes that were differentially expressed in response to each treatment. In liver, a total of 650 genes exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) altered expression with greater than two-fold differences from the controls in response to acute exposure and a total of 267 genes were differentially expressed in response to chronic exposure. A majority of these genes were downregulated rather than upregulated. Fewer genes were altered in gonad than in liver at both timepoints. A total of 212 genes were differentially expressed in response to acute exposure and 155 genes were altered in response to chronic exposure. Despite the differences in individual genes expressed across treatments, the functional categories that altered genes were associated with showed some similarities. Of interest in light of other studies involving the effects of methylmercury on fish, several genes associated with apoptosis were upregulated in response to both acute and chronic exposures. Induction of apoptosis has been associated with effects on reproduction seen in the previous studies. This study demonstrates the utility of microarray analysis for investigations of the physiological effects of toxicants as well as the time-course of effects that may take place. In addition, it is the first publication to demonstrate the use of this new 15 000 gene microarray for fish biology and toxicology. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  18. Is susceptibility to prenatal methylmercury exposure from fish consumption non-homogeneous? Tree-structured analysis for the Seychelles Child Development Study.

    PubMed

    Huang, Li-Shan; Myers, Gary J; Davidson, Philip W; Cox, Christopher; Xiao, Fenyuan; Thurston, Sally W; Cernichiari, Elsa; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Sloane-Reeves, Jean; Georger, Lesley; Clarkson, Thomas W

    2007-11-01

    Studies of the association between prenatal methylmercury exposure from maternal fish consumption during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental test scores in the Seychelles Child Development Study have found no consistent pattern of associations through age 9 years. The analyses for the most recent 9-year data examined the population effects of prenatal exposure, but did not address the possibility of non-homogeneous susceptibility. This paper presents a regression tree approach: covariate effects are treated non-linearly and non-additively and non-homogeneous effects of prenatal methylmercury exposure are permitted among the covariate clusters identified by the regression tree. The approach allows us to address whether children in the lower or higher ends of the developmental spectrum differ in susceptibility to subtle exposure effects. Of 21 endpoints available at age 9 years, we chose the Weschler Full Scale IQ and its associated covariates to construct the regression tree. The prenatal mercury effect in each of the nine resulting clusters was assessed linearly and non-homogeneously. In addition we reanalyzed five other 9-year endpoints that in the linear analysis had a two-tailed p-value <0.2 for the effect of prenatal exposure. In this analysis, motor proficiency and activity level improved significantly with increasing MeHg for 53% of the children who had an average home environment. Motor proficiency significantly decreased with increasing prenatal MeHg exposure in 7% of the children whose home environment was below average. The regression tree results support previous analyses of outcomes in this cohort. However, this analysis raises the intriguing possibility that an effect may be non-homogeneous among children with different backgrounds and IQ levels.

  19. Neurotoxicity of methylmercury in the pigeon

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, H.L.; Garman, R.H.; Laties, V.G.

    1982-11-01

    Pigeons repeatedly exposed to sublethal doses of methylmercury (5-10 mg Hg/kg/wk, po, for 34-77 days) exhibited marked behavioral changes that were accompanied by only minor evidence of neuropathologic changes at the light microscopic level. Accuracy and rate of pecking for grain declined while food intake remained unchanged. Methylmercury produced permanent changes in posture and in motor coordination. The regional distribution of methylmercury within the nervous system was poorly correlated with the distribution of pathologic changes. Overt behavioral signs appeared after the brain accumulated more than about 12 to 16 ppm Hg. Data with pigeons support earlier evidence that the dose-response function for methylmercury is modulated by dose rate and duration of exposure, since the pattern of blood and tissue distribution of Hg is established in advance of the appearance of signs. The pigeon is more sensitive to methylmercury than are mice and rats, but less sensitive than primates.

  20. Methylmercury Poisoning in Iraq

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakir, F.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Discusses incidence of methylmercury poisoning throughout the world with increasing industrial and agricultural use of mercury compounds. Describes recent epidemic in Iraq resulting from use of wheat treated with methylmercurial fungicide. New data are presented on the toxicity of methylmercury and its metabolic fate in the human body. (JR)

  1. Methylmercury Poisoning in Iraq

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakir, F.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Discusses incidence of methylmercury poisoning throughout the world with increasing industrial and agricultural use of mercury compounds. Describes recent epidemic in Iraq resulting from use of wheat treated with methylmercurial fungicide. New data are presented on the toxicity of methylmercury and its metabolic fate in the human body. (JR)

  2. Prenatal Organochlorine and Methylmercury Exposure and Memory and Learning in School-Age Children in Communities Near the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site, Massachusetts

    PubMed Central

    Orenstein, Sara T.C.; Thurston, Sally W.; Bellinger, David C.; Schwartz, Joel D.; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J.; Altshul, Larisa M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, and methylmercury (MeHg) are environmentally persistent with adverse effects on neurodevelopment. However, especially among populations with commonly experienced low levels of exposure, research on neurodevelopmental effects of these toxicants has produced conflicting results. Objectives: We assessed the association of low-level prenatal exposure to these contaminants with memory and learning. Methods: We studied 393 children, born between 1993 and 1998 to mothers residing near a PCB-contaminated harbor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Cord serum PCB, DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), and maternal peripartum hair mercury (Hg) levels were measured to estimate prenatal exposure. Memory and learning were assessed at 8 years of age (range, 7–11 years) using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), age-standardized to a mean ± SD of 100 ± 15. Associations with each WRAML index—Visual Memory, Verbal Memory, and Learning—were examined with multivariable linear regression, controlling for potential confounders. Results: Although cord serum PCB levels were low (sum of four PCBs: mean, 0.3 ng/g serum; range, 0.01–4.4), hair Hg levels were typical of the U.S. fish-eating population (mean, 0.6 μg/g; range, 0.3–5.1). In multivariable models, each microgram per gram increase in hair Hg was associated with, on average, decrements of –2.8 on Visual Memory (95% CI: –5.0, –0.6, p = 0.01), –2.2 on Learning (95% CI: –4.6, 0.2, p = 0.08), and –1.7 on Verbal Memory (95% CI: –3.9, 0.6, p = 0.14). There were no significant adverse associations of PCBs or DDE with WRAML indices. Conclusions: These results support an adverse relationship between low-level prenatal MeHg exposure and childhood memory and learning, particularly visual memory. Citation: Orenstein ST, Thurston SW, Bellinger DC, Schwartz JD, Amarasiriwardena CJ, Altshul LM, Korrick SA. 2014. Prenatal

  3. PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO METHYLMERCURY AND PCBS AFFECTS DISTINCT STAGES OF INFORMATION PROCESSING: AN EVENT-RELATED POTENTIAL STUDY WITH INUIT CHILDREN

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Olivier; Bastien, Célyne H.; Saint-Amour, Dave; Dewailly, Éric; Ayotte, Pierre; Jacobson, Joseph L.; Jacobson, Sandra W.; Muckle, Gina

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are seafood contaminants known for their adverse effects on neurodevelopment. This study examines the relation of developmental exposure to these contaminants to information processing assessed with event-related potentials (ERPs) in school-aged Inuit children from Nunavik (Arctic Québec). In a prospective longitudinal study on child development, exposure to contaminants was measured at birth and 11 years of age. An auditory oddball protocol was administered at 11 years to measure ERP components N1 and P3b. Multiple regression analyses were performed to examine the associations of levels of the contaminants to auditory oddball performance (mean reaction time, omission errors and false alarms) and ERP parameters (latency and amplitude) after control for potential confounding variables. A total of 118 children provided useable ERP data. Prenatal MeHg exposure was associated with slower reaction times and fewer false alarms during the oddball task. Analyses of the ERP parameters revealed that prenatal MeHg exposure was related to greater amplitude and delayed latency of the N1 wave in the target condition but not to the P3b component. MeHg effects on the N1 were stronger after control for seafood nutrients. Prenatal PCB exposure was not related to any endpoint for sample as a whole but was associated with a decrease in P3b amplitude in the subgroup of children who had been breast-fed for less than 3 months. Body burdens of MeHg and PCBs at 11 years were not related to any of the behavioural or ERP measures. These data suggest that prenatal MeHg exposure alters attentional mechanisms modulating early processing of sensory information. By contrast, prenatal PCB exposure appears to affect information processing at later stages, when the information is being consciously evaluated. These effects seem to be mitigated in children who are breast-fed for a more extended period. PMID:20403381

  4. Prenatal exposure to methylmercury and PCBs affects distinct stages of information processing: an event-related potential study with Inuit children.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Olivier; Bastien, Célyne H; Saint-Amour, Dave; Dewailly, Eric; Ayotte, Pierre; Jacobson, Joseph L; Jacobson, Sandra W; Muckle, Gina

    2010-08-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are seafood contaminants known for their adverse effects on neurodevelopment. This study examines the relation of developmental exposure to these contaminants to information processing assessed with event-related potentials (ERPs) in school-aged Inuit children from Nunavik (Arctic Québec). In a prospective longitudinal study on child development, exposure to contaminants was measured at birth and 11 years of age. An auditory oddball protocol was administered at 11 years to measure ERP components N1 and P3b. Multiple regression analyses were performed to examine the associations of levels of the contaminants to auditory oddball performance (mean reaction time, omission errors and false alarms) and ERP parameters (latency and amplitude) after control for potential confounding variables. A total of 118 children provided useable ERP data. Prenatal MeHg exposure was associated with slower reaction times and fewer false alarms during the oddball task. Analyses of the ERP parameters revealed that prenatal MeHg exposure was related to greater amplitude and delayed latency of the N1 wave in the target condition but not to the P3b component. MeHg effects on the N1 were stronger after control for seafood nutrients. Prenatal PCB exposure was not related to any endpoint for sample as a whole but was associated with a decrease in P3b amplitude in the subgroup of children who had been breast-fed for less than 3 months. Body burdens of MeHg and PCBs at 11 years were not related to any of the behavioural or ERP measures. These data suggest that prenatal MeHg exposure alters attentional mechanisms modulating early processing of sensory information. By contrast, prenatal PCB exposure appears to affect information processing at later stages, when the information is being consciously evaluated. These effects seem to be mitigated in children who are breast-fed for a more extended period.

  5. Methylmercury: a new look at the risks.

    PubMed Central

    Mahaffey, K R

    1999-01-01

    In the US, exposure to methylmercury, a neurotoxin, occurs primarily through consumption of fish. Data from recent studies assessing the health impact of methylmercury exposure due to consumption of fish and other sources in the aquatic food web (shellfish, crustacea, and marine mammals) suggest adverse effects at levels previously considered safe. There is substantial variation in human methylmercury exposure based on differences in the frequency and amount of fish consumed and in the fish's mercury concentration. Although virtually all fish and other seafood contain at least trace amounts of methylmercury, large predatory fish species have the highest concentrations. Concerns have been expressed about mercury exposure levels in the US, particularly among sensitive populations, and discussions are underway about the standards used by various federal agencies to protect the public. In the 1997 Mercury Study Report to Congress, the US Environmental Protection Agency summarized the current state of knowledge on methylmercury's effects on the health of humans and wildlife; sources of mercury; and how mercury is distributed in the environment. This article summarizes some of the major findings in the Report to Congress and identifies issues of concern to the public health community. Images p396-a p397-a p399-a p406-a p408-a p410-a PMID:10590759

  6. Recent evidence from epidemiological studies on methylmercury toxicity.

    PubMed

    Murata, Katsuyuki; Yoshida, Minoru; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Iwai-Shimada, Miyuki; Yaginuma-Sakurai, Kozue; Tatsuta, Nozomi; Iwata, Toyoto; Karita, Kanae; Nakai, Kunihiko

    2011-09-01

    More than fifty years have passed since the outbreak of Minamata disease, and large-scale methylmercury poisoning due to industrial effluents or methylmercury-containing fungicide intoxication has scarcely happened in developed countries. On the other hand, widespread environmental mercury contamination has occurred in gold and mercury mining areas of developing countries. In this article, we provided an overview of recent studies addressing human health effects of methylmercury, which we searched using the PubMed of the US National Library of Medicine. The following suggestions were obtained for low-level methylmercury exposure: (1) In recent years, the proportion of human studies addressing methylmercury has tended to decrease. (2) Prenatal exposure to methylmercury through fish intake, even at low levels, adversely affects child development after adjusting for polychlorinated biphenyls and maternal fish intake during pregnancy, whereas maternal seafood intake has some benefits. (3) Long-term methylmercury exposure through consumption of fish such as bigeye tuna and swordfish may pose a potential risk of cardiac events involving sympathovagal imbalance. (4) In measuring methylmercury levels in preserved umbilical cord collected from inhabitants born in Minamata areas between 1945 and 1989, the elevated concentrations (≥1 mg/g) were observed mainly in inhabitants born between 1947 and 1968, and the peak coincided with the peak of acetaldehyde production in Minamata. (5) Since some developing countries appear to be in similar situations to Japan in the past, attention should be directed toward early recognition of a risky agent and precautions should be taken against it.

  7. Prenatal organochlorine and methylmercury exposure and memory and learning in school-age children in communities near the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site, Massachusetts.

    PubMed

    Orenstein, Sara T C; Thurston, Sally W; Bellinger, David C; Schwartz, Joel D; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J; Altshul, Larisa M; Korrick, Susan A

    2014-11-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, and methylmercury (MeHg) are environmentally persistent with adverse effects on neurodevelopment. However, especially among populations with commonly experienced low levels of exposure, research on neurodevelopmental effects of these toxicants has produced conflicting results. We assessed the association of low-level prenatal exposure to these contaminants with memory and learning. We studied 393 children, born between 1993 and 1998 to mothers residing near a PCB-contaminated harbor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Cord serum PCB, DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), and maternal peripartum hair mercury (Hg) levels were measured to estimate prenatal exposure. Memory and learning were assessed at 8 years of age (range, 7-11 years) using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), age-standardized to a mean ± SD of 100 ± 15. Associations with each WRAML index-Visual Memory, Verbal Memory, and Learning-were examined with multivariable linear regression, controlling for potential confounders. Although cord serum PCB levels were low (sum of four PCBs: mean, 0.3 ng/g serum; range, 0.01-4.4), hair Hg levels were typical of the U.S. fish-eating population (mean, 0.6 μg/g; range, 0.3-5.1). In multivariable models, each microgram per gram increase in hair Hg was associated with, on average, decrements of -2.8 on Visual Memory (95% CI: -5.0, -0.6, p = 0.01), -2.2 on Learning (95% CI: -4.6, 0.2, p = 0.08), and -1.7 on Verbal Memory (95% CI: -3.9, 0.6, p = 0.14). There were no significant adverse associations of PCBs or DDE with WRAML indices. These results support an adverse relationship between low-level prenatal MeHg exposure and childhood memory and learning, particularly visual memory.

  8. Use of Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis with a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model of methylmercury to estimate exposures in US women of childbearing age.

    PubMed

    Allen, Bruce C; Hack, C Eric; Clewell, Harvey J

    2007-08-01

    A Bayesian approach, implemented using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis, was applied with a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model of methylmercury (MeHg) to evaluate the variability of MeHg exposure in women of childbearing age in the U.S. population. The analysis made use of the newly available National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) blood and hair mercury concentration data for women of age 16-49 years (sample size, 1,582). Bayesian analysis was performed to estimate the population variability in MeHg exposure (daily ingestion rate) implied by the variation in blood and hair concentrations of mercury in the NHANES database. The measured variability in the NHANES blood and hair data represents the result of a process that includes interindividual variation in exposure to MeHg and interindividual variation in the pharmacokinetics (distribution, clearance) of MeHg. The PBPK model includes a number of pharmacokinetic parameters (e.g., tissue volumes, partition coefficients, rate constants for metabolism and elimination) that can vary from individual to individual within the subpopulation of interest. Using MCMC analysis, it was possible to combine prior distributions of the PBPK model parameters with the NHANES blood and hair data, as well as with kinetic data from controlled human exposures to MeHg, to derive posterior distributions that refine the estimates of both the population exposure distribution and the pharmacokinetic parameters. In general, based on the populations surveyed by NHANES, the results of the MCMC analysis indicate that a small fraction, less than 1%, of the U.S. population of women of childbearing age may have mercury exposures greater than the EPA RfD for MeHg of 0.1 microg/kg/day, and that there are few, if any, exposures greater than the ATSDR MRL of 0.3 microg/kg/day. The analysis also indicates that typical exposures may be greater than previously estimated from food consumption surveys, but that the variability

  9. What has methylmercury in umbilical cords told us? - Minamata disease.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kashima, Saori; Tsuda, Toshihide; Harada, Masazumi

    2009-12-20

    Severe methylmercury poisoning occurred in Minamata and neighboring communities in the 1950s and 1960s. The exposed patients manifested neurological signs, and some patients exposed in utero were born with so-called congenital Minamata disease. In a previous report, Nishigaki and Harada evaluated the methylmercury concentrations in the umbilical cords of inhabitants and demonstrated that methylmercury actually passed through the placenta (Nishigaki and Harada, 1975). However, the report involved a limited number of cases (only 35) and did not quantitatively evaluate the regional differences in the transition of methylmercury exposure. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the temporal and spatial distributions of methylmercury concentrations in umbilical cords, with an increased number of participants and additional descriptive analyses. Then, we examined whether the methylmercury concentrations corresponded with the history of the Minamata disease incident. A total of 278 umbilical cord specimens collected after birth were obtained from babies born between 1925 and 1980 in four study areas exposed to methylmercury. Then, we conducted descriptive analyses, and drew scatterplots of the methylmercury concentrations of all the participants and separated by the areas. In the Minamata area, where the first patient was identified in 1956, the methylmercury concentration reached a peak around 1955. Subsequently, about 5 years later, the concentrations peaked in other exposed areas with the expected exposure distribution corresponding with acetaldehyde production (the origin of methylmercury). This historical incident several decades ago in Minamata and neighboring communities clearly shows that regional pollution affected the environment in utero. Furthermore, the temporal and spatial distributions of the methylmercury concentrations in the umbilical cords tell us the history of the Minamata disease incident.

  10. Co-exposure to methylmercury and inorganic arsenic in baby rice cereals and rice-containing teething biscuits.

    PubMed

    Rothenberg, Sarah E; Jackson, Brian P; Carly McCalla, G; Donohue, Alexis; Emmons, Alison M

    2017-11-01

    Rice is an important dietary source for methylmercury (MeHg), a potent neurotoxin, and inorganic arsenic (As), a human carcinogen. Rice baby cereals are a dietary source of inorganic As; however, less is known concerning MeHg concentrations in rice baby cereals and rice teething biscuits. MeHg concentrations were measured in 36 rice baby cereals, eight rice teething biscuits, and four baby cereals manufactured with oats/wheat (n = 48 total). Arsenic (As) species, including inorganic As, were determined in rice baby cereals and rice teething biscuits (n = 44/48), while total As was determined in all products (n = 48). Rice baby cereals and rice teething biscuits were on average 61 and 92 times higher in MeHg, respectively, and 9.4 and 4.7 times higher in total As, respectively, compared to wheat/oat baby cereals. For a 15-g serving of rice baby cereal, average MeHg intake was 0.0092μgday(-1) (range: 0.0013-0.034μgday(-1)), while average inorganic As intake was 1.3μgday(-1) (range: 0.37-2.3μgday(-1)). Inorganic As concentrations in two brands of rice baby cereal (n = 12/36 boxes of rice cereal) exceeded 100ng/g, the proposed action level from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Log10 MeHg and inorganic As concentrations in rice baby cereals were strongly, positively correlated (Pearson's rho = 0.60, p < 0.001, n = 36). Rice-containing baby cereals and teething biscuits were a dietary source of both MeHg and inorganic As. Studies concerning the cumulative impacts of MeHg and inorganic As on offspring development are warranted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Global transcriptome analysis of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) liver after in vivo methylmercury exposure suggests effects on energy metabolism pathways.

    PubMed

    Yadetie, Fekadu; Karlsen, Odd Andre; Lanzén, Anders; Berg, Karin; Olsvik, Pål; Hogstrand, Christer; Goksøyr, Anders

    2013-01-15

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a widely distributed contaminant polluting many aquatic environments, with health risks to humans exposed mainly through consumption of seafood. The mechanisms of toxicity of MeHg are not completely understood. In order to map the range of molecular targets and gain better insights into the mechanisms of toxicity, we prepared Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) 135k oligonucleotide arrays and performed global analysis of transcriptional changes in the liver of fish treated with MeHg (0.5 and 2 mg/kg of body weight) for 14 days. Inferring from the observed transcriptional changes, the main pathways significantly affected by the treatment were energy metabolism, oxidative stress response, immune response and cytoskeleton remodeling. Consistent with known effects of MeHg, many transcripts for genes in oxidative stress pathways such as glutathione metabolism and Nrf2 regulation of oxidative stress response were differentially regulated. Among the differentially regulated genes, there were disproportionate numbers of genes coding for enzymes involved in metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and glucose. In particular, many genes coding for enzymes of fatty acid beta-oxidation were up-regulated. The coordinated effects observed on many transcripts coding for enzymes of energy pathways may suggest disruption of nutrient metabolism by MeHg. Many transcripts for genes coding for enzymes in the synthetic pathways of sulphur containing amino acids were also up-regulated, suggesting adaptive responses to MeHg toxicity. By this toxicogenomics approach, we were also able to identify many potential biomarker candidate genes for monitoring environmental MeHg pollution. These results based on changes on transcript levels, however, need to be confirmed by other methods such as proteomics.

  12. Inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway prevents neuronal degeneration in vitro and in vivo following methylmercury exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimura, Masatake; Usuki, Fusako; Kawamura, Miwako; Izumo, Shuji

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental neurotoxicant which induces neuropathological changes in both the central nervous and peripheral sensory nervous systems. Our recent study demonstrated that down-regulation of Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), which is known to promote neuritic extension, preceded MeHg-induced damage in cultured cortical neurons, suggesting that MeHg-mediated axonal degeneration is due to the disturbance of neuritic extension. Therefore we hypothesized that MeHg-induced axonal degeneration might be caused by neuritic extension/retraction incoordination. This idea brought our attention to the Ras homolog gene (Rho)/Rho-associated coiled coil-forming protein kinase (ROCK) pathway because it has been known to be associated with the development of axon and apoptotic neuronal cell death. Here we show that inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway prevents MeHg-intoxication both in vitro and in vivo. A Rho inhibitor, C3 toxin, and 2 ROCK inhibitors, Fasudil and Y-27632, significantly protected against MeHg-induced axonal degeneration and apoptotic neuronal cell death in cultured cortical neuronal cells exposed to 100 nM MeHg for 3 days. Furthermore, Fasudil partially prevented the loss of large pale neurons in dorsal root ganglia, axonal degeneration in dorsal spinal root nerves, and vacuolar degeneration in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord in MeHg-intoxicated model rats (20 ppm MeHg in drinking water for 28 days). Hind limb crossing sign, a characteristic MeHg-intoxicated sign, was significantly suppressed in this model. The results suggest that inhibition of the Rho/ROCK pathway rescues MeHg-mediated neuritic extension/retraction incoordination and is effective for the prevention of MeHg-induced axonal degeneration and apoptotic neuronal cell death.

  13. Low level postnatal methylmercury exposure in vivo alters developmental forms of short-term synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of rat

    SciTech Connect

    Dasari, Sameera; Yuan, Yukun

    2009-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been previously shown to affect neurotransmitter release. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) is primarily related to changes in the probability of neurotransmitter release. To determine if MeHg affects STP development, we examined STP forms in the visual cortex of rat following in vivo MeHg exposure. Neonatal rats received 0 (0.9% NaCl), 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg subcutaneously for 15 or 30 days beginning on postnatal day 5, after which visual cortical slices were prepared for field potential recordings. In slices prepared from rats treated with vehicle, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by paired-pulse stimulation at 20-200 ms inter-stimulus intervals showed a depression (PPD) of the second fEPSP (fEPSP2). PPD was also seen in slices prepared from rats after 15 day treatment with 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg. However, longer duration treatment (30 days) with either dose of MeHg resulted in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of fEPSP2 in the majority of slices examined. PPF remained observable in slices prepared from animals in which MeHg exposure had been terminated for 30 days after completion of the initial 30 day MeHg treatment, whereas slices from control animals still showed PPD. MeHg did not cause any frequency- or region-preferential effect on STP. Manipulations of [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub e} or application of the GABA{sub A} receptor antagonist bicuculline could alter the strength and polarity of MeHg-induced changes in STP. Thus, these data suggest that low level postnatal MeHg exposure interferes with the developmental transformation of STP in the visual cortex, which is a long-lasting effect.

  14. Effects of methylmercury exposure on glutathione metabolism, oxidative stress, and chromosomal damage in captive-reared common loon (Gavia immer) chicks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenow, K.P.; Hoffman, D.J.; Hines, R.K.; Meyer, M.W.; Bickham, J.W.; Matson, C.W.; Stebbins, K.R.; Montagna, P.; Elfessi, A.

    2008-01-01

    We quantified the level of dietary mercury (Hg), delivered as methylmercury chloride (CH3HgCl), associated with negative effects on organ and plasma biochemistries related to glutathione (GSH) metabolism and oxidative stress, and chromosomal damage in captive-reared common loon (Gavia immer) chicks reared from hatch to 105 days. Mercury-associated effects related to oxidative stress and altered glutathione metabolism occurred at 1.2 :g Hg/g and 0.4 :g Hg/g, an ecologically relevant dietary mercury level, but not at 0.08 :g Hg/g. Among the variables that contributed most to dissimilarities in tissue chemistries between control and treatment groups were increased levels of oxidized glutathione (GSSG), GSH peroxidase, and the ratio of GSSG to GSH in brain tissue; increased levels of hepatic GSH; and decreased levels of hepatic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH). Our results also suggest that chronic exposure to environmentally relevant dietary Hg levels did not result in statistically significant somatic chromosomal damage in common loon chicks. Oxidative stress and altered glutathione metabolism were evident in common loon chicks exposed to >0.4 :g Hg as CH3HgCl per gram wet food intake.

  15. Mercury and selenium levels, and their molar ratios in several species of commercial shrimp in Japan regarding the health risk of methylmercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Van Anh Thi; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Yamamoto, Megumi

    2017-01-01

    The Japanese shrimp industry depends on importing shrimp from other countries. However, little information is available on mercury speciation and selenium (Se) concentrations in commercial shrimp available in Japan. The present study determined the concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), and Se in the muscles (wet weight) of imported and domestic commercial shrimp from Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures to obtain information for assessing the risk of MeHg exposure. The median concentrations of T-Hg, MeHg and Se in shrimp imported from three different countries were, respectively: black tiger shrimp (n = 18), 15.8, 14.4, and 415 ng/g; Vannamei shrimp (n = 25), 11.4, 11.2, and 292 ng/g; and white shrimp (n = 26), 26.8, 26.1, and 396 ng/g. There were significant differences in T-Hg and MeHg concentrations between shrimp imported from different countries. The median concentrations of T-Hg, MeHg and Se in shrimp of Japanese origin were, respectively: Shiba shrimp (n = 10), 15.9, 15.0, and 270 ng/g; Kuruma shrimp (n = 10), 79.9, 75.9, and 390 ng/g; and Ashiaka shrimp (n = 10), 36.1, 34.1, and 303 ng/g. The percentages of MeHg in T-Hg were between 90% and 99%, with MeHg levels in the imported and domestic commercial shrimp lower than the Japanese regulation of 300 ng/g for fish. The mean Se/T-Hg molar ratios (16-160) were comparatively higher than those previously reported in fish. Overall, this survey suggests that shrimp commercially available in Japan will not pose a particularly high risk regarding MeHg exposure to consumers.

  16. Changes in mercury concentrations of segmental maternal hair during gestation and their correlations with other biomarkers of fetal exposure to methylmercury in the Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Kubota, Machi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Nakai, Kunihiko; Sonoda, Ikuko; Satoh, Hiroshi

    2008-02-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the most hazardous substances that affects the fetus through fish consumption. The objective of this study was to evaluate the changes in the level of exposure to MeHg by assessing the mercury (Hg) concentrations of the segmental hair at parturition and 3 months after parturition, and to study their correlations with the total Hg concentrations of maternal and cord red blood cells (RBCs) and neonatal hair as biomarkers of fetal exposure to MeHg at parturition. In total, 40 paired samples of maternal hair from the scalp, maternal and cord RBCs, and 21 samples of neonatal hair from the scalp were collected at parturition. In addition, 19 samples of maternal hair from the scalp were collected at 3 months after parturition. The maternal hair samples were cut into 1cm segments from the scalp end toward the tip. The geometric mean of the Hg concentrations in cord RBCs was approximately 1.6 times higher than that in the maternal RBCs, and a strong correlation coefficient (r=0.91) was found between them. The increase or decrease in the Hg concentrations of the segmental hair during gestation differed largely among individuals. The correlation coefficients between the Hg concentrations of the segmental hair and cord RBCs were the strongest (r=0.90) in the hair segment 1cm from the scalp and decreased gradually with the distance from the scalp. The correlation coefficients between the Hg concentrations of the segmental hair collected at 3 months after parturition and maternal RBCs were over 0.9 in the hair segments 5 and 6 cm from the scalp, suggesting that the time required for the incorporation of Hg from the blood into a growing hair was very short. The geometric mean of Hg concentrations in the neonatal hair at parturition was similar to that in the maternal hair 1cm from the scalp at parturition, and they exhibited a strong correlation (r=0.95). The findings of this study indicate that maternal hair close to the scalp at parturition and

  17. Fish consumption and prenatal methylmercury exposure: cognitive and behavioral outcomes in the main cohort at 17 years from the Seychelles child development study.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Philip W; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A; Thurston, Sally W; Huang, Li-Shan; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Gunzler, Douglas; Watson, Gene; van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Zareba, Grazyna; Klein, Jonathan D; Clarkson, Thomas W; Strain, J J; Myers, Gary J

    2011-12-01

    People worldwide depend upon daily fish consumption as a major source of protein and other nutrients. Fish are high in nutrients essential for normal brain development, but they also contain methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxicant. Our studies in a population consuming fish daily have indicated no consistent pattern of adverse associations between prenatal MeHg and children's development. For some endpoints we found performance improved with increasing prenatal exposure to MeHg. Follow up studies indicate this association is related to the beneficial nutrients present in fish. To determine if the absence of adverse outcomes and the presence of beneficial associations between prenatal MeHg and developmental outcomes previously reported persists into adolescence. This study was conducted on the Main Cohort of the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS). We examined the association between prenatal MeHg exposure and subjects' performance at 17 years of age on 27 endpoints. The test battery included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), the Woodcock-Johnson (W-J-II) Achievement Test, subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), and measures of problematic behaviors. Analyses for all endpoints were adjusted for postnatal MeHg, sex, socioeconomic status, maternal IQ, and child's age at testing and the child's IQ was added for problematic behavioral endpoints. Mean prenatal MeHg exposure was 6.9 ppm. There was no association between prenatal MeHg and 21 endpoints. Increasing prenatal MeHg was associated with better scores on four endpoints (higher W-J-II math calculation scores, reduced numbers of trials on the Intra-Extradimensional Shift Set of the CANTAB), fewer reports of substance use and incidents of and referrals for problematic behaviors in school. Increasing prenatal MeHg was adversely associated with one level of referrals to a school counselor. At age 17 years there was no consistent

  18. Expansion of methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata: an epidemiological study on chronic methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata.

    PubMed

    Ninomiya, T; Ohmori, H; Hashimoto, K; Tsuruta, K; Ekino, S

    1995-07-01

    The first methylmercury poisoning by consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. Methylmercury dispersed from Minamata to the Shiranui Sea until 1968. Mercury concentration in the hair of residents on the coast of the Shiranui Sea was 10 to 20 times higher than that in nonpolluted people in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1960. People on the coast of the Shiranui Sea have consumed fish containing low-dose methylmercury without a ban over decades until 1968. We studied the effect of long-term consumption of methylmercury on those people 10 years later after the end of methylmercury dispersion. Our epidemiological study clarified that people in a fishing village (Ooura) on the coast of the Shiranui Sea showed a significantly higher frequency of neurological signs characteristic of methylmercury poisoning (hypoesthesia, ataxia, impairment of hearing, visual change, and dysarthria) in comparison with people in a nonpolluted fishing village (Ichiburi). The neurological disorders were still detected 10 years later in Ooura after the end of methylmercury dispersion from Minamata; hypoesthesia showed the highest frequency in Ooura. These results suggest that people on the coast of the Shiranui Sea were afected by long-term dietary exposure to methylmercury.

  19. Expansion of methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata: An epidemiological study on chronic methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata

    SciTech Connect

    Ninomiya, Tadashi; Ohmori, Hiroyuki; Hashimoto, Kiyomi

    1995-07-01

    The first methylmercury poisoning by consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. Methylmercury dispersed from Minamata to the to the Shiranui Sea until 1968. Mercury concentration in the hair of residents on the coast of the Shiranui Sea was 10 to 20 times higher than in nonpolluted people in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1960. People on the coast of the Shiranui Sea have consumed fish containing low-dose methylmercury without a ban over decades until 1968. We studied the effect of long-term consumption of methylmercury on those people 10 years later after the end of methylmercury dispersion. Our epidemiological study clarified that people in a fishing village (Ooura) on the coast of the Shiranui Sea showed a significantly higher frequency of neurological signs characteristics of methylmercury poisoning (hypoesthesia, ataxia, impairment of hearing, visual change, and dysarthria) in comparison with people in a nonpolluted fishing village (Ichiburi). The neurological disorders were still detected 10 years later in Ooura after the end of methylmercury dispersion from Minamata: hypoesthesia showed the highest frequency in Ooura. These results suggest that people on the coast of the Shiranui Sea were affected by long-term dietary exposure to methylmercury. 14 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  20. Thyroid Hormones and Methylmercury Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    O’Mara, Daniel M.; Aschner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are essential for cellular metabolism, growth, and development. In particular, an adequate supply of thyroid hormones is critical for fetal neurodevelopment. Thyroid hormone tissue activation and inactivation in brain, liver, and other tissues is controlled by the deiodinases through the removal of iodine atoms. Selenium, an essential element critical for deiodinase activity, is sensitive to mercury and, therefore, when its availability is reduced, brain development might be altered. This review addresses the possibility that high exposures to the organometal, methylmercury (MeHg), may perturb neurodevelopmental processes by selectively affecting thyroid hormone homeostasis and function. PMID:18716716

  1. Differences in the responses of three plasma selenium-containing proteins in relation to methylmercury-exposure through consumption of fish/whales.

    PubMed

    Ser, Ping Han; Omi, Sanae; Shimizu-Furusawa, Hana; Yasutake, Akira; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Hachiya, Noriyuki; Konishi, Shoko; Nakamura, Masaaki; Watanabe, Chiho

    2017-02-05

    Putative protective effects of selenium (Se) against methylmercury (MeHg) toxicity have been examined but no conclusion has been reached. We recently reported the lack of serious neurological symptoms in a Japanese fish-eating population with high intakes of MeHg and suggested a potential protective role for Se. Here, relationships between levels of Hg and Se in the blood and plasma samples, with a quantitative evaluation of Se-containing proteins, obtained from this population were examined. While levels of the whole-blood Hg (WB-Hg) and plasma Se (P-Se) showed a positive correlation, stratified analysis revealed that they correlated only in samples with higher (greater than the median) levels of MeHg. A food frequency questionnaire showed that consumption of fish/whales correlated with WB-Hg, but not with P-Se, suggesting that the positive correlation between WB-Hg and P-Se might not be the result of co-intake of these elements from seafood. Speciation of plasma Se revealed the differences in the responses of two plasma selenoproteins, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and selenoprotein P (SePP), in relation to Hg exposure. In the high-Hg group, SePP showed a positive correlation with WB-Hg, but GPx did not. In the low-Hg group, neither SePP nor GPx showed any correlation with WB-Hg. These observations suggest that the increase in P-Se in the high-Hg group might be associated with an increase in SePP, which may, in turn, suggest an increased demand for one or more selenoproteins in various organs, for which SePP supplies the element.

  2. Associations between prenatal and recent postnatal methylmercury exposure and auditory function at age 19 years in the Seychelles Child Development Study.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Mark S; Dziorny, Adam C; Harrington, Donald; Love, Tanzy; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Watson, Gene E; van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Davidson, Philip W; Myers, Gary J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if prenatal or recent postnatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure from consuming ocean fish and seafood is associated with auditory deficits in young adults. Some investigators have reported adverse associations while others have found no associations. Ocean fish is an important nutrient source for billions of people around the world. Consequently, determining if there is an adverse association with objective auditory measures is important in assessing whether a risk is present or not. The peripheral and central auditory function of 534 subjects in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Main Cohort was examined at age of 19 years. The auditory test battery included standard pure-tone audiometry, tympanometry, auditory brainstem response (ABR) latencies, and both click-evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (OAE). Associations with MeHg were evaluated with multiple linear regression models, adjusting for sex, recent postnatal MeHg exposure, and hearing loss. Bilateral hearing loss (defined as a mean pure-tone threshold of greater than 25 dB) was present in 1.1%of the subjects and was not associated with prenatal or recent postnatal MeHg exposure. As expected, absolute and interwave ABR latencies were shorter for women as compared to men, as the stimulus presentation rate decreased from 69.9 to 19.9 clicks/s and as the stimulus intensity increased from 60 to 80 dBnHL. Similarly, larger OAE amplitudes were elicited in women as compared to men and in the right ears as compared to the left. There was no association of prenatal MeHg exposure with hearing loss, ABR absolute and interwave latencies or OAE amplitudes. As recent postnatal MeHg increased, some associations were found with a few ABR absolute and interwave latencies and a few OAE amplitudes. However, the direction of these associations was inconsistent. As recent postnatal MeHg levels increased the wave I absolute latencies were shorter at 80 dBnHL for all

  3. Implications of mercury concentrations in umbilical cord tissue in relation to maternal hair segments as biomarkers for prenatal exposure to methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Domingo, José L; Yamamoto, Megumi; Oliveira, Ricardo B; Kawakami, Shoichi; Nakamura, Masaaki

    2016-08-01

    In this study, we investigated how mercury (Hg) concentrations in umbilical cord tissue are correlated with those in biomarkers for prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). Total Hg (T-Hg) concentrations were measured in 54 mother-child paired samples of maternal blood, umbilical cord tissue, cord blood, and maternal hair segments (1-cm incremental segments from the scalp) collected at parturition. MeHg concentrations were also measured in the cord tissue. Median T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in cord tissue on a dry-weight basis (d.w.) were 62.2ng/g and 56.7ng/g, respectively. Proportions of MeHg to T-Hg were approximately 95%. Both T-Hg and MeHg in cord tissue (d.w.) showed better correlations with T-Hg in cord blood than did T-Hg in cord tissue on a wet-weight basis (w.w.). Median T-Hg concentrations in maternal blood, cord blood, and maternal hair (0-1cm from the scalp) were 3.79ng/g, 7.26ng/g, and 1.35 μg/g, respectively. Median T-Hg concentration in cord blood was 1.92 times higher than that in maternal blood. T-Hg in cord tissue (d.w.) showed a strong correlation with that in cord blood (r=0.912, p<0.01). Among the hair segments, T-Hg in cord tissue (d.w.) showed the strongest correlation (r=0.854, p<0.01) with that in maternal hair at 0-1cm from the scalp, reflecting growth for approximately 1 month before parturition. Based on the present results, T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in cord tissue may be useful biomarkers for prenatal MeHg exposure of the fetus, especially reflecting the maternal MeHg body burden during late gestation. The conversion factors for T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in cord tissue (d.w.) to T-Hg concentrations in maternal hair (0-1cm from the scalp) were calculated to be 22.37 and 24.09, respectively. This information will be useful for evaluating maternal MeHg exposure levels in retrospective studies using preserved umbilical cord tissue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Exposure of Arctic populations to methylmercury from consumption of marine food: an updated risk-benefit assessment.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Jens C; Gilman, Andrew P

    2005-04-01

    Recent and powerful epidemiological studies have been used as a basis for revising international and domestic guidelines for human exposure to mercury. Long-range transport of mercury into the Arctic makes some Arctic peoples consuming traditional marine foods, especially newborns, children and pregnant women, very vulnerable to harmful exposures. The WHO, the USEPA and Health Canada have all recently revised their mercury intake guidelines as a result of neurological effects reported in children exposed in utero and adults. Guidance values are equivalent to 0.23 microg/kg-bw/d, 0.1 microg/kg-bw/d and 0.2 microg/kg-bw/d respectively. Differences between the numbers represent slight differences in the uncertainty factors applied, rather than in toxicological interpretation. More recent findings suggest that mercury may also be a factor in ischemic heart disease, which could lower guidance values in the future. Considering the benefits of marine fatty acids (n-3 fatty acids) and guidance that populations consume 300-400g fish/week, consumers face a reality that most open ocean and relatively 'unpolluted' fish species contain levels of mercury that would lead to exposures at current guidance levels. Clearly, there is no more room for further mercury pollution and there is an urgent need for international action to reduce mercury emissions. Concomitantly, while there may be a need for public health authorities to provide consumption advisories to some highly exposed populations, such as in the Arctic, there remains a need to better understand the interactions and benefits associated with marine foods that may reduce health risks associated with low-level mercury exposure.

  5. Somatosensory Psychophysical Losses in Inhabitants of Riverside Communities of the Tapajós River Basin, Amazon, Brazil: Exposure to Methylmercury Is Possibly Involved

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, Eliana Dirce Torres; Souza, Givago da Silva; da Costa, Carlos Araújo; de Araújo, Amélia Ayako Kamogari; de Oliveira, Cláudia Simone Baltazar; Silveira, Luiz Carlos de Lima; Pinheiro, Maria da Conceição Nascimento

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to evaluate the somatosensory system of methylmercury-exposed inhabitants living in the communities of the Tapajós river basin by using psychophysical tests and to compare with measurements performed in inhabitants of the Tocantins river basin. We studied 108 subjects from Barreiras and São Luiz do Tapajós, two communities of the Tapajós river basin, State of Pará, Amazon, Brazil, aged 13–53 years old. Mercury analysis was performed in head hair samples weighting 0.1–0.2 g by using atomic absorption spectrometry. Three somatosensory psychophysical tests were performed: tactile sensation threshold, vibration sensation duration, and two-point discrimination. Semmes-Weinstein 20 monofilaments with different diameters were used to test the tactile sensation in the lower lip, right and left breasts, right and left index fingers, and right and left hallux. The threshold was the thinner monofilament perceived by the subject. Vibration sensation was investigated using a 128 Hz diapason applied to the sternum, right and left radial sides of the wrist, and right and left outer malleoli. Two trials were performed at each place. A stopwatch recorded the vibration sensation duration. The two-point discrimination test was performed using a two-point discriminator. Head hair mercury concentration was significantly higher in mercury-exposed inhabitants of Tapajós than in non-exposed inhabitants of Tocantins (p < 0.01). When all subjects were divided in two groups independently of age—mercury-exposed and non-exposed—the following results were found: tactile sensation thresholds in mercury-exposed subjects were higher than in non-exposed subjects at all body parts, except at the left chest; vibration sensation durations were shorter in mercury-exposed than in non-exposed subjects, at all locations except in the upper sternum; two-point discrimination thresholds were higher in mercury-exposed than in non-exposed subjects at all body parts

  6. Somatosensory Psychophysical Losses in Inhabitants of Riverside Communities of the Tapajós River Basin, Amazon, Brazil: Exposure to Methylmercury Is Possibly Involved.

    PubMed

    Khoury, Eliana Dirce Torres; Souza, Givago da Silva; da Costa, Carlos Araújo; de Araújo, Amélia Ayako Kamogari; de Oliveira, Cláudia Simone Baltazar; Silveira, Luiz Carlos de Lima; Pinheiro, Maria da Conceição Nascimento

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to evaluate the somatosensory system of methylmercury-exposed inhabitants living in the communities of the Tapajós river basin by using psychophysical tests and to compare with measurements performed in inhabitants of the Tocantins river basin. We studied 108 subjects from Barreiras and São Luiz do Tapajós, two communities of the Tapajós river basin, State of Pará, Amazon, Brazil, aged 13-53 years old. Mercury analysis was performed in head hair samples weighting 0.1-0.2 g by using atomic absorption spectrometry. Three somatosensory psychophysical tests were performed: tactile sensation threshold, vibration sensation duration, and two-point discrimination. Semmes-Weinstein 20 monofilaments with different diameters were used to test the tactile sensation in the lower lip, right and left breasts, right and left index fingers, and right and left hallux. The threshold was the thinner monofilament perceived by the subject. Vibration sensation was investigated using a 128 Hz diapason applied to the sternum, right and left radial sides of the wrist, and right and left outer malleoli. Two trials were performed at each place. A stopwatch recorded the vibration sensation duration. The two-point discrimination test was performed using a two-point discriminator. Head hair mercury concentration was significantly higher in mercury-exposed inhabitants of Tapajós than in non-exposed inhabitants of Tocantins (p < 0.01). When all subjects were divided in two groups independently of age-mercury-exposed and non-exposed-the following results were found: tactile sensation thresholds in mercury-exposed subjects were higher than in non-exposed subjects at all body parts, except at the left chest; vibration sensation durations were shorter in mercury-exposed than in non-exposed subjects, at all locations except in the upper sternum; two-point discrimination thresholds were higher in mercury-exposed than in non-exposed subjects at all body parts. There was

  7. Fish consumption, methylmercury and child neurodevelopment.

    PubMed

    Oken, Emily; Bellinger, David C

    2008-04-01

    To summarize recent evidence regarding associations of early life exposure to mercury from maternal fish consumption during pregnancy, thimerosal in vaccines and dental amalgam with child neurodevelopment. Recent publications have built upon previous evidence demonstrating mild detrimental neurocognitive effects from prenatal methylmercury exposure from maternal fish consumption during pregnancy. New studies examining the effects of prenatal fish consumption as well as methylmercury suggest there are benefits from prenatal fish consumption, but also that consumption of fish high in mercury should be avoided. Future studies incorporating information on both the methylmercury and the docosahexaenoic acid contained within fish will help to refine recommendations to optimize outcomes for mothers and children. Additional recent studies have supported the safety of vaccines containing thimerosal and of dental amalgam for repair of dental caries in children. Exposure to mercury may harm child development. Interventions intended to reduce exposure to low levels of mercury in early life must, however, be carefully evaluated in consideration of the potential attendant harm from resultant behavior changes, such as reduced docosahexaenoic acid exposure from lower seafood intake, reduced uptake of childhood vaccinations and suboptimal dental care.

  8. Fish consumption, methylmercury and child neurodevelopment

    PubMed Central

    Oken, Emily; Bellinger, David C.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose of review To summarize recent evidence regarding associations of early life exposure to mercury from maternal fish consumption during pregnancy, thimerosal in vaccines and dental amalgam with child neurodevelopment. Recent findings Recent publications have built upon previous evidence demonstrating mild detrimental neurocognitive effects from prenatal methylmercury exposure from maternal fish consumption during pregnancy. New studies examining the effects of prenatal fish consumption as well as methylmercury suggest there are benefits from prenatal fish consumption, but also that consumption of fish high in mercury should be avoided. Future studies incorporating information on both the methylmercury and the docosahexaenoic acid contained within fish will help to refine recommendations to optimize outcomes for mothers and children. Additional recent studies have supported the safety of vaccines containing thimerosal and of dental amalgam for repair of dental caries in children. Summary Exposure to mercury may harm child development. Interventions intended to reduce exposure to low levels of mercury in early life must, however, be carefully evaluated in consideration of the potential attendant harm from resultant behavior changes, such as reduced docosahexaenoic acid exposure from lower seafood intake, reduced uptake of childhood vaccinations and suboptimal dental care. PMID:18332715

  9. Gender differential effects of developmental exposure to methyl-mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls 126 or 153, or its combinations on motor activity and coordination.

    PubMed

    Cauli, Omar; Piedrafita, Blanca; Llansola, Marta; Felipo, Vicente

    2013-09-06

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury (MeHg) are persistent organic pollutants accumulating in the food chain. Pre- and neonatal exposure to these neurotoxicants may affect brain development and lead to long-lasting alterations in cerebral function, which can result in motor alterations in youth and/or adulthood. Some neurotoxicants induce gender specific effects. The aims of the present work were to: (1) assess the effects of developmental exposure to MeHg, PCB 153 or PCB 126 on spontaneous locomotor and vertical activity and motor coordination when the rats are 2-month old; (2) assess whether perinatal exposure to combinations of MeHg with PCB153 or PCB126 alter the effects of the individual neurotoxicants; (3) follow the progression of motor alterations when the rats are 3-, 5- and 7-month old; (4) assess if the effects are similar or different in males and females. Pregnant rats were treated with MeHg (0.5mg/kgday); PCB126 (100ng/kgday) or PCB153 (1mg/kgday) or with combinations of MeHg with each PCB, administered in food from gestational day 7 until weaning at post-natal day 21. PCB 126 impaired motor coordination at 2 months in males but not in females. PCB 153 impaired coordination both in males and females. Combinations of MeHg with PCB153 or PCB126 did not affect motor coordination, indicating that MeHg counteracts the effects of the PBCs. The combination of MeHg and PCB153 induces hypolocomotion at 2 months but hyperactivity at 7 months while the individual compounds did not induce any effect. PCB126 induced gender selective effects, reducing locomotor activity at 2 months in females but not in males. The combination of MeHg and PCB126 behaves as PCB126 alone. All compounds and combinations tested induce gender-selective alterations in vertical activity. The effects on locomotor and vertical activity change with age in the same rats. At 2 months all compounds and combinations reduce vertical activity in females but not in males. At 7 months

  10. Pathological effects of in utero methylmercury exposure on the cerebellum of the golden hamster: early effects upon the neonatal cerebellar cortex-Part I

    SciTech Connect

    Reuhl, K.R.; Chang, L.W.; Townsend, J.W.

    1981-12-01

    Pregnant golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were given either a single dose of 10 mg methylmercury/kg on gestational day 10 or daily doses of 2 mg/kg on gestational days 10-15. Cerebella of experimental and control offspring were examined by light and electron microscopy during the first month of postnatal life. Degenerative changes, characterized by accumulations of lysosomes and areas of floccular cytoplasmic degradation, were frequently observed in neuroblasts of the external granular layer (EGL) as well as in more differentiated neural elements in the molecular and internal granular layers. Pyknotic nuclei were seen singly and in groups throughout the EGL of treated animals. Developing dendrites appeared particularly sensitive to methylmercury. Affected dendrites were swollen and packed with degenerating cytoplasmic material. Astrocytes and perivascular macrophages also contained large aggregates of irregular electron-opague debris, lysosomes, and large lipid droplets. Pathological alterations in the cerebellum were most pronounced during the first 15 days of postpartum life.

  11. Negative Confounding by Essential Fatty Acids in Methylmercury Neurotoxicity Associations

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Anna L; Mogensen, Ulla B.; Bjerve, Kristian S.; Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pal; Grandjean, Philippe; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2014-01-01

    Background Methylmercury, a worldwide contaminant of fish and seafood, can cause adverse effects on the developing nervous system. However, long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in seafood provide beneficial effects on brain development. Negative confounding will likely result in underestimation of both mercury toxicity and nutrient benefits unless mutual adjustment is included in the analysis. Methods We examined these associations in 176 Faroese children, in whom prenatal methylmercury exposure was assessed from mercury concentrations in cord blood and maternal hair. The relative concentrations of fatty acids were determined in cord serum phospholipids. Neuropsychological performance in verbal, motor, attention, spatial, and memory functions was assessed at 7 years of age. Multiple regression and structural equation models (SEMs) were carried out to determine the confounder-adjusted associations with methylmercury exposure. Results A short delay recall (in percent change) in the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was associated with a doubling of cord blood methylmercury (−18.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −36.3, −1.51). The association became stronger after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−22.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −39.4, −4.62). In structural equation models, poorer memory function (corresponding to a lower score in the learning trials and short delay recall in CVLT) was associated with a doubling of prenatal exposure to methylmercury after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−1.94, 95% CI = −3.39, −0.49). Conclusions Associations between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and neurobehavioral deficits in memory function at school age were strengthened after fatty acid adjustment, thus suggesting that n-3 fatty acids need to be included in analysis of similar studies to avoid underestimation of the associations with methylmercury exposure. PMID:24561639

  12. Overview of modifiers of methylmercury neurotoxicity: chemicals, nutrients, and the social environment.

    PubMed

    Rice, Deborah C

    2008-09-01

    It has been known for decades that methylmercury is a potent neurotoxicant, and that the developing brain is more susceptible to impairment as a result of methylmercury exposure than is the adult. Exposure to methylmercury is exclusively through consumption of fish and marine mammals. In recent years, the potential for protection against methylmercury toxicity by nutrients present in fish, particularly omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, has been explored in both epidemiological and experimental studies. There is evidence from several studies that fish consumption per se and methylmercury body burden act in opposition with regard to neuropsychological outcomes, whereas the evidence for a protective effect of specific nutrients is contradictory in both epidemiological and experimental studies published to date. The potential for methylmercury to interact with other chemicals present in marine food, particularly PCBs, has been explored in both animal models and human studies. Results may be both exposure- and endpoint-dependent. The Seychelles Islands study has explored the potential for the social environment to modify the effects of developmental methylmercury exposure. An understanding of the interactions of the multiple factors that determine the final behavioral outcome of exposure to methylmercury is crucial to risk assessment and risk management decisions.

  13. Inhibition of implantation caused by methylmercury and mercuric chloride in mouse embryos in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Kajiwara, Yuji; Inouye, Minoru

    1992-10-01

    Methylmercury, an environmental pollutant, produces a wide spectrum of fetotoxic effects in men and laboratory animals. Experimental studies have shown that the exposure to methylmercury in the gestation period causes fetal death, gross malformation, growth retardation of the fetuses, and stillbirth. Although the effects of methylmercury on fetuses have been well documented, only a few experiments have been performed on the embryo toxicity at the early gestation periods. Because the embryos at preimplantation period are known to be highly sensitive to methylmercury in vitro and in vivo, in the present experiment, the embryonic development after implantation was investigated following treatment with methylmercury during the preimplantation period. Since the previous report showed that methylmercury and inorganic mercury were different in their manifestation of toxicity on preimplantation and mercuric chloride on embryos were investigated in vivo in the present study. 22 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Adverse Effects of Methylmercury: Environmental Health Research Implications

    PubMed Central

    Grandjean, Philippe; Satoh, Hiroshi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Eto, Komyo

    2010-01-01

    Background The scientific discoveries of health risks resulting from methylmercury exposure began in 1865 describing ataxia, dysarthria, constriction of visual fields, impaired hearing, and sensory disturbance as symptoms of fatal methylmercury poisoning. Objective Our aim was to examine how knowledge and consensus on methylmercury toxicity have developed in order to identify problems of wider concern in research. Data sources and extraction We tracked key publications that reflected new insights into human methylmercury toxicity. From this evidence, we identified possible caveats of potential significance for environmental health research in general. Synthesis At first, methylmercury research was impaired by inappropriate attention to narrow case definitions and uncertain chemical speciation. It also ignored the link between ecotoxicity and human toxicity. As a result, serious delays affected the recognition of methylmercury as a cause of serious human poisonings in Minamata, Japan. Developmental neurotoxicity was first reported in 1952, but despite accumulating evidence, the vulnerability of the developing nervous system was not taken into account in risk assessment internationally until approximately 50 years later. Imprecision in exposure assessment and other forms of uncertainty tended to cause an underestimation of methylmercury toxicity and repeatedly led to calls for more research rather than prevention. Conclusions Coupled with legal and political rigidity that demanded convincing documentation before considering prevention and compensation, types of uncertainty that are common in environmental research delayed the scientific consensus and were used as an excuse for deferring corrective action. Symptoms of methylmercury toxicity, such as tunnel vision, forgetfulness, and lack of coordination, also seemed to affect environmental health research and its interpretation. PMID:20529764

  15. Methylmercury (MeHg)

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Methylmercury ( MeHg ) ; CASRN 22967 - 92 - 6 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for Noncarci

  16. Marine biogeochemistry: Methylmercury manufacture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossa, Daniel

    2013-10-01

    The neurotoxin methylmercury can accumulate in marine food webs, contaminating seafood. An analysis of the isotopic composition of fish in the North Pacific suggests that much of the mercury that enters the marine food web originates from low-oxygen subsurface waters.

  17. METHYLMERCURY EFFECTS ON NEUROTROPHIN SIGNALING IN PC12 CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure to methylmercury (CH 3 Hg) can cause disruption in the development of the nervous system but the underlying mechanism of action is unclear. Previous in vivo studies in our laboratory have shown that developmental exposure to CH 3 Hg resulted in changes in neurotrophic fa...

  18. Photodegradation of methylmercury in lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seller, P.; Kelly, C. A.; Rudd, J. W. M.; Machutchon, A. R.

    1996-04-01

    METHYLMERCURY can accumulate in fish to concentrations that threaten human health1. Fish methylmercury concentrations are high in many reservoirs2 and acidic lakes3, and also in many remote lakes4,5-a fact that may be related to increased atmospheric deposition of anthropogenically mobilized mercury during the past few decades6. Although sources of methylmercury to lakes and reservoirs are known7, in-lake destruction has not been demonstrated to occur at the low concentrations found in most water bodies. Here we report in situ incubations of lake water that show that methylmercury is decomposed by photo- degradation in surface waters. This process is abiotic and the rate is first-order with respect to methylmercury concentration and the intensity of solar radiation. In our study lake, the calculated annual rates of methylmercury photodegradation are almost double the estimated external inputs of methylmercury from rain, snow, streamflow and land runoff, implying the existence of a large source of methylmercury from bottom sediments. Photodegradation could also be an important process in the mercury cycle of other aquatic systems. This discovery fundamentally changes our understanding of aquatic mercury cycling, and challenges the long-accepted view that microbial demethylation dominates methylmercury degradation in natural fresh waters.

  19. Visual Evoked Potentials in Children Prenatally Exposed to Methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Bjerve, Kristian S.; Choi, Anna L; Weihe, Pal; Grandjean, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to methylmercury can cause both neurobehavioral deficits and neurophysiological changes. However, evidence of neurotoxic effects within the visual nervous system is inconsistent, possibly due to incomplete statistical adjustment for beneficial nutritional factors. We evaluated the effect of prenatal methylmercury exposure on visual evoked potential (VEP) latencies in Faroese children with elevated prenatal methylmercury exposure. A cohort of 182 singleton term births was assembled in the Faroe Islands during 1994–1995. At age 7 years, VEP tracings were obtained from 139 cohort subjects after exclusion of subjects with abnormal vision conditions. We used multiple regression analysis to evaluate the association of mercury concentrations in cord blood and maternal hair at parturition with VEP latencies after adjustment for potential confounders that included the cord-serum phospholipid concentration of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the duration of breastfeeding. Unadjusted correlations between mercury exposure and VEP latencies were equivocal. Multiple regression models showed that increased mercury concentrations, especially in maternal hair, were associated with delayed latencies for VEP peak N145. After covariate adjustment, a delay of 2.22 ms (p=0.02) was seen for each doubling of the mercury concentration in maternal hair. In agreement with neuropsychological findings, the present study suggests that prenatal methylmercury exposure may have an adverse effect on VEP findings despite the absence of clinical toxicity to the visual system. However, this association was apparent only after adjustment for n-3 PUFA status. PMID:23548974

  20. Prenatal low-dose methylmercury exposure impairs neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression and suppresses TrkA pathway activity and eEF1A1 expression in the rat cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Fujimura, Masatake; Usuki, Fusako; Cheng, Jinping; Zhao, Wenchang

    2016-05-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly neurotoxic environmental chemical that can cause developmental impairments. Human fetuses and neonates are particularly susceptible to MeHg toxicity; however, the mechanisms governing its effects in the developing brain are unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effects of prenatal and lactational MeHg exposure on the developing cerebellum in rats. We demonstrated that exposure to 5ppm MeHg decreased postnatal expression of pre- and postsynaptic proteins, suggesting an impairment in synaptic development. MeHg exposure also reduced neurite outgrowth, as shown by a decrease in the expression of the neurite marker neurofilament H. These changes were not observed in rats exposed to 1ppm MeHg. In order to define the underlying mechanism, we investigated the effects of MeHg exposure on the tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) A pathway, which plays important roles in neuronal differentiation and synapse formation. We demonstrated suppression of the TrkA pathway on gestation day 20 in rats exposed to 5ppm MeHg. In addition, down-regulation of eukaryotic elongation factor 1A1 (eEF1A1) was observed on postnatal day 1. eEF1A1 knockdown in differentiating PC12 cells impaired neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression, similar to the results of MeHg exposure in the cerebellum. These results suggest that suppression of the TrkA pathway and subsequent decreases in eEF1A1 expression induced by prenatal exposure to MeHg may lead to reduced neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression in the developing cerebellum.

  1. The many faces of methylmercury poisoning

    SciTech Connect

    Elhassani, S.B.

    1982-10-01

    Methylmercury (MM) is a very potent neurotoxic agent. Its role in polluting the environment is well documented. A vast amount of study over the past several decades has finally provided insight into many aspects of its effect. Exposure to MM may be through ingestion of poisoned fish or inadvertent misuse of grain treated with the poison as a fungicide. Major epidemics have occurred in Japan (Fetal Minamata disease), Iraq, Pakistan, Guatemala, and Ghana. Sporadic incidences have occurred in the United States and Canada. There is no effective antidote to counteract the effect of MM on the central nervous system, although the information documented should provide hope for more effective therapy in acute cases.

  2. Transmission electron microscopic evaluation of neuronal changes in methylmercury-exposed zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Hassan, Said A; Farouk, Sameh M; Abbott, Louise C

    2016-01-01

    Our work aimed to elucidate the ultrastructural changes associated with brain neurons in wild-type zebrafish embryos exposed to different concentrations of methylmercury. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to one of five concentrations of methylmercury (0 [negative control], 5, 10, 50, and 80 parts per billion) starting at six hours post fertilization (hpf). At 96 hpf, cells in the zebrafish embryo brains were examined using transmission electron microscopy. The developing neurons of the control embryos sowed normal cellular ultrastructure. Few alterations were observed among the neurons of zebrafish embryos exposed to 5 ppb methylmercury. The cells of the embryos exposed to 10 ppb methylmercury showed slight cellular degeneration as demonstrated by the accumulation of electron dens bodies which were presumably lysosomes in different stages of formation. In embryos exposed to 50 ppb methylmercury, the neuronal cytoplasm conained large electron dense lysosomes and the rough endoplasmic reticulum appeared to be reduced and irregular in shape. Furthermore, the embryonic brain neurons exposed to 80 ppb methylmercury showed the most severe ultrastructural changes, including some that were consistent with different stages of the cell death process. Obvious cellular changes were observed in this highest exposure group included: disrupted or degenerating nuclei; fragmentation or vacuolization of mitochondrial cristae; and loss of mitochondrial matrix density. Based on these observations, we conclude that these different morphological patterns of cellular changes may reflect either different stages of the cell death process or different types of cell death due to 24 hours of exposure to 80 ppb methylmercury.

  3. Uptake of mercury by the hair of methylmercury-treated newborn mice

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Chenyang; Lane, A.T.; Clarkson, T.W. )

    1990-04-01

    Human hair has unique advantages in monitoring environmental exposures to methyl-mercury. Using newborn Balb/c mice as a model system, the incorporation of methylmercury into the hair was studied and compared with methylmercury distributions in other tissues. Newborn mice were given intraperitoneal injections of {sup 203}Hg-labeled methylmercury at designated times according to hair growth stages of the mouse. Animals were sacrificed 2 days after dosing. Distribution of mercury in pelt and other tissues was measured. The level of mercury in pelt was found to correlate with hair growth. The amount of mercury in pelt peaked when hair growth was most rapid and the total amount of mercury in pelt was significantly higher than that in other tissues, constituting 40% of the whole body burden. However, when the hair ceased growing, the amount of mercury in pelt dramatically dropped to 4% of whole body burden and mercury concentrations in other tissues except brain were elevated. Autoradiographic studies with tritium-labeled methylmercury demonstrated that methylmercury concentrated in hair follicles in the skin. Within hair follicles and hairs, methylmercury accumulated in regions that are rich in high-sulfur proteins. The uptake of inorganic mercury (administered as HgCl{sub 2}) by pelt was also compared with that of methylmercury. The amount of inorganic mercury found in pelt was less than one-half that of methylmercury in animals with growing hair. Cessation of hair growth did not decrease the inorganic mercury level in pelt to the same extent as in the case of methylmercury.

  4. Immunofluorescent quantitation of chloroplast proteins.

    PubMed

    Leech, R M; Marrison, J L

    1996-12-01

    Using scanning light microscopy software to detect and measure immunofluorescence in leaf sections Rubisco concentration in situ in chloroplasts has been accurately determined throughout development. The fluorescence measurements were calibrated by comparison with values for Rubisco accumulation obtained from rocket immuno-electrophoresis profiles of soluble protein from isolated cells and from chloroplasts using a purified sample of Rubisco as the standard. It has been shown that in situ immunofluorescence can be used for cytoquantitation of proteins within individual chloroplasts to a sensitivity of 1fg and also for the comparison of the protein levels in adjacent chloroplasts and cells. Several important applications of this new technique are discussed.

  5. Methylmercury risk assessment issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lipfert, F.W.; Saroff, L.

    1996-07-01

    This paper reviews the general background of health risks associated with mercury (Hg), primarily methylmercury (MeHg), with a view towards application to advanced technologies that could reduce any contributions from coal combustion. The need for accurate assessment of such risks is discussed, since Hg is now widely dispersed in the environment and cannot easily be eliminated. The primary pathway of MeHg intake is through eating contaminated fish. The issues of concern include identification of critical health outcomes (various neurological indices) and their confounding factors, accurate assessment of MeHg intake rates, and appropriate use of dose-response functions. Ultimately, such information will be used to evaluate alternative coal combustion systems.

  6. Deposition of mercury in forests across a montane elevation gradient: Elevational and seasonal patterns in methylmercury inputs and production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerson, Jacqueline R.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Demers, Jason D.; Sauer, Amy K.; Blackwell, Bradley D.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.; Shanley, James B.; Ross, Donald S.

    2017-08-01

    Global mercury contamination largely results from direct primary atmospheric and secondary legacy emissions, which can be deposited to ecosystems, converted to methylmercury, and bioaccumulated along food chains. We examined organic horizon soil samples collected across an elevational gradient on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack region of New York State, USA to determine spatial patterns in methylmercury concentrations across a forested montane landscape. We found that soil methylmercury concentrations were highest in the midelevation coniferous zone (0.39 ± 0.07 ng/g) compared to the higher elevation alpine zone (0.28 ± 0.04 ng/g) and particularly the lower elevation deciduous zone (0.17 ± 0.02 ng/g), while the percent of total mercury as methylmercury in soils decreased with elevation. We also found a seasonal pattern in soil methylmercury concentrations, with peak methylmercury values occurring in July. Given elevational patterns in temperature and bioavailable total mercury (derived from mineralization of soil organic matter), soil methylmercury concentrations appear to be driven by soil processing of ionic Hg, as opposed to atmospheric deposition of methylmercury. These methylmercury results are consistent with spatial patterns of mercury concentrations in songbird species observed from other studies, suggesting that future declines in mercury emissions could be important for reducing exposure of mercury to montane avian species.

  7. Effects of environmental methylmercury on the health of wild birds, mammals, and fish.

    PubMed

    Scheuhammer, Anton M; Meyer, Michael W; Sandheinrich, Mark B; Murray, Michael W

    2007-02-01

    Wild piscivorous fish, mammals, and birds may be at risk for elevated dietary methylmercury intake and toxicity. In controlled feeding studies, the consumption of diets that contained Hg (as methylmercury) at environmentally realistic concentrations resulted in a range of toxic effects in fish, birds, and mammals, including behavioral, neurochemical, hormonal, and reproductive changes. Limited field-based studies, especially with certain wild piscivorous bird species, e.g., the common loon, corroborated laboratory-based results, demonstrating significant relations between methylmercury exposure and various indicators of methylmercury toxicity, including reproductive impairment. Potential population effects in fish and wildlife resulting from dietary methylmercury exposure are expected to vary as a function of species life history, as well as regional differences in fish-Hg concentrations, which, in turn, are influenced by differences in Hg deposition and environmental methylation rates. However, population modeling suggests that reductions in Hg emissions could have substantial benefits for some common loon populations that are currently experiencing elevated methylmercury exposure. Predicted benefits would be mediated primarily through improved hatching success and development of hatchlings to maturity as Hg concentrations in prey fish decline. Other piscivorous species may also benefit from decreased Hg exposure but have not been as extensively studied as the common loon.

  8. Mercury in women exposed to methylmercury through fish consumption, and in their newborn babies and breast milk

    SciTech Connect

    Skerfving, S.

    1988-10-01

    The presence of methylmercury in fish is a major environmental problem. During the major epidemics of methylmercury poisoning through sea food in Minamata in Japan, and through dressed seed in Iraq, there was a high prevalence of infants, who developed cerebral palsy. This was generally assumed to be due to intrauterine methylmercury poisoning, as it is well known, that methylmercury is transferred through the placenta into the fetus. There is also a possibility that exposure occurred through breast milk, as high levels of mercury in breast milk have been reported in mothers from Minamata. Information on the relationship between methylmercury exposure, mercury levels in blood of mothers and their babies, and levels in breast milk are reported here.

  9. A new mass screening method for methylmercury poisoning using mercury-volatilizing bacteria from Minamata Bay.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, K; Naruse, I; Takizawa, Y

    1999-09-01

    A simplified mass screening method for methylmercury exposure was developed using methylmercury-volatilizing bacteria from Minamata Bay. Some bacteria can transform methylmercury into mercury vapor. Most mercury in the hair is methylmercury, which is readily extracted with HCl solution. Black spots are formed on X-ray film due to the reduction of Ag(+) emulsion with mercury vapor produced by methylmercury-volatilizing bacteria. By exploiting these characteristics, a screening method was developed, whereby the fur of rats injected with methylmercury chloride formed clear black spots on X-ray film, whereas the fur of rats injected with saline did not. Subsequently, 50 human hair samples were examined using this mass screening method. The method identified people who had high mercury concentration, over 20 microg/g. A few thousand hair samples may be screened in a day using this method because it is rapid, simple, and economical. This method, therefore, enables screening of persons with methylmercury poisoning in mercury-polluted areas.

  10. Mental retardation and prenatal methylmercury toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Trasande, L.; Schechter, C.B.; Haynes, K.A.; Landrigan, P.J.

    2006-03-15

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a developmental neurotoxicant; exposure results principally from consumption of seafood contaminated by mercury (Hg). In this analysis, the burden of mental retardation (MR) associated with methylmercury exposure in the 2000 U.S. birth cohort is estimated, and the portion of this burden attributable to mercury (Hg) emissions from coal-fired power plants is identified. The aggregate loss in cognition associated with MeHg exposure in the 2000 U.S. birth cohort was estimated using two previously published dose-response models that relate increases in cord blood Hg concentrations with decrements in IQ. MeHg exposure was assumed not to be correlated with native cognitive ability. Previously published estimates were used to estimate economic costs of MR caused by MeHg. Downward shifts in IQ resulting from prenatal exposure to MeHg of anthropogenic origin are associated with 1,566 excess cases of MR annually (range: 376-14,293). This represents 3.2% of MR cases in the US (range: 0.8%-29.2%). The MR costs associated with decreases in IQ in these children amount to $2.0 billion/year (range: $0.5-17.9 billion). Hg from American power plants accounts for 231 of the excess MR cases year (range: 28-2,109), or 0.5% (range: 0.06%-4.3%) of all MR. These cases cost $289 million (range: $35 million-2.6 billion). Toxic injury to the fetal brain caused by Hg emitted from coal-fired power plants exacts a significant human and economic toll on American children.

  11. Methylmercury inhibits prolactin release in a cell line of pituitary origin

    PubMed Central

    Maués, L.A.L.; Macchi, B.M.; Crespo-López, M.E.; Nasciutti, L.E.; Picanço-Diniz, D.L.W.; Antunes-Rodrigues, J.; do Nascimento, J.L.M.

    2015-01-01

    Heavy metals, such as methylmercury, are key environmental pollutants that easily reach human beings by bioaccumulation through the food chain. Several reports have demonstrated that endocrine organs, and especially the pituitary gland, are potential targets for mercury accumulation; however, the effects on the regulation of hormonal release are unclear. It has been suggested that serum prolactin could represent a biomarker of heavy metal exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of methylmercury on prolactin release and the role of the nitrergic system using prolactin secretory cells (the mammosomatotroph cell line, GH3B6). Exposure to methylmercury (0-100 μM) was cytotoxic in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, with an LC50 higher than described for cells of neuronal origin, suggesting GH3B6 cells have a relative resistance. Methylmercury (at exposures as low as 1 μM for 2 h) also decreased prolactin release. Interestingly, inhibition of nitric oxide synthase by N-nitro-L-arginine completely prevented the decrease in prolactin release without acute neurotoxic effects of methylmercury. These data indicate that the decrease in prolactin production occurs via activation of the nitrergic system and is an early effect of methylmercury in cells of pituitary origin. PMID:26108095

  12. Temporal Assessment of Methylmercury in an Endangered Pacific Seabird (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vo, A. E.; Bank, M. S.; Shine, J. P.; Edwards, S. V.

    2010-12-01

    Methylmercury cycling in the Pacific Ocean has garnered significant attention in recent years, especially with regard to rising mercury emissions from Asia. Uncertainty exists over the extent to which mercury accumulation in biota may have resulted from increases in anthropogenic output over time. To address this, we assessed historical and recent mercury exposure in an endangered Pacific seabird, the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), using feather samples from museum specimens spanning the past 130 years. We additionally analyzed stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) to control for confounding factors of temporal change in trophic structure or diet. As a long-lived, wide-ranging, top marine predator and an endangered, keystone species in the North Pacific, the Black-footed Albatross comprises an ideal sentinel species for determining the effect of both global increases in mercury throughout the previous century and regional increases during the recent past on bioaccumulation and risk among avian wildlife. A significantly higher proportion of post-1940 samples contained above deleterious threshold levels (~40,000 ng/g) of methylmercury relative to pre-1940 samples, and mean concentrations were significantly higher in post-1990 than in pre-1990 samples. We also found increasingly higher amounts of (presumably curator-mediated) inorganic mercury contamination in older museum samples for the Black-footed Albatross as well as two non-pelagic comparison species, which informs future studies on bioaccumulation in museum specimens to analyze methylmercury rather than total mercury in all but recently collected specimens. Although complementary stable isotope data suggested no historic change in albatross trophic level, there was a significant change in δ13C signature over time. However, after controlling for these potential confounders, time significantly and positively associated with methylmercury exposure. Changes in methylmercury levels

  13. Behavioral teratology of methylmercury in fish

    SciTech Connect

    Weis, P.; Weis, J.S.

    1994-12-31

    Embryos of the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, were exposed to 2, 5, or 10 ug/l methylmercury throughout development. These are concentrations below those that can cause teratological effects. After hatching, larvae were maintained in clean sea water and tested for prey capture ability, using Artemia nauplii as prey. Individual fish larvae were provided with five brine shrimp and their capture times recorded. In all experiments, larvae that had been exposed to 10 ug/l methylmercury initially exhibited slower prey capture ability than the other groups. This is an indication of a subtle functional impairment due to the toxicant (``behavioral teratology``). However, the effect was transitory, and by about one week after hatching the prey capture of these larvae equaled that of the controls and the other treated groups. Growth of these larvae also equaled that of controls and the other groups. The embryonic exposure may have caused retardation of neurological development, which was subsequently compensated for, and therefore no permanent effects were produced. In the field, however, embryos exposed to such toxicants would probably continue to be exposed as larvae, and would not have the opportunity to recover from the effects, but rather might have them reinforced.

  14. TrkB overexpression in mice buffers against memory deficits and depression-like behavior but not all anxiety- and stress-related symptoms induced by developmental exposure to methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Karpova, Nina N.; Lindholm, Jesse Saku Olavi; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Onishchenko, Natalia; Vahter, Marie; Popova, Dina; Ceccatelli, Sandra; Castrén, Eero

    2014-01-01

    Developmental exposure to low dose of methylmercury (MeHg) has a long-lasting effect on memory and attention deficits in humans, as well as cognitive performance, depression-like behavior and the hippocampal levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf)in mice. The Bdnf receptor TrkB is a key player of Bdnf signaling. Using transgenic animals, here we analyzed the effect of the full-length TrkB overexpression (TK+) on behavior impairments induced by perinatal MeHg. TK overexpression in the MeHg-exposed mice enhanced generalized anxiety and cue memory in the fear conditioning (FC) test. Early exposure to MeHg induced deficits in reversal spatial memory in the Morris water maze (MWM) test and depression-like behavior in the forced swim test (FST) in only wild-type (WT) mice but did not affect these parameters in TK+ mice. These changes were associated with TK+ effect on the increase in Bdnf 2, 3, 4 and 6 transcription in the hippocampus as well as with interaction of TK+ and MeHg factors for Bdnf 1, 9a and truncated TrkB.T1 transcripts in the prefrontal cortex. However, the MeHg-induced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field (OF) tests was ameliorated by TK+ background only in the OF test. Moreover, TK overexpression in the MeHg mice did not prevent significant stress-induced weight loss during the period of adaptation to individual housing in metabolic cages. These TK genotype-independent changes were primarily accompanied by the MeHg-induced hippocampal deficits in the activity-dependent Bdnf 1, 4 and 9a variants, TrkB.T1, and transcripts for important antioxidant enzymes glyoxalases Glo1 and Glo2 and glutathione reductase Gsr. Our data suggest a role of full-length TrkB in buffering against memory deficits and depression-like behavior in the MeHg mice but propose the involvement of additional pathways, such as the antioxidant system or TrkB.T1 signaling, in stress- or anxiety-related responses induced by developmental Me

  15. Association between Prenatal Exposure to Methylmercury and Visuospatial Ability at 10.7 years in the Seychelles Child Development Study1

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Philip W.; Jean-Sloane-Reeves; Myers, Gary J.; Hansen, Ole Nørby; Huang, Li-Shan; Georger, Leslie A.; Cox, Christopher; Thurston, Sally W.; Shamlaye, Conrad F.; Clarkson, Thomas W.

    2008-01-01

    The Seychelles Child Development Study was designed to test the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to MeHg from maternal consumption of a diet high in fish is detrimental to child neurodevelopment. To date, no consistent pattern of adverse associations between prenatal exposure and children’s development has appeared. In a comprehensive review of developmental studies involving MeHg, a panel of experts recommended a more consistent use of the same endpoints across studies to facilitate comparisons. Both the SCDS and the Faeroe Islands studies administered the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test. However, the method of test administration and scoring used was different. We repeated the test on the SCDS Main Study children (mean age 10.7 years) using the same testing and scoring procedure reported by the Faeroe studies to obtain Copying Task and Reproduction Task scores. We found no association between prenatal MeHg exposure and Copying Task scores which was reported from the Faeroese study. However, our analysis did show a significant adverse association between MeHg and Reproduction Task scores with all the data (p= 0.04), but not when the single outlier was removed (p = 0.07). In a population whose exposure to MeHg is from fish consumption, we continue to find no consistent adverse association between MeHg and visual motor coordination. PMID:18400302

  16. Assessing and managing methylmercury risks associated with power plant mercury emissions in the United States.

    PubMed

    Charnley, Gail

    2006-03-09

    Until the Clean Air Mercury Rule was signed in March 2005, coal-fired electric utilities were the only remaining, unregulated major source of industrial mercury emissions in the United States. Proponents of coal-burning power plants assert that methylmercury is not a hazard at the current environmental levels, that current technologies for limiting emissions are unreliable, and that reducing mercury emissions from power plants in the United States will have little impact on environmental levels. Opponents of coal-burning plants assert that current methylmercury exposures from fish are damaging to the developing nervous system of infants, children, and the fetus; that current technology can significantly limit emissions; and that reducing emissions will reduce exposure and risk. One concern is that local mercury emissions from power plants may contribute to higher local exposure levels, or "hot spots." The impact of the Mercury Rule on potential hot spots is uncertain due to the highly site-specific nature of the relationship between plant emissions and local fish methylmercury levels. The impact on the primary source of exposure in the United States, ocean fish, is likely to be negligible due to the contribution of natural sources and industrial sources outside the United States. Another debate centers on the toxic potency of methylmercury, with the scientific basis of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) recommended exposure limit questioned by some and defended by others. It is likely that the EPA's exposure limit may be appropriate for combined exposure to methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but may be lower than the available data suggest is necessary to protect children from methylmercury alone. Mercury emissions from power plants are a global problem. Without a global approach to developing and implementing clean coal technologies, limiting US power plant emissions alone will have little impact.

  17. Neural stem cell apoptosis after low methylmercury (MeHg) exposures in postnatal hippocampus produce persistent cell loss and adolescent memory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Sokolowski, Katie; Poku, Maryann; Robinson, Kelsey; McCandlish, Elizabeth; Buckley, Brian; DiCicco-Bloom, Emanuel

    2013-01-01

    The developing brain is particularly sensitive to exposures to environmental contaminants. In contrast to the adult, the developing brain contains large numbers of dividing neuronal precursors, suggesting that they may be vulnerable targets. The postnatal day 7 (P7) rat hippocampus has populations of both mature neurons in the CA1-3 region as well as neural stem cells (NSC) in the dentate gyrus (DG) hilus, that actively produce new neurons that migrate to the granule cell layer (GCL). Using this well-characterized NSC population, we examined the impact of low levels of MeHg on proliferation, neurogenesis, and subsequent adolescent learning and memory behavior. Assessing a range of exposures, we found that a single subcutaneous injection of 0.6μg/g MeHg in P7 rats induced caspase activation in proliferating NSC of the hilus and GCL. This acute NSC death had lasting impact on the DG at P21, reducing cell numbers in the hilus by 22% and the GCL by 27%, as well as reductions in neural precursor proliferation by 25%. In contrast, non-proliferative CA1-3 pyramidal neuron cell number was unchanged. Furthermore, animals exposed to P7 MeHg exhibited an adolescent spatial memory deficit as assessed by Morris water maze. These results suggest that environmentally relevant levels of MeHg exposure may decrease NSC populations and, despite ongoing neurogenesis, the brain may not restore the hippocampal cell deficits, which may contribute to hippocampal-dependent memory deficits during adolescence. PMID:23959606

  18. Utility of immunofluorescence in dermatology

    PubMed Central

    Shetty, Varsha M.; Subramaniam, Kumudhini; Rao, Raghavendra

    2017-01-01

    Immunofluorescence (IF) tests have redefined our understanding of many immune-mediated skin diseases, especially autoimmune blistering diseases (AIBDs). Nomenclature of certain AIBDs (for example, linear IgA diseases and IgA pemphigus) has been done based solely on the finding of tissue-bound immunoreactants as detected by IF tests. Direct and indirect are the two major types of IF tests; they are not only useful in the diagnosis but also guide the clinician in the treatment at least in certain AIBDs, as the titer of circulating antibodies as detected by IF reflects the disease activity. In this review, we describe techniques, various types of IF, and its modification. PMID:28217464

  19. Immunofluorescence detection methods using microspheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szurdoki, Ferenc; Michael, Karri L.; Agrawal, Divya; Taylor, Laura C.; Schultz, Sandra L.; Walt, David R.

    1999-01-01

    Microsphere-based immunoassays were devised for compounds of agricultural and biomedical interest (e.g., digoxin, theophylline, and zearalenone). Commercially available microspheres with surface functional groups for chemical derivatization were used as solid carriers. After immobilizing the target substances, the surface of the haptenized microspheres was blocked by a protein to reduce aspecific binding. Competitive immunoassays were performed using the functionalized microspheres and antibodies labeled with horseradish peroxidase. Immunofluorescence signal amplification was achieved by enzyme-catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD). An epifluorescence microscope, a CCD camera interfaced with a computer, and microscopy image analysis software were employed for quantitative detection of fluorescent light emitted from individual microspheres. Integration of several such immunoassays and application of an optical encoding method enabled multianalyte determination. These immunoassays can also be utilized in an immunosensor array format. This immunoarray format could facilitate miniaturization and automation of multianalyte immunoassays.

  20. Neurotoxic actions of methylmercury on the primate visual system

    SciTech Connect

    Merigan, W.H.; Maurissen, J.P.J.; Weiss, B.; Eskin, T.; Lapham, L.W.

    1983-01-01

    Visual system consequences of exposure to methylmercury were studied in six adult, macaque monkeys. Visual field measures, visual thresholds, and morphological examination were used to determine the nature and possible reversibility of alterations in vision. Visual field constriction (especially in the inferior-nasal field) was an early and apparently reversible indicator of methylmercury intoxication. Such a field loss was found in the absence of either visual threeshold changes or morphologic alterations in visual cortex. More severe poisoning resulted in persistent field constriction, disruption of visual thresholds, and death. A single monkey showed a permanent, bilateral concentric constriction of visual fields. The locus of visual cortex pathology in this monkey corresponded to the projection of the peripheral visual field.

  1. Quantitative studies of immunofluorescent staining*

    PubMed Central

    Beutner, Ernst H.; Sepulveda, Marion R.; Barnett, Eugene V.

    1968-01-01

    Reproducible titres of indirect immunofluorescent (IF) staining with antinuclear factor (ANF)-containing sera could be obtained with different antihuman IgG conjugates by quantitative adjustments of their characteristics. Conversely, one ANF yielded a broad range of ANF titre (80-640) upon appropriate adjustments of the conjugate characteristics. The same and related characteristics of the conjugates also afforded a basis for quantitatively defining the conditions under which non-specific staining (NSS) appeared. The salient characteristics of the anti-IgG conjugates include: (1) their strength of antiglobulin (expressed as units/ml of precipitating antibody or μg antibody N/ml); (2) their apparent fluorescein concentration (in μg F/ml); (3) their protein concentration (in mg/ml). Optical and immunologic sensitivity ratios are calculated from these conjugate characteristics. Optical sensitivity (expressed as fluorescein concentration to protein concentration (F/P) ratios), immunological sensitivities (expressed as units/1% protein) and the dilution employed serve to characterize quantitatively anti-IgG conjugates adequately to define their specific and non-specific staining properties. PMID:4179321

  2. Hormetic effect of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Helmcke, Kirsten J. Aschner, Michael

    2010-10-15

    Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resistance. We hypothesized MeHg would induce expression of gst, hsp or mtl in vivo since glutathione (GSH), heat shock proteins (HSPs), and metallothioneins (MTs) have shown involvement in MeHg toxicity. Our studies demonstrated a modest, but significant increase in fluorescence in gst-4::GFP and mtl-1::GFP strains at an acute, low L1 MeHg exposure, whereas chronic L4 MeHg exposure induced expression of gst-4::GFP and hsp-4::GFP. Knockout gst-4 animals showed no alterations in lethality sensitivity compared to wildtype animals whereas mtl knockouts displayed increased sensitivity to MeHg exposure. GSH levels were increased by acute MeHg treatment and depleted with chronic exposure. We also demonstrate that MeHg induces hormesis, a phenotype whereby a sublethal exposure to MeHg rendered C. elegans resistant to subsequent exposure to the organometal. The involvement of gst-4, hsp-4, mtl-1, and mtl-2 in hormesis was examined. An increase in gst-4::GFP expression after a low-dose acute exposure to MeHg indicated that gst-4 may be involved in this response. Our results implicate GSH, HSPs, and MTs in protecting C. elegans from MeHg toxicity and show a potential role of gst-4 in MeHg-induced hormesis.

  3. Eggshell thickness in mallards fed methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Heinz, G.H.

    1980-09-01

    Eggshell thinning has been linked to impaired reproduction in many wild birds. Previous work of my own and others led me to believe that methylmercury may cause some eggshell thinning in birds. The present study was designed to determine whether methylmercury in the diet of mallards would thin their eggshells and whether it would add to eggshell thinning caused by DDE.

  4. Methylmercury production in the marine water column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topping, G.; Davies, I. M.

    1981-03-01

    Although the biosynthesis of methylmercury in sediments is well established1, this is not necessarily the exclusive natural source of methylmercury entering the marine food chain, particularly commercial fish and shellfish species for human consumption. An examination of mercury levels in freshwater fish2, collected from a lake with a history of industrial mercury contamination, suggested that levels in fish are controlled in part by mercury in suspension and it followed that methylation should occur in the water column. Although methylmercury is present in seawater in coastal areas receiving discharges of waste containing either inorganic mercury3 or methylmercury4 there is no evidence that methylmercury is actually formed in the water column. We now present data which demonstrate that inorganic mercury can be methylated in the water column and we compare this production with that known to occur in marine sediments.

  5. Methylmercury in fish: a review of residue levels, fish consumption and regulatory action in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Tollefson, L.; Cordle, F.

    1986-09-01

    The dangers associated with the consumption of large amounts of methylmercury in fish are well recognized, and there is some evidence to suggest that methylmercury may be the cause of subtle neurological impairments when ingested at even low to moderate levels, particularly the prenatal and early childhood periods. This concern has prompted a continuing assessment of the risk of methylmercury toxicity among fish consumers in the US as well as other countries. The toxicokinetics of methylmercury in humans are reviewed and used to estimate body burdens associated with toxic effects. To determine seafood consumption patterns among the continental US population the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has analyzed data from a diary study commissioned by the Tuna Research Foundation. Mercury residue levels in domestic fish sampled by the FDA were used to determine the level of exposure to methylmercury. Until evidence is presented that substantially lowers the known body burden of methylmercury which causes toxicity, calculations indicate that the current 1.0 ppm regulatory level provides adequate protection for the average fish consumer, for young children, and for a significant number of consumers exceeding the acceptable daily intake. However, additional studies are being carried out in a continuing process to ensure that safe levels of prenatal exposure to mercury residues in fish are maintained.

  6. Effects of methylmercury and spatial complexity on foraging behavior and foraging efficiency in juvenile white ibises (Eudocimus albus).

    PubMed

    Adams, Evan M; Frederick, Peter C

    2008-08-01

    Methylmercury is a globally distributed neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, and teratogen, the effects of which on wildlife at environmentally relevant levels are largely unknown. In birds, foraging efficiency and learning may be sensitive endpoints for sublethal methylmercury toxicity, and these endpoints also may be biologically relevant at the population level. In the present study, groups of wild-caught, prefledgling white ibises (Eudocimus albus) were raised in a free-flight, open-air aviary on diets that approximated the measured range of methylmercury exposure in the Everglades ecosystem (0, 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3 mg/kg/d). The effect of methylmercury exposure on group foraging efficiency was examined by allowing birds to forage on 200 fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in artificial ponds for 15 min by straining the arenas' contents through a seine net and counting all remaining prey. Additionally, we varied the difficulty of foraging by these tactile feeding birds by adding multiple levels of structural complexity (e.g., increased vegetation and prey refugia) to the pond. Structural complexity affected both foraging efficiency and the rate of increase in efficiency over time (improvement). Methylmercury exposure affected foraging efficiency (p = 0.03). It did not affect foraging improvement in the face of increasingly challenging environments, however, and the dose-response relationship was nonlinear (e.g., the control and high-exposure groups were the least efficient foragers). Evidence for an effect of methylmercury on foraging efficiency therefore was inconclusive because of unpredicted results and no interaction with time or habitat complexity. These data suggest a nonlinear dose-response relationship at low levels of methylmercury exposure; future research is needed to verify this hypothesis. This appears to be the first experimental demonstration of the effects of habitat complexity on foraging efficiency in long-legged wading birds.

  7. Methylmercury degradation by Pseudomonas putida V1.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Lucélia; Yu, Ri-Qing; Crane, Sharron; Giovanella, Patricia; Barkay, Tamar; Camargo, Flávio A O

    2016-08-01

    Environmental contamination of mercury (Hg) has caused public health concerns with focuses on the neurotoxic substance methylmercury, due to its bioaccumulation and biomagnification in food chains. The goals of the present study were to examine: (i) the transformation of methylmercury, thimerosal, phenylmercuric acetate and mercuric chloride by cultures of Pseudomonas putida V1, (ii) the presence of the genes merA and merB in P. putida V1, and (iii) the degradation pathways of methylmercury by P. putida V1. Strain V1 cultures readily degraded methylmercury, thimerosal, phenylmercury acetate, and reduced mercuric chloride into gaseous Hg(0). However, the Hg transformation in LB broth by P. putida V1 was influenced by the type of Hg compounds. The merA gene was detected in P. putida V1, on the other hand, the merB gene was not detected. The sequencing of this gene, showed high similarity (100%) to the mercuric reductase gene of other Pseudomonas spp. Furthermore, tests using radioactive (14)C-methylmercury indicated an uncommon release of (14)CO2 concomitant with the production of Hg(0). The results of the present work suggest that P. putida V1 has the potential to remove methylmercury from contaminated sites. More studies are warranted to determine the mechanism of removal of methylmercury by P. putida V1.

  8. Effects of Injected Methylmercury on the Hatching of Common Loon (Gavia immer) Eggs

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine the level of in ovo methylmercury (MeHg) exposure that results in detrimental effects on fitness and survival of loon embryos and hatched chicks, we conducted a field study in which we injected eggs with various doses of MeHg on day 4 of incubation. Eggs were collect...

  9. Effects of Injected Methylmercury on the Hatching of Common Loon (Gavia immer) Eggs

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine the level of in ovo methylmercury (MeHg) exposure that results in detrimental effects on fitness and survival of loon embryos and hatched chicks, we conducted a field study in which we injected eggs with various doses of MeHg on day 4 of incubation. Eggs were collect...

  10. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    PubMed

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  11. Placental and Fetal Disposition of Mercuric Ions in Rats Exposed to Methylmercury: Role of Mrp2

    PubMed Central

    Bridges, Christy C.; Joshee, Lucy; Zalups, Rudolfs K.

    2012-01-01

    Methylmercury is a prevalent environmental toxicant that can have deleterious effects on a developing fetus. Previous studies indicate that the multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2) is involved in renal and hepatic export of mercuric ions. Therefore, we hypothesize that Mrp2 is also involved in export of mercuric ions from placental trophoblasts and fetal tissues. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the disposition of mercuric ions in pregnant Wistar and TR– (Mrp2-deficient) rats exposed to a single dose of methylmercury. The amount of mercury in renal tissues (cortex and outer stripe of outer medulla), liver, blood, amniotic fluid, uterus, placentas and fetuses was significantly greater in TR– rats than in Wistar rats. Urinary and fecal elimination of mercury was greater in Wistar dams than in TR– dams. Thus, our findings suggest that Mrp2 may be involved in the export of mercuric ions from maternal and fetal organs following exposure to methylmercury. PMID:23059061

  12. Is Low Non-Lethal Concentration of Methylmercury Really Safe? A Report on Genotoxicity with Delayed Cell Proliferation.

    PubMed

    Crespo-Lopez, María Elena; Costa-Malaquias, Allan; Oliveira, Edivaldo H C; Miranda, Moysés S; Arrifano, Gabriela P F; Souza-Monteiro, José R; Sagica, Fernanda Espirito-Santo; Fontes-Junior, Enéas A; Maia, Cristiane S F; Macchi, Barbarella M; do Nascimento, José Luiz M

    2016-01-01

    Human exposure to relatively low levels of methylmercury is worrying, especially in terms of its genotoxicity. It is currently unknown as to whether exposure to low levels of mercury (below established limits) is safe. Genotoxicity was already shown in lymphocytes, but studies with cells of the CNS (as the main target organ) are scarce. Moreover, disturbances in the cell cycle and cellular proliferation have previously been observed in neuronal cells, but no data are presently available for glial cells. Interestingly, cells of glial origin accumulate higher concentrations of methylmercury than those of neuronal origin. Thus, the aim of this work was to analyze the possible genotoxicity and alterations in the cell cycle and cell proliferation of a glioma cell line (C6) exposed to a low, non-lethal and non-apoptotic methylmercury concentration. Biochemical (mitochondrial activity) and morphological (integrity of the membrane) assessments confirmed the absence of cell death after exposure to 3 μM methylmercury for 24 hours. Even without promoting cell death, this treatment significantly increased genotoxicity markers (DNA fragmentation, micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds). Changes in the cell cycle profile (increased mitotic index and cell populations in the S and G2/M phases) were observed, suggesting arrest of the cycle. This delay in the cycle was followed, 24 hours after methylmercury withdrawal, by a decrease number of viable cells, reduced cellular confluence and increased doubling time of the culture. Our work demonstrates that exposure to a low sublethal concentration of MeHg considered relatively safe according to current limits promotes genotoxicity and disturbances in the proliferation of cells of glial origin with sustained consequences after methylmercury withdrawal. This fact becomes especially important, since this cellular type accumulates more methylmercury than neurons and displays a vital role protecting the CNS, especially in

  13. Is Low Non-Lethal Concentration of Methylmercury Really Safe? A Report on Genotoxicity with Delayed Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Crespo-Lopez, María Elena; Costa-Malaquias, Allan; Oliveira, Edivaldo H. C.; Miranda, Moysés S.; Arrifano, Gabriela P. F.; Souza-Monteiro, José R.; Sagica, Fernanda Espirito-Santo; Fontes-Junior, Enéas A.; Maia, Cristiane S. F.; Macchi, Barbarella M.; do Nascimento, José Luiz M.

    2016-01-01

    Human exposure to relatively low levels of methylmercury is worrying, especially in terms of its genotoxicity. It is currently unknown as to whether exposure to low levels of mercury (below established limits) is safe. Genotoxicity was already shown in lymphocytes, but studies with cells of the CNS (as the main target organ) are scarce. Moreover, disturbances in the cell cycle and cellular proliferation have previously been observed in neuronal cells, but no data are presently available for glial cells. Interestingly, cells of glial origin accumulate higher concentrations of methylmercury than those of neuronal origin. Thus, the aim of this work was to analyze the possible genotoxicity and alterations in the cell cycle and cell proliferation of a glioma cell line (C6) exposed to a low, non-lethal and non-apoptotic methylmercury concentration. Biochemical (mitochondrial activity) and morphological (integrity of the membrane) assessments confirmed the absence of cell death after exposure to 3 μM methylmercury for 24 hours. Even without promoting cell death, this treatment significantly increased genotoxicity markers (DNA fragmentation, micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds). Changes in the cell cycle profile (increased mitotic index and cell populations in the S and G2/M phases) were observed, suggesting arrest of the cycle. This delay in the cycle was followed, 24 hours after methylmercury withdrawal, by a decrease number of viable cells, reduced cellular confluence and increased doubling time of the culture. Our work demonstrates that exposure to a low sublethal concentration of MeHg considered relatively safe according to current limits promotes genotoxicity and disturbances in the proliferation of cells of glial origin with sustained consequences after methylmercury withdrawal. This fact becomes especially important, since this cellular type accumulates more methylmercury than neurons and displays a vital role protecting the CNS, especially in

  14. Mechanisms and Modifiers of Methylmercury-Induced Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Fretham, Stephanie JB; Caito, Samuel; Martinez-Finley, Ebany J; Aschner, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The neurotoxic consequences of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure have long been known, however a complete understanding of the mechanisms underlying this toxicity is elusive. Recent epidemiological and experimental studies have provided many mechanistic insights, particularly into the contribution of genetic and environmental factors that interact with MeHg to modify toxicity. This review will outline cellular processes directly and indirectly affected by MeHg, including oxidative stress, cellular signaling and gene expression, and discuss genetic, environmental and nutritional factors capable of modifying MeHg toxicity. PMID:27795823

  15. Assessing and Managing Methylmercury Risks Associated With Power Plant Mercury Emissions in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Charnley, Gail

    2006-01-01

    Abstract and Introduction Abstract Until the Clean Air Mercury Rule was signed in March 2005, coal-fired electric utilities were the only remaining, unregulated major source of industrial mercury emissions in the United States. Proponents of coal-burning power plants assert that methylmercury is not a hazard at the current environmental levels, that current technologies for limiting emissions are unreliable, and that reducing mercury emissions from power plants in the United States will have little impact on environmental levels. Opponents of coal-burning plants assert that current methylmercury exposures from fish are damaging to the developing nervous system of infants, children, and the fetus; that current technology can significantly limit emissions; and that reducing emissions will reduce exposure and risk. One concern is that local mercury emissions from power plants may contribute to higher local exposure levels, or “hot spots.” The impact of the Mercury Rule on potential hot spots is uncertain due to the highly site-specific nature of the relationship between plant emissions and local fish methylmercury levels. The impact on the primary source of exposure in the United States, ocean fish, is likely to be negligible due to the contribution of natural sources and industrial sources outside the United States. Another debate centers on the toxic potency of methylmercury, with the scientific basis of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) recommended exposure limit questioned by some and defended by others. It is likely that the EPA's exposure limit may be appropriate for combined exposure to methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but may be lower than the available data suggest is necessary to protect children from methylmercury alone. Mercury emissions from power plants are a global problem. Without a global approach to developing and implementing clean coal technologies, limiting US power plant emissions alone will have little

  16. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody test in chicken leucocytozoonosis.

    PubMed

    Isobe, T; Akiba, K

    1982-01-01

    The indirect immunofluorescent antibody technique was applied to detection of antigens of different developmental stages of Leucocytozoon caulleryi and antibodies in the sera of chickens infected with L. caulleryi by using second generation merozoite and gametocyte antigens. Zygotes, ookinetes and sporozoites in midges, and second generation merozoites and gametocytes in chickens indicated specific fluorescence. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody titers were higher than agar gel precipitation antibody titers. So the detection of the antibody by the indirect immunofluorescent antibody technique was possible in the sera in which the antibody could not be detected by the agal gel precipitation test. Therefore, the indirect immunofluorescent antibody technique was applicable to chicken leucocytozoonosis as a highly sensitive serological diagnostic method.

  17. Evolution of our understanding of methylmercury as a health threat

    SciTech Connect

    Watanabe, Chiho; Satoh, Hiroshi

    1996-04-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is recognized as one of the most hazardous environmental pollutants primarily due to endemic disasters that have occurred repeatedly. A review of the earlier literature on the Minamata outbreak shows how large-scale poisoning occurred and why it could not be prevented. With the repeated occurrences of MeHg poisoning, it gradually became clear that the fetus is much more susceptible to the toxicity of this compound than the adult. Thus, recent epidemiologic studies in several fish-eating populations have focused on the effects of in utero exposure to MeHg. Also, there have been many studies on neurobehavioral effects of in utero exposure to methylmercury in rodents and nonhuman primates. The results of these studies revealed that the effects encompass a wide range of behavioral categories without clear identification of the functional categories distinctively susceptible to MeHg. The overall neurotoxicity of MeHg in humans, nonhuman primates, and rodents appears to have similarities. However, several gaps exist between the human and animal studies. By using the large body of neurotoxicologic data obtained in human populations and filling in such gaps, we can use MeHg as a model agent for developing a specific battery of tests of animal behavior to predict human risks resulting from in utero exposure to other chemicals with unknown neurotoxicity. Approaches developing such a battery are also discussed. 69 refs., 1 fig., 13 tabs.

  18. Hair methylmercury levels of mummies of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Egeland, G.M. Ponce, Rafael Bloom, Nicolas S. Knecht, Rick Loring, Stephen Middaugh, John P.

    2009-04-15

    Ancient human hair specimens can shed light on the extent of pre-historic exposures to methylmercury and provide valuable comparison data with current-day exposures, particularly for Indigenous Peoples who continue to rely upon local traditional food resources. Human hair from ancient Aleutian Island Native remains were tested for total and methylmercury (Hg, MeHg) and were radiocarbon dated. The remains were approximately 500 years old (1450 A.D.). For four adults, the mean and median total hair mercury concentration was 5.8 ppm (SD=0.9). In contrast, MeHg concentrations were lower with a mean of 1.2 ppm (SD=1.8) and a median of 0.54 ppm (0.12-3.86). For the five infants, the mean and median MeHg level was 1.2 ppm (SD=1.8) and 0.20 ppm (0.007-4.61), respectively. Segmental analyses showed variations in MeHg concentrations in 1-cm segments, consistent with fluctuations in naturally occurring exposure to mercury through dietary sources. The levels are comparable to or lower than those found in fish and marine mammal-eating populations today who rely far less on subsistence food than pre-historic humans. The findings are, therefore, compatible with increased anthropogenic release of trace metals during the past several centuries.

  19. Evolution of our understanding of methylmercury as a health threat.

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, C; Satoh, H

    1996-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is recognized as one of the most hazardous environmental pollutants, primarily due to endemic disasters that have occurred repeatedly. A review of the earlier literature on the Minamata outbreak shows how large-scale poisoning occurred and why it could not be prevented. With the repeated occurrences of MeHg poisoning, it gradually became clear that the fetus is much more susceptible to the toxicity of this compound than the adult. Thus, recent epidemiologic studies in several fish-eating populations have focused on the effects of in utero exposure to MeHg. Also, there have been many studies on neurobehavioral effects of in utero exposure to methylmercury in rodents and nonhuman primates. The results of these studies revealed that the effects encompass a wide range of behavioral categories without clear identification of the functional categories distinctively susceptible to MeHg. The overall neurotoxicity of MeHg in humans, nonhuman primates, and rodents appears to have similarities. However, several gaps exist between the human and animal studies. By using the large body of neurotoxicologic data obtained in human populations and filling in such gaps, we can use MeHg as a model agent for developing a specific battery of tests of animal behavior to predict human risks resulting from in utero exposure to other chemicals with unknown neurotoxicity. Approaches developing such a battery are also discussed. PMID:9182044

  20. IRIS Summary and Supporting Documents for Methylmercury

    EPA Science Inventory

    In January 2001, U.S. EPA finalized the guidance for methylmercury in the water quality criteria for states and authorized tribes. The links below take you to the best resources for this guidance.

  1. IRIS Summary and Supporting Documents for Methylmercury

    EPA Science Inventory

    In January 2001, U.S. EPA finalized the guidance for methylmercury in the water quality criteria for states and authorized tribes. The links below take you to the best resources for this guidance.

  2. Methylmercury in hair fisherman for Turkish coasts

    SciTech Connect

    Vural, N.; Uenlue, H.

    1996-10-01

    Environmental methylmercury mainly arises from the methylation of inorganic mercury. The change in speciation of mercury from inorganic to methylated forms is the first step in the aquatic bioaccumulation processes. The bioconcentration factor of methylmercury in fish tissue to that in water is usually between 10{sup 4} and 10{sup 5}. Among seafood, fish products are the main source of methylmercury absorbed by men from the environment. Since Minimata epidemic health injuries and deaths in relation to mercury pollution, environmental and biological monitoring of inorganic and organic mercury species has gained importance through out the world and many reports have been published on the health effects and biological monitoring of mercury compounds including some Mediterranean countries. This study focuses on methylmercury in hair of fisherman living in different geographical Turkish coasts and relationship to eating fish habit. 17 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  3. Potential sources of methylmercury in tree foliage.

    PubMed

    Tabatchnick, Melissa D; Nogaro, Géraldine; Hammerschmidt, Chad R

    2012-01-01

    Litterfall is a major source of mercury (Hg) and toxic methylmercury (MeHg) to forest soils and influences exposures of wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, the origin of MeHg associated with tree foliage is largely unknown. We tested the hypothesis that leaf MeHg is influenced by root uptake and thereby related to MeHg levels in soils. Concentrations of MeHg and total Hg in deciduous and coniferous foliage were unrelated to those in soil at 30 urban and rural forested locations in southwest Ohio. In contrast, tree genera and trunk diameter were significant variables influencing Hg in leaves. The fraction of total Hg as MeHg averaged 0.4% and did not differ among tree genera. Given that uptake of atmospheric Hg(0) appears to be the dominant source of total Hg in foliage, we infer that MeHg is formed by in vivo transformation of Hg in proportion to the amount accumulated. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of methylmercury on operant behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Laties, V.G.; Evans, H.L.

    1982-01-01

    Experimental observations on methylmercury's effects on the behavior of pigeons are used to illustrate how operant techniques can be used to investigate long-lasting consequences of a toxic insult. The methylmercury is shown to disturb the ability of pigeons to discriminate the amount of behavior that they have emitted: they become less accurate in pecking the specific number of times needed to earn them food.

  5. Mercury and Methylmercury in Water and Bottom Sediments of Wetlands at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota, 2003-04

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sando, Steven K.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Johnson, Kevin M.; Lundgren, Robert F.; Emerson, Douglas G.

    2007-01-01

    Certain ecosystem types, particularly wetlands, have environmental characteristics that can make them particularly sensitive to mercury inputs and that can result in large mercury concentrations in fish or other aquatic biota. To provide information needed to make effective management decisions to decrease human and wildlife exposure to methylmercury in northern prairie pothole wetlands, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Health, conducted a study to assess mercury and methylmercury concentrations in wetlands at the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge (the Refuge) in northwest North Dakota. In April 2003 and 2004, water and bottom-sediment samples were collected from 44 individual wetlands that were classified as one of four wetland types. Many factors that may affect methylmercury production were considered in the study. The prairie pothole wetlands at the Refuge had large ranges in major environmental characteristics. Hydrologic differences, most notably semiannual wetting and drying cycles, that are intrinsic to prairie pothole wetlands affected methylmercury concentrations. This likely resulted from the stimulation of anaerobic microbial activity following reflooding of soils, particularly soils containing substantial organic carbon. Among the four wetland types considered for this study, seasonal and semipermanent wetlands generally had the largest methylmercury concentrations. Regardless of wetland type, however, methylmercury concentrations at the Refuge are large in relation to reported concentrations for natural aquatic systems.

  6. Methylmercury and elemental mercury differentially associate with blood pressure among dental professionals

    PubMed Central

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Wang, Yi; Gillespie, Brenda; Werner, Robert; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury-associated effects on the cardiovascular system have been documented though discrepancies exist, and most studied populations experience elevated methylmercury exposures. No paper has investigated the impact of low-level elemental (inorganic) mercury exposure on cardiovascular risk in humans. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the association between mercury exposure (methylmercury and elemental mercury) and blood pressure measures in a cohort of dental professionals that experience background exposures to both mercury forms. Dental professionals were recruited during the 2010 Michigan Dental Association Annual Convention. Mercury levels in hair and urine samples were analyzed as biomarkers of methylmercury and elemental mercury exposure, respectively. Blood pressure (systolic, diastolic) was measured using an automated device. Distribution of mercury in hair (mean, range: 0.45, 0.02–5.18 μg/g) and urine (0.94, 0.03–5.54 μg/L) correspond well with the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Linear regression models revealed significant associations between diastolic blood pressure (adjusted for blood pressure medication use) and hair mercury (n = 262, p = 0.02). Urine mercury results opposed hair mercury in many ways. Notably, elemental mercury exposure was associated with a significant systolic blood pressure decrease (n = 262, p = 0.04) that was driven by the male population. Associations between blood pressure and two forms of mercury were found at exposure levels relevant to the general population, and associations varied according to type of mercury exposure and gender. PMID:22494934

  7. Methylmercury disrupts the balance between phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated cofilin in primary cultures of mice cerebellar granule cells A proteomic study

    SciTech Connect

    Vendrell, Iolanda; Carrascal, Montserrat; Abian, Joaquin

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury is an environmental contaminant that is particularly toxic to the developing central nervous system; cerebellar granule neurons are especially vulnerable. Here, primary cultures of cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) were continuously exposed to methylmercury for up to 16 days in vitro (div). LC50 values were 508 +- 199, 345 +- 47, and 243 +- 45 nM after exposure for 6, 11, and 16 div, respectively. Proteins from cultured mouse CGCs were separated by 2DE. Seventy-one protein spots were identified by MALDI-TOF PMF and MALDI-TOF/TOF sequencing. Prolonged exposure to a subcytotoxic concentration of methylmercury significantly increased non-phosphorylated cofilin both in cell protein extracts (1.4-fold; p < 0.01) and in mitochondrial-enriched fractions (1.7-fold; p < 0.01). The decrease in P-cofilin induced by methylmercury was concentration-dependent and occurred after different exposure times. The percentage of P-cofilin relative to total cofilin significantly decreased to 49 +- 13% vs. control cells after exposure to 300 nM methylmercury for 5 div. The balance between the phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated form of cofilin regulates actin dynamics and facilitates actin filament turnover. Filamentous actin dynamics and reorganization are responsible of neuron shape change, migration, polarity formation, regulation of synaptic structures and function, and cell apoptosis. An alteration of the complex regulation of the cofilin phosphorylation/dephosphorylation pathway could be envisaged as an underlying mechanism compatible with reported signs of methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity.

  8. Developmental neurotoxicity of methylmercury: the role of microtubules

    SciTech Connect

    Sager, P.R.

    1982-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to investigate the interaction of methylmercury with microtubules as a possible mechanism for methylmercury-caused developmental neurotoxicity. Methylmercury effects on developing cerebellar cortex, an area of rapid proliferation, were examined. This model was used to test the hypothesis that microtubules of the mitotic spindle are sensitive to methylmercury in vivo as well as in cultured cells. The effect of methylmercury on non-spindle microtubules was studied in cultured cells. Cellular levels of methylmercury were determined and were used to construct a dose-response relationship. The direct effects of methylmercury on microtubule assembly in vitro were also documented. The data from these three systems have been integrated to form a hypothesis for the role of microtubules in developmental neurotoxicity caused by methylmercury. 159 references, 23 figures, 16 tables.

  9. [Methylmercury: existing recommendations; methods of analysing and interpreting the results; economic evaluation].

    PubMed

    González-Estecha, Montserrat; Bodas-Pinedo, Andrés; Martínez-García, María José; Trasobares-Iglesias, Elena M; Bermejo-Barrera, Pilar; Ordóñez-Iriarte, José María; Llorente-Ballesteros, María Teresa; Prieto-Menchero, Santiago; Guillén-Pérez, José Jesús; Martell-Claros, Nieves; Cuadrado-Cenzual, María Ángeles; Rubio-Herrera, Miguel Ángel; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; Calvo-Manuel, Elpidio; Farré-Rovira, Rosaura; Herráiz-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Bretón Lesmes, Irene; García-Donaire, José Antonio; Sáinz-Martín, María; Martínez-Astorquiza, Txantón; Gallardo-Pino, Carmen; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Blanco Fuentes, María; Arroyo-Fernández, Manuel; Calle Pascual, Alfonso

    2014-11-04

    The beneficial effects of fish consumption are well- known. Nevertheless, there is worldwide concern regard methylmercury concentrations in fish, which is why many countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and numerous European countries have made fish consumption recommendations for their populations, particularly vulnerable groups, in order to México methylmercury intake. Blood and hair are the best biological samples for measuring methylmercury. The most widely-used method to analyse methylmercury is cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry, although there are also direct methods based on the thermal decomposition of the sample. In recent years, the number of laboratories that measure mercury by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry has increased. In addition, the different kinds of mercury can be distinguished by coupling chromatography methods of separation. Laboratories that analyse mercury in biological samples need to participate in external quality control programmes. Even if mercury emissions are reduced, mercury may remain in the environment for many years, so dietary recommendations are fundamental in order to reduce exposure. It is necessary to propose public health measures aimed at decreasing mercury exposure and to evaluate the benefits of such measures from the economic and social standpoints.

  10. Reappraisal of somatosensory disorders in methylmercury poisoning.

    PubMed

    Ninomiya, Tadashi; Imamura, Keiko; Kuwahata, Misako; Kindaichi, Michiaki; Susa, Mari; Ekino, Shigeo

    2005-01-01

    The first well-documented methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning by consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan in 1953. MeHg had dispersed from Minamata to the Shiranui Sea. The temporal changes in MeHg in the umbilical cords indicate that residents living around that Sea had been exposed to low-dose MeHg through fish consumption for about 20 years (at least from 1950 to 1968). They have complained of paresthesia at the distal parts of the extremities and around the lip even 30 years after the cessation of exposure to anthropogenic MeHg. The thresholds of touch and two-point discrimination of those residents and Minamata disease (MD) patients were examined using the quantifiable instruments. They could perceive the stimulation of touch although their touch thresholds significantly increased in comparison to those of the control people. Their touch thresholds increased at the proximal extremities and the trunks as well as at the distal extremities. The evenly distributed increases at both distal and proximal parts revealed that the persistent somatosensory disturbances were not caused by the injuries to their peripheral nerves. The thresholds of two-point discrimination, which are associated with the function of the somatosensory cortex, increased at both forefingers and the lip in both groups. Taking into consideration that, the apraxia limb kinetics, astereognosis and disorder of active sensation, which are all associated with damage to the somatosensory cortex, were detected, it is proposed that the persisting somatosensory disorders after discontinuation of exposure to MeHg were induced by diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex.

  11. Immunofluorescence Staining — EDRN Public Portal

    Cancer.gov

    Direct immunofluorescence method is used to detect the deposit of immunoglobulins, complement components, fibrinogen, etc. in tissues. This technique is usually performed on frozen sections. The primary antibody is conjugated to fluorescein binds directly with the antigen and can be detected by the fluorescent tag using a fluorescent microscope.

  12. DOE/FDA/EPA: Workshop on methylmercury and human health

    SciTech Connect

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Saroff, L.; Bolger, M.; Cicmanec, J.; Durkee, S.

    1994-12-31

    In the US the general population is exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) principally through the consumption of fish. There is continuing discussion about the sources of this form of mercury (Hg), the magnitudes and trends in exposures to consumers, and the significance of the sources and their contributions to human health. In response to these discussions, the US Department of Energy, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Environmental Protection Agency cosponsored a two-day workshop to discuss data and methods available for characterizing the risk to human health presented by MeHg. This workshop was attended by 45 individuals representing various Federal and state organizations and interested stakeholders. The agenda covered: Agency interests; probabilistic approach to risk assessment; emission sources; atmospheric transport; biogeochemical cycling; exposure assessment; health effects of MeHg; and research needs.

  13. IRIS Summary and Supporting Documents for Methylmercury ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    In January 2001, U.S. EPA finalized the guidance for methylmercury in the water quality criteria for states and authorized tribes. The links below take you to the best resources for this guidance. This final Guidance for Implementing the January 2001 Methylmercury Water Quality Criterion provides technical guidance to states and authorized tribes on how they may want to use the January 2001 fish tissue-based recommended water quality criterion for methylmercury in surface water protection programs (e.g., TMDLs, NPDES permitting). The guidance addresses questions related to water quality standards adoption (e.g., site-specific criteria, variances), assessments, monitoring, TMDLs, and NPDES permitting. The guidance consolidates existing EPA guidance where relevant to mercury.

  14. Oxidative stress in songbirds exposed to dietary methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Henry, Katie A; Cristol, Daniel A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Bradley, Eric L

    2015-04-01

    Long-term, sublethal methylmercury exposure can cause reproductive depression, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and other problems in birds. We used two biomarkers to detect oxidative stress in livers of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) developmentally exposed to sublethal levels of dietary methylmercury (0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2, or 2.4 μg/g wet weight in diet). Our findings indicate that young adult finches exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of mercury in ovo and through their diets, exhibited oxidative stress in their livers. We measured the ratio of the antioxidant glutathione in its reduced form (GSH) versus its oxidized form (GSSG) and the activity of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme suite. Blood total mercury served as a proxy for liver mercury concentration, and was on average 8.4 times the dietary dose (e.g., birds consuming 0.6 μg/g had blood mercury levels of ~5 μg/g on a wet weight basis). Consistent with what is known from large, aquatic bird species, there was a significant, negative relationship between GSH/GSSG ratios and tissue mercury concentrations, which is indicative of oxidative stress. This relationship was driven by a significant increase in the oxidized glutathione in the livers of birds with higher blood mercury levels. SOD activity was also found to have a significant, negative relationship with blood mercury.

  15. Embryotoxicity of maternally transferred methylmercury to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas).

    PubMed

    Bridges, Kristin N; Soulen, Brianne K; Overturf, Carmen L; Drevnick, Paul E; Roberts, Aaron P

    2016-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and potent neurotoxin. In aquatic environments, Hg can be transformed into methylmercury (MeHg), which bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs, including fish. Methylmercury has been shown to transfer from female fish to developing eggs; however, relatively little is known regarding the effects of maternally transferred MeHg on fish embryos. The present study evaluated the effects of maternally transferred MeHg on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) embryos. Embryos were collected from adult fatheads exposed for 30 d to 1 of 3 diets spiked with MeHg: a control diet (0.02 ppm Hg dry wt), a low diet (0.87 ppm Hg dry wt), or a high diet (5.5 ppm Hg dry wt). No effects on spawning frequency, clutch size, or total egg output were observed. In embryos, Hg concentration was a function of female diet and the duration (number of days) of female exposure. Compared with controls, embryos from the low-diet treatment displayed altered embryonic movement patterns (hyperactivity) and decreased time to hatch. Embryos from the high-diet treatment had delayed hatching and increased mortality compared with the other treatments. Collectively, these results suggest that maternally transferred Hg may impact survival, behavior, and developmental milestones of the embryo-larval stages of fish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1436-1441. © 2015 SETAC.

  16. [Effect of Methylmercury on the Light Dependence Fluorescence Parameters in a Green Alga Chlamydomonas moewusii].

    PubMed

    Protopopov, F F; Matorin, D N; Seifullina, N H; Bratkovskaya, L B; Zayadan, B K

    2015-01-01

    The effect of a dangerous toxic substance, methylmercury, on light dependence curves of chlorophyll fluorescence in Chlamydomonas moewusii was studied. We found low concentration of methylmercury (10(-7) M) to cause a decrease in the relative rate of the non-cyclic electron transport activity of PS 2, a decline in the maximum utilization of light energy (α), and a decline in the saturation light intensity (E(s)). Non-photochemical fluorescence quenching increased after short-term exposure and decreased in the course of prolonged incubation. These parameters were more sensitive to the action of the toxic substance than the widely used parameter F(V)/F(M), which reflects the maximum quantum yield of PS 2. We propose the use of the method of fast measurement of light dependence curves of fluorescence to detect the changes in algal cells at the early stages of exposure to mercury salts.

  17. EFFECTS OF METHYLMERCURY ON REPRODUCTION IN AMERICAN KESTRELS AND COMPARISON TO EFFECTS OBSERVED IN OTHER AVIAN SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A study of the effects of methylmercury on reproduction in American kestrels was conducted in conjunction with the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center as part of a larger project to improve our understanding of the effects of mercury exposure in the environment to avian popula...

  18. EFFECTS OF METHYLMERCURY ON REPRODUCTION IN AMERICAN KESTRELS AND COMPARISON TO EFFECTS OBSERVED IN OTHER AVIAN SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A study of the effects of methylmercury on reproduction in American kestrels was conducted in conjunction with the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center as part of a larger project to improve our understanding of the effects of mercury exposure in the environment to avian popula...

  19. Immunofluorescence Imaging of DNA Damage Response Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Brian T.; Bewersdorf, Jörg; Knight, Kendall L.

    2013-01-01

    Immunofluorescence imaging has provided captivating visual evidence for numerous cellular events, from vesicular trafficking, organelle maturation and cell division to nuclear processes including the appearance of various proteins and chromatin components in distinct foci in response to DNA damaging agents. With the advent of new super-resolution microscope technologies such as 4Pi microscopy, standard immunofluorescence protocols deserve some reevaluation in order to take full advantage of these new technological accomplishments. Here we describe several methodological considerations that will help overcome some of the limitations that may result from the use of currently applied procedures, with particular attention paid to the analysis of possible colocalization of fluorescent signals. We conclude with an example of how application of optimized methods led to a breakthrough in super-resolution imaging of nuclear events occurring in response to DNA damage. PMID:19245833

  20. Communicating methylmercury risks and fish consumption benefits to vulnerable childbearing populations.

    PubMed

    Kuntz, Sandra W; Ricco, Jason A; Hill, Wade G; Anderko, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury is a known neurotoxin especially harmful to the fetus, infant, and child. Preventing exposure to this environmental toxin is best accomplished through consumer messages specifically adapted for local populations. Health care providers play an important role in the dissemination of information. The purpose of this article is to review the benefits and risks of fish consumption and identify strategies for presenting effective risk communication messages to vulnerable groups, particularly women of childbearing age.

  1. Morphine Protects against Methylmercury Intoxication: A Role for Opioid Receptors in Oxidative Stress?

    PubMed Central

    Costa-Malaquias, Allan; Almeida, Mauro B.; Souza Monteiro, José R.; Macchi, Barbarella de Matos; do Nascimento, José Luiz M.; Crespo-Lopez, María Elena

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is an extremely dangerous environmental contaminant responsible for episodes of human intoxication throughout the world. Methylmercury, the most toxic compound of this metal, mainly targets the central nervous system, accumulating preferentially in cells of glial origin and causing oxidative stress. Despite studies demonstrating the current exposure of human populations, the consequences of mercury intoxication and concomitant use of drugs targeting the central nervous system (especially drugs used in long-term treatments, such as analgesics) are completely unknown. Morphine is a major option for pain management; its global consumption more than quadrupled in the last decade. Controversially, morphine has been proposed to function in oxidative stress independent of the activation of the opioid receptors. In this work, a therapeutic concentration of morphine partially protected the cellular viability of cells from a C6 glioma cell line exposed to methylmercury. Morphine treatment also reduced lipid peroxidation and totally prevented increases in nitrite levels in those cells. A mechanistic study revealed no alteration in sulfhydryl groups or direct scavenging at this opioid concentration. Interestingly, the opioid antagonist naloxone completely eliminated the protective effect of morphine against methylmercury intoxication, pointing to opioid receptors as the major contributor to this action. Taken together, the experiments in the current study provide the first demonstration that a therapeutic concentration of morphine is able to reduce methylmercury-induced oxidative damage and cell death by activating the opioid receptors. Thus, these receptors may be a promising pharmacological target for modulating the deleterious effects of mercury intoxication. Although additional studies are necessary, our results support the clinical safety of using this opioid in methylmercury-intoxicated patients, suggesting that normal analgesic doses could confer an additional

  2. Neurotoxicity of lead, methylmercury, and PCBs in relation to the Great Lakes.

    PubMed Central

    Rice, D C

    1995-01-01

    There is ample evidence identifying lead, methylmercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as neurotoxic agents. A large body of data on the neurotoxicity of lead, based on both epidemiologic studies in children and animal models of developmental exposure, reveals that body burdens of lead typical of people in industrialized environments produce behavioral impairment. Methylmercury was identified as a neurotoxicant in both adults and the developing organism based on episodes of human poisoning: these effects have been replicated and extended in animals. High-dose PCB exposure was recognized as a developmental toxicant as a result of several episodes of contamination of cooking oil. The threshold for PCB neurotoxicity in humans is less clear, although research in animals suggests that relatively low-level exposure produces behavioral impairment and other toxic effects. Tissue levels in fish below which human health would not be adversely affected were estimated for methylmercury and PCBs based on calculated reference doses (RfDs) and estimated fish intake. Present levels in fish tissue in the Great Lakes exceed these levels for both neurotoxicants. Great Lakes fish and water do not pose a particular hazard for increased lead intake. However, the fact that the present human body burden is in a range at which functional deficits are probable suggests that efforts should be made to eliminate point sources of lead contamination in the Great Lakes basin. PMID:8635443

  3. Reproductive, developmental, and neurobehavioral effects of methylmercury in fishes.

    PubMed

    Weis, Judith S

    2009-10-01

    In the decades since the Minamata tragedy in Japan, there has been a considerable body of research performed on effects of methylmercury in fishes. The studies have revealed that some of the most sensitive responses seen in fishes are reminiscent of the symptoms experienced by the Minamata victims. This article reviews the literature, with a focus on mercury's effects on fish reproduction (hormone levels, gametogenesis, fertilization success), embryonic development (morphological abnormalities, rate), the development of behavior, and neurobehavioral effects in adults. Both experimental exposures and epidemiological approaches are included. There have been many studies demonstrating delayed effects of mercury exposure in that exposures during one life history stage can produce effects much later during different life history stages. For example, exposure of maturing gametes can result in abnormal embryos, even though the embryos were not themselves exposed to the toxicant. Exposures during sensitive embryonic periods can produce long-lasting effects that can be seen in adult stages. The existence of these manifold delayed effects renders the practice of short-term toxicity testing particularly unhelpful for understanding the effects of this (and other) toxicants.

  4. Cardiovascular responses to lead are biphasic, while methylmercury, but not inorganic mercury, monotonically increases blood pressure in rats.

    PubMed

    Wildemann, Tanja M; Mirhosseini, Naghmeh; Siciliano, Steven D; Weber, Lynn P

    2015-02-03

    Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are the major cause of death worldwide. It is well known that a high number of environmental and physiological risk factors contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Although risk factors are additive, increased blood pressure (hypertension) is the greatest risk factor. Over the last two decades, a growing number of epidemiological studies associate environmental exposure to lead or mercury species with hypertension. However, cardiovascular effects beyond blood pressure are rarely studied and thresholds for effect are not yet clear. To explore effects of lead or mercury species on the cardiovascular system, normal male Wistar rats were exposed to a range of doses of lead, inorganic mercury or methylmercury through the drinking water for four weeks. High-resolution ultrasound was used to measure heart and vascular function (carotid artery blood flow) at baseline and at the end of the exposure, while blood pressure was measured directly in the femoral artery at the end of the 4-week exposure. After 4 weeks, blood pressure responses to lead were biphasic. Low lead levels decreased blood pressure, dilated the carotid artery and increased cardiac output. At higher lead doses, rats had increased blood pressure. In contrast, methylmercury-exposed rats had increased blood pressure at all doses despite dilated carotid arteries. Inorganic mercury did not show any significant cardiovascular effects. Based on the current study, the benchmark dose level 10% (BMDL10s) for systolic blood pressure for lead, inorganic mercury and methylmercury are 1.1, 1.3 and 1.0 μg/kg-bw/d, respectively. However, similar total mercury blood levels attributed to inorganic mercury or methylmercury produced strikingly different results with inorganic mercury having no observable effect on the cardiovascular system but methylmercury increasing systolic and pulse pressures. Therefore, adverse cardiovascular effects cannot be

  5. Mitochondrial viability and apoptosis induced by aluminum, mercuric mercury and methylmercury in cell lines of neural origin.

    PubMed

    Toimela, Tarja; Tähti, Hanna

    2004-10-01

    Mercury and aluminum are considered to be neurotoxic metals, and they are often connected with the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, mercuric mercury, methylmercury and aluminum were studied in three different cell lines of neural origin. To evaluate the effects, mitochondrial cytotoxicity and apoptosis induced by the metals were measured after various incubation times. SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma, U 373MG glioblastoma, and RPE D407 retinal pigment epithelial cells were subcultured to appropriate cell culture plates and 0.01-1,000 microM concentrations of methylmercury, mercuric and aluminum chloride were added into the growth medium. In the assay measuring the mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity, WST-1, the cultures were exposed for 15 min, 24 or 48 h before measurement. Cells were allowed to recover from the exposure in part of the study. Apoptosis induced by the metals was measured after 6-, 24- and 48-h exposure times with the determination of activated caspase 3 enzyme. Mitochondrial assays showed a clear dose-response and exposure time-response to the metals. The most toxic was methylmercury (EC50 ~0.8 microM, 48 h), and the most sensitive cell line was the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Furthermore, there was marked mitochondrial activation, especially in connection with aluminum and methylmercury at low concentrations. This activation may be important during the initiation of cellular processes. All the metals tested induced apoptosis, but with a different time-course and cell-line specificity. In microscopic photographs, glioblastoma cells formed fibrillary tangles, and neuroblastoma cells settled along the fibrilles in cocultures of glial and neuronal cell lines during aluminum exposure. The study emphasized the toxicity of methylmercury to neural cells and showed that aluminum alters various cellular activities.

  6. Epidemiological studies of neurological signs and symptoms and blood pressure in populations near the industrial methylmercury contamination at Minamata, Japan.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide

    2016-07-03

    Severe methylmercury exposure occurred in Minamata, Japan. Only a limited number of epidemiological studies related to that exposure have been carried out. The evidence that methylmercury is cardiotoxic is very limited, and these studies provide only minimal support for that hypothesis. We therefore analyzed the data both from an investigation in Minamata and neighboring communities in 1971 and an investigation in 1974 in another area simultaneously. We included a total of 3,751 participants. We examined the association of residential area with neurological signs or blood pressure using logistic regression or multiple linear regression models, adjusting for sex and age. We found that the prevalence of neurological signs and symptoms was elevated in the Minamata area (high-exposure), followed by the Goshonoura area (medium-exposure). Moreover, blood pressure was elevated in residents of the Minamata area.

  7. Transport of pyruvate into mitochondria is involved in methylmercury toxicity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Ishida, Yosuke; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Naganuma, Akira; Hwang, Gi-Wook

    2016-02-22

    We have previously demonstrated that the overexpression of enzymes involved in the production of pyruvate, enolase 2 (Eno2) and D-lactate dehydrogenase (Dld3) renders yeast highly sensitive to methylmercury and that the promotion of intracellular pyruvate synthesis may be involved in intensifying the toxicity of methylmercury. In the present study, we showed that the addition of pyruvate to culture media in non-toxic concentrations significantly enhanced the sensitivity of yeast and human neuroblastoma cells to methylmercury. The results also suggested that methylmercury promoted the transport of pyruvate into mitochondria and that the increased pyruvate concentrations in mitochondria were involved in intensifying the toxicity of methylmercury without pyruvate being converted to acetyl-CoA. Furthermore, in human neuroblastoma cells, methylmercury treatment alone decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, and the addition of pyruvate led to a further significant decrease. In addition, treatment with N-acetylcysteine (an antioxidant) significantly alleviated the toxicity of methylmercury and significantly inhibited the intensification of methylmercury toxicity by pyruvate. Based on these data, we hypothesize that methylmercury exerts its toxicity by raising the level of pyruvate in mitochondria and that mitochondrial dysfunction and increased levels of reactive oxygen species are involved in the action of pyruvate.

  8. Transport of pyruvate into mitochondria is involved in methylmercury toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Ishida, Yosuke; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Naganuma, Akira; Hwang, Gi-Wook

    2016-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that the overexpression of enzymes involved in the production of pyruvate, enolase 2 (Eno2) and D-lactate dehydrogenase (Dld3) renders yeast highly sensitive to methylmercury and that the promotion of intracellular pyruvate synthesis may be involved in intensifying the toxicity of methylmercury. In the present study, we showed that the addition of pyruvate to culture media in non-toxic concentrations significantly enhanced the sensitivity of yeast and human neuroblastoma cells to methylmercury. The results also suggested that methylmercury promoted the transport of pyruvate into mitochondria and that the increased pyruvate concentrations in mitochondria were involved in intensifying the toxicity of methylmercury without pyruvate being converted to acetyl-CoA. Furthermore, in human neuroblastoma cells, methylmercury treatment alone decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, and the addition of pyruvate led to a further significant decrease. In addition, treatment with N-acetylcysteine (an antioxidant) significantly alleviated the toxicity of methylmercury and significantly inhibited the intensification of methylmercury toxicity by pyruvate. Based on these data, we hypothesize that methylmercury exerts its toxicity by raising the level of pyruvate in mitochondria and that mitochondrial dysfunction and increased levels of reactive oxygen species are involved in the action of pyruvate. PMID:26899208

  9. Vitamins and monothiols efficacy in the restoration of adenosine nucleotide degradation enzymes altered during methylmercury intoxication

    SciTech Connect

    Sood, P.P.; Bapu, C.; Vijayalakshmi, K.

    1995-12-31

    Male albino mice were intoxicated with a daily dose of 1 mg/kg of methylmercury chloride (MMC) for 7 days, and were treated thereafter with glutathione, N-acetyl-DL-homocysteine thiolactone, vitamin B complex, and vitamin E, either alone or in combinations for the next 7 days. The animals were sacrificed on the eighth day, with the exception of one group that was kept without toxic exposure for an additional 7 days and sacrificed on the fifteenth day. Brain, spinal cord, kidney, and liver of the animals were examined for changes in adenosine deaminase and 5{prime} nucleotidase. We found a severe inhibition of these enzymes during MMC intoxication and significant recovery during monothiols and vitamins administration, indicating the effectiveness of these agents in methylmercury detoxication. 26 refs., 2 figs.

  10. Dietary toxicity and tissue accumulation of methylmercury in American kestrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, Richard S.; French, John B.; Rossmann, Ronald; Haebler, Romona J.

    2009-01-01

    American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed meat diets containing 0, 3, 6, or 12 ppm (dry weight) methylmercury chloride. Birds fed the 12-ppm diet started to show signs of neurotoxicity after 26 days and all died in 39?49 days. One male kestrel fed the 6-ppm diet died after 75 days of exposure and several others showed signs of neurotoxicity after 45 days. None of the birds fed the 3-ppm diet died or showed signs of toxicity. After 59 days of exposure, mercury concentrations in the liver, kidney, and blood of nonreproducing kestrels increased with increasing dietary concentration. Tissue concentrations of mercury also steadily increased over time in birds fed diets with 6 ppm mercury, which were necropsied at 8, 15, 29, or 59 days of exposure, reaching mean total mercury concentrations of 57, 46, and 45 ppm (wet weight) at 59 days in the liver, kidney, and whole blood, respectively. Two pairs of kestrels at each dietary concentration were allowed to breed. Eggs averaged 8.3 and 18.1 ppm (wet weight) total mercury from birds fed 3- and 6-ppm diets, respectively. Feathers grown during mercury exposure contained high concentrations of mercury: Birds fed 3- and 6-ppm diets contained 275 and 542 ppm total mercury, respectively.

  11. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES

    PubMed Central

    Ganser, Martha A.; Warren, Jeffrey S.; Basu, Niladri; Wang, Lu; Zick, Suzanna M.; Park, Sung Kyun

    2015-01-01

    Background Immune dysregulation associated with mercury has been suggested, although data in the general population are lacking. Chronic exposure to low levels of methylmercury (organic) and inorganic mercury is common, such as through fish consumption and dental amalgams. Objective We examined associations between mercury biomarkers and antinuclear antibody (ANA) positivity and titer strength. Methods Among females 16–49 years of age (n = 1,352) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004, we examined cross-sectional associations between mercury and ANAs (indirect immunofluorescence; cutoff ≥ 1:80). Three biomarkers of mercury exposure were used: hair (available 1999–2000) and total blood (1999–2004) predominantly represented methylmercury, and urine (1999–2002) represented inorganic mercury. Survey statistics were used. Multivariable modeling adjusted for several covariates, including age and omega-3 fatty acids. Results Sixteen percent of females were ANA positive; 96% of ANA positives had a nuclear speckled staining pattern. Geometric mean (geometric SD) mercury concentrations were 0.22 (0.03) ppm in hair, 0.92 (0.05) μg/L blood, and 0.62 (0.04) μg/L urine. Hair and blood, but not urinary, mercury were associated with ANA positivity (sample sizes 452, 1,352, and 804, respectively), after adjusting for confounders: for hair, odds ratio (OR) = 4.10 (95% CI: 1.66, 10.13); for blood, OR = 2.32 (95% CI: 1.07, 5.03) comparing highest versus lowest quantiles. Magnitudes of association were strongest for high-titer (≥ 1:1,280) ANA: hair, OR = 11.41 (95% CI: 1.60, 81.23); blood, OR = 5.93 (95% CI: 1.57, 22.47). Conclusions Methylmercury, at low levels generally considered safe, was associated with subclinical autoimmunity among reproductive-age females. Autoantibodies may predate clinical disease by years; thus, methylmercury exposure may be relevant to future autoimmune disease risk. Citation Somers EC, Ganser MA, Warren

  12. Methylmercury toxicity in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR)

    SciTech Connect

    Tamashiro, H.; Arakaki, M.; Akagi, H.; Hirayama, K.; Smolensky, M.H.

    1986-05-01

    Information is scant on both environmental and individual factors as potentiators of methylmercury (MeHg) toxicity in human beings and other animal species. Hypertension is quite common among the inhabitants of MeHg-polluted areas. It is of special interest to learn what is the health consequence among the hypertensives who have been exposed to MeHg for a prolonged period of time. This study was designed to delineate the toxicity of MeHg in animals having high blood pressure using the laboratory model of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). This paper presents the mortality as well as distribution of mercury in the tissues of SHR and control rats treated orally with methylmercury chloride for 10 consecutive days.

  13. Autofluorescence and non-specific immunofluorescent labeling in frozen bovine intestinal tissue sections: Solutions for multi-color immunofluorescence experiments

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Autofluorescence and non-specific immunofluorescent labeling are common challenges associated with immunofluorescence experiments. Autofluorescence typically demonstrates a broad emission spectrum, increasing the potential for overlap with experiments that utilize multiple fluorophores. During immun...

  14. Autofluorescence and Nonspecific Immunofluorescent Labeling in Frozen Bovine Intestinal Tissue Sections: Solutions for Multicolor Immunofluorescence Experiments.

    PubMed

    Jenvey, Caitlin J; Stabel, Judith R

    2017-09-01

    Autofluorescent compounds present in intestinal tissue often hinder the ability to utilize multiple, spectrally different, fluorophores. In addition, fixatives and blocking solutions may contribute to background autofluorescence or nonspecific immunofluorescent labeling. During immunofluorescence protocol development, autofluorescent pigments were observed in frozen bovine mid-ileal intestinal tissue sections. Coagulant fixatives, normal serum blocking, histochemical stains Sudan Black B (SBB) and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB), and spectral separation using imaging software were compared for their ability to reduce autofluorescence, as well as their effect on immunofluorescent labeling. Fluorescent pigments of frozen bovine mid-ileal intestinal tissue sections, most likely caused by eosinophils and lipofuscin, were masked successfully with a combination of DAB and SBB. Little to no statistical differences were observed for all other methods investigated; however, tissue fixed with 1:1 acetone methanol and 10% horse serum diluted in 0.05 M Tris buffer demonstrated lower mean fluorescence intensities. Spectral separation of specific immunofluorescent labeling from background autofluorescence is a simple method for removing unwanted fluorescence; however, successful separation is dependent on tissue and labeling quality.

  15. FISH CONSUMPTION, METHYLMERCURY, AND HUMAN HEART DISEASE.

    SciTech Connect

    LIPFERT, F.W.; SULLIVAN, T.M.

    2005-09-21

    Environmental mercury continues to be of concern to public health advocates, both in the U.S. and abroad, and new research continues to be published. A recent analysis of potential health benefits of reduced mercury emissions has opened a new area of public health concern: adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, which could account for the bulk of the potential economic benefits. The authors were careful to include caveats about the uncertainties of such impacts, but they cited only a fraction of the applicable health effects literature. That literature includes studies of the potentially harmful ingredient (methylmercury, MeHg) in fish, as well as of a beneficial ingredient, omega-3 fatty acids or ''fish oils''. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently certified that some of these fat compounds that are primarily found in fish ''may be beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease''. This paper briefly summarizes and categorizes the extensive literature on both adverse and beneficial links between fish consumption and cardiovascular health, which are typically based on studies of selected groups of individuals (cohorts). Such studies tend to comprise the ''gold standard'' of epidemiology, but cohorts tend to exhibit a great deal of variability, in part because of the limited numbers of individuals involved and in part because of interactions with other dietary and lifestyle considerations. Note that eating fish will involve exposure to both the beneficial effects of fatty acids and the potentially harmful effects of contaminants like Hg or PCBs, all of which depend on the type of fish but tend to be correlated within a population. As a group, the cohort studies show that eating fish tends to reduce mortality, especially due to heart disease, for consumption rates up to about twice weekly, above which the benefits tend to level off. A Finnish cohort study showed increased mortality risks in the highest fish-consuming group ({approx}3 times

  16. Dietary lipids modulate methylmercury toxicity in Atlantic salmon.

    PubMed

    Olsvik, Pål A; Amlund, Heidi; Torstensen, Bente E

    2011-12-01

    This experiment aimed to study the molecular toxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) in liver, brain and white muscle of Atlantic salmon fed a diet based on fish oil (FO, high dietary n-3/n-6 ratio) compared to an alternative diet mainly based on vegetable oil (VO, low dietary n-3/n-6 ratio). Juvenile salmon were fed decontaminated diets or the FO and VO diets enriched with 5 mg Hg/kg (added as MeHg) for three months. The dietary lipid composition affected the fatty acid composition in the tissues, especially in liver and white muscle. After 84 days of exposure, the liver accumulated three times as much MeHg as the brain and white muscle. Vitamin C content and heme oxygenase, tubulin alpha (TUBA) and Cpt1 transcriptional levels all showed significant effects of MeHg exposure in the liver. TBARS, α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and the transcriptional levels of thioredoxin, heme oxygenase, TUBA, PPARB1, D5D and D6D showed an effect of dietary lipid composition in liver tissue. Effects of dietary lipids were observed in brain tissue for MT-A, HIF1, Bcl-X and TUBA. Interaction effects between MeHg exposure and dietary lipid composition were observed in all tissues. Our data suggest that dietary fats have modulating effects on MeHg toxicity in Atlantic salmon.

  17. Methylmercury Poisoning—An Assessment of the Sportfish Hazard in California

    PubMed Central

    Dales, Loring; Kahn, Ephraim; Wei, Eddie

    1971-01-01

    A quantitative assessment of the methylmercury risk in California entails measurement of the contamination distribution, the probability of methylmercury intake and knowledge of the toxicological properties of methylmercury. This article reviews the scientific basis for the California State Task Force's decision to warn the public against excessive consumption of sport fish contaminated by methylmercury. PMID:5544687

  18. Benchmark concentrations for methylmercury obtained from the Seychelles Child Development Study.

    PubMed Central

    Crump, K S; Van Landingham, C; Shamlaye, C; Cox, C; Davidson, P W; Myers, G J; Clarkson, T W

    2000-01-01

    Methylmercury is a neurotoxin at high exposures, and the developing fetus is particularly susceptible. Because exposure to methylmercury is primarily through fish, concern has been expressed that the consumption of fish by pregnant women could adversely affect their fetuses. The reference dose for methylmercury established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was based on a benchmark analysis of data from a poisoning episode in Iraq in which mothers consumed seed grain treated with methylmercury during pregnancy. However, exposures in this study were short term and at much higher levels than those that result from fish consumption. In contrast, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) based its proposed minimal risk level on a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) derived from neurologic testing of children in the Seychelles Islands, where fish is an important dietary staple. Because no adverse effects from mercury were seen in the Seychelles study, the ATSDR considered the mean exposure in the study to be a NOAEL. However, a mean exposure may not be a good indicator of a no-effect exposure level. To provide an alternative basis for deriving an appropriate human exposure level from the Seychelles study, we conducted a benchmark analysis on these data. Our analysis included responses from batteries of neurologic tests applied to children at 6, 19, 29, and 66 months of age. We also analyzed developmental milestones (age first walked and first talked). We explored a number of dose-response models, sets of covariates to include in the models, and definitions of background response. Our analysis also involved modeling responses expressed as both continuous and quantal data. The most reliable analyses were considered to be represented by 144 calculated lower statistical bounds on the benchmark dose (BMDLs; the lower statistical bound on maternal mercury hair level corresponding to an increase of 0.1 in the probability of an adverse response

  19. Methylmercury levels in predatory fish species marketed in Canada.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, Don S; Casey, V; Dabeka, R W; McKenzie, A

    2004-09-01

    Mercury was detected in all analysed samples of swordfish, marlin, shark and tuna purchased from major supermarket outlets and fish retailers in three cities across Canada. Total mercury and methylmercury levels ranged up to 3845 and 2346 ng g(-1), respectively. Swordfish contained the highest levels, followed by shark, fresh/frozen tuna and marlin. Levels in canned tuna were considerably less than the other examined samples. Methylmercury was extracted with toluene from enzymatically hydrolysed samples after the addition of sulphuric acid and potassium bromide. An L-cysteine back-extraction was used to separate the methylmercury from most organic co-extractives. Analysis of methylmercury (as methylmercury bromide) was by gas chromatography with pulsed discharge detection.

  20. Concentrations of methylmercury in invertebrates from wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region of North America.

    PubMed

    Bates, Lara M; Hall, Britt D

    2012-01-01

    Prairie wetlands may be important sites of mercury (Hg) methylation resulting in elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in water, sediments and biota. Invertebrates are an important food resource and may act as an indicator of MeHg exposure to higher organisms. In 2007-2008, invertebrates were collected from wetland ponds in central Saskatchewan, categorized into functional feeding groups (FFGs) and analyzed for total Hg (THg) and MeHg. Methylmercury and THg concentrations in four FFGs ranged from 0.2-393.5 ng · g(-1) and 9.7-507.1 ng · g(-1), respectively. Methylmercury concentrations generally increased from gastropods with significantly lower average MeHg concentrations compared to other invertebrate taxa. Surrounding land use (agricultural, grassland and organic agricultural) may influence MeHg concentrations in invertebrates, with invertebrate MeHg concentrations being higher from organic ponds (457.5 ± 156.7 ng · g(-1)) compared to those from grassland ponds (74.8 ± 14.6 ng · g(-1)) and ponds on agricultural lands (32.8 ± 6.2 ng · g(-1)).

  1. Single-Neuron Axonal Pathfinding under Geometric Guidance: Low-Dose-Methylmercury Developmental Neurotoxicity Test

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Lina; Sweeney, Andrew J.; Sheng, Liyuan; Fang, Yu; Kindy, Mark S.; Xi, Tingfei; Gao, Bruce Z.

    2014-01-01

    Because the nervous system is most vulnerable to toxicants during development, there is a crucial need for a highly sensitive developmental-neurotoxicity-test model to detect potential toxicants at low doses. We developed a lab-on-chip wherein single-neuron axonal pathfinding under geometric guidance was created using soft lithography and laser cell-micropatterning techniques. After coating the surface with L1, an axon-specific member of the Ig family of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), and optimizing microunit geometric parameters, we introduced low-dose methylmercury, a well-known, environmentally significant neurotoxicant, in the shared medium. Its developmental neurotoxicity was evaluated using a novel axonal pathfinding assay including axonal turning and branching rates at turning points in this model. Compared to the conventional neurite-outgrowth assay, this model's detection threshold for low-dose methylmercury was 10-fold more sensitive at comparable exposure durations. These preliminary results support study of developmental effects of known and potential neurotoxicants on axon pathfinding. This novel assay model would be useful to study neuronal disease mechanisms at the single-cell level. To our knowledge, the potential of methylmercury chloride to cause acute in vitro developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) at such a low dosage has not been reported. This is the first DNT test model with high reproducibility to use single-neuron axonal pathfinding under precise geometric guidance. PMID:25041816

  2. Immunofluorescence and Immunohistochemical Detection of Keratins.

    PubMed

    Stumptner, Cornelia; Gogg-Kamerer, Margit; Viertler, Christian; Denk, Helmut; Zatloukal, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Reliable detection of keratins in tissues is important for investigating their physiological role and for using keratin expression as a biomarker in medical diagnostics. A particular challenge for the detection of keratins by immunofluorescence microscopy or immunohistochemistry relates to the fact that keratin intermediate filaments are obligatory heteropolymers, which may result in dissociation between RNA and protein expression levels in the event that the homeostasis of the expression of the proper keratin partners is disturbed. Furthermore, variable accessibility of epitopes on keratin polypeptides due to conformational changes may lead to false negative results. Preanalytical effects, such as warm/cold ischemia, fixation, tissue processing, and embedding may result in false negative or inappropriate reactions. An experimental design for how to systematically test preanalytical effects and to validate immunohistochemistry protocols is presented. This kind of evaluation should be performed for each antigen and antibody since the various epitopes recognized by antibodies may behave differently. In this context, one has to be aware that different cell structures may be affected or modified differently by various preanalytical procedures and may thus require different preanalytical and staining protocols. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Establishment of indirect immunofluorescence assay for rotavirus.

    PubMed

    Tao, J; Zhang, J; Liu, X; Jin, H; Jiang, C; Yin, Y

    2016-03-01

    Rotavirus infection is the most frequent cause of infantile gastroenteritis worldwide and a significant cause of death in infants and young children, following severe diarrhea and dehydration. Rotavirus vaccines are considered the most effective way to prevent rotavirus infections. In the process of developing rotavirus vaccines, it is crucial to establish a reliable and standardized method to determine vaccine titer. In this study, we developed an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) to determine the infectious titer of Lanzhou lamb rotavirus (LLR) vaccine grown in MA104 cells. The activating concentration of trypsin was 1 µg/ml for healthy monolayers of MA104 cells at 100% confluence. After incubation for 18 hr, a rabbit anti-SA11 polyclonal antibody, diluted at 1:800 in PBS, was added to all wells, followed by an Alexa-488-conjugated secondary antibody diluted at 1:500 in PBS. Cells were examined with a fluorescence microscope. Our results show that IFA was more reproducible, more sensitive, simpler, and more rapid than the log 50% cell culture infectious dose-ELISA (lgCCID50-ELISA) in measuring the rotavirus vaccines. IFA provided a reliable basis for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of rotavirus, and the certification of rotavirus vaccine production.

  4. Determination of a site-specific reference dose for methylmercury for fish-eating populations.

    PubMed

    Shipp, A M; Gentry, P R; Lawrence, G; Van Landingham, C; Covington, T; Clewell, H J; Gribben, K; Crump, K

    2000-11-01

    Environmental risk-management decisions in the U.S. involving potential exposures to methylmercury currently use a reference dose (RfD) developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This RfD is based on retrospective studies of an acute poisoning incident in Iraq in which grain contaminated with a methylmercury fungicide was inadvertently used in the baking of bread. The exposures, which were relatively high but lasted only a few months, were associated with neurological effects in both adults (primarily paresthesia) and infants (late walking, late talking, etc.). It is generally believed that the developing fetus represents a particularly sensitive subpopulation for the neurological effects of methylmercury. The USEPA derived an RfD of 0.1 microg/kg/day based on benchmark dose (BMD) modeling of the combined neurological endpoints reported for children exposed in utero. This RfD included an uncertainty factor of 10 to consider human pharmacokinetic variability and database limitations (lack of data on multigeneration effects or possible long-term sequelae of perinatal exposure). Alcoa signed an Administrative Order of Consent for the conduct of a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) at their Point Comfort Operations and the adjacent Lavaca Bay in Texas to address the effects of historical discharges of mercury-containing wastewater. In cooperation with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and USEPA Region VI, Alcoa conducted a baseline risk assessment to assess potential risk to human health and the environment. As a part of this assessment. Alcoa pursued the development of a site-specific RfD for methylmercury to specifically address the potential human health effects associated with the ingestion of contaminated finfish and shellfish from Lavaca Bay. Application of the published USEPA RfD to this site is problematic; while the study underlying the RfD represented acute exposure to relatively high concentrations of

  5. Mercury Exposure: Medical and Public Health Issues

    PubMed Central

    Mahaffey, Kathryn R

    2005-01-01

    Mercury exposure is widespread in the United States with methylmercury as the predominant chemical species and fish and shellfish as the source. Use of more advanced diagnostic techniques and application of population-based risk assessment methodologies have assisted in addressing the impact of mercury exposure on the United States population. Biomonitoring, particularly through analyses of blood mercury, provides both population-based data and exposure information that can be informative for physicians. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) beginning in 1999 provide population-based exposure estimates for United States overall. Methylmercury exposures among women of childbearing age are of particular concern because of methylmercury's developmental neurotoxicity. Exposures of concern among women are estimated to occur in between ∼6% to 8% of the 16-to-49-year-old age group based on data from NHANES; and in ∼15% of this age and sex group if physiological factors such as the degree of transplacental transport of methylmercury are taken into consideration. Subgroups with high fish consumption (e.g., many island and coastal populations, some persons of Asian ethnicity, some individuals following “healthy” diets) can have methylmercury exposures substantially higher than those reported among the NHANES examinees. These subpopulations are not likely to be aware of their blood mercury concentrations or the possible health outcomes associated with such high blood mercury levels. The American Medical Association has adopted policies that express concerns about methylmercury exposure, and advise patient education. Non-neurological risks for adults associated with methylmercury, including the potential for adverse cardiac outcomes, have not yet been incorporated into risk assessments. PMID:16555611

  6. Characterization of the effects of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Helmcke, Kirsten J.; Syversen, Tore; Miller, David M.; Aschner, Michael

    2009-10-15

    The rising prevalence of methylmercury (MeHg) in seafood and in the global environment provides an impetus for delineating the mechanism of the toxicity of MeHg. Deleterious effects of MeHg have been widely observed in humans and in other mammals, the most striking of which occur in the nervous system. Here we test the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), for MeHg toxicity. The simple, well-defined anatomy of the C. elegans nervous system and its ready visualization with green fluorescent protein (GFP) markers facilitated our study of the effects of methylmercuric chloride (MeHgCl) on neural development. Although MeHgCl was lethal to C. elegans, induced a developmental delay, and decreased pharyngeal pumping, other traits including lifespan, brood size, swimming rate, and nervous system morphology were not obviously perturbed in animals that survived MeHgCl exposure. Despite the limited effects of MeHgCl on C. elegans development and behavior, intracellular mercury (Hg) concentrations ({<=} 3 ng Hg/mg protein) in MeHgCl-treated nematodes approached levels that are highly toxic to mammals. If MeHgCl reaches these concentrations throughout the animal, this finding indicates that C. elegans cells, particularly neurons, may be less sensitive to MeHgCl toxicity than mammalian cells. We propose, therefore, that C. elegans should be a useful model for discovering intrinsic mechanisms that confer resistance to MeHgCl exposure.

  7. Dietary nimodipine delays the onset of methylmercury neurotoxicity in mice.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Jordan M; Hutsell, Blake A; Newland, M Christopher

    2013-07-01

    Adult-onset methylmercury (MeHg) exposure is thought to result primarily in sensory and motor deficits but effects on learning are poorly understood. One mechanism by which chronic MeHg may exert its neurotoxicity is via sustained disruption of intracellular calcium homeostasis, with a consequent increase of intracellular Ca(2+) ions in vulnerable neurons. A biochemically heterogeneous group of compounds, calcium channel blockers, have been shown in vitro to attenuate MeHg's toxicity. To evaluate the role of calcium antagonism in MeHg toxicity in vivo, adult BALB/c mice were exposed chronically to 0 or 15 ppm of Hg (as MeHg) via drinking water and to nimodipine, a dihydropryidine, L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker with action in the CNS. Nimodipine was administered orally in diets (0, 20, or 200 ppm, producing approximately 0, 2, or 20 mg/kg/day of nimodipine). An incremental repeated acquisition (IRA) of response chains procedure was used to detect MeHg-induced deficits in learning or motoric function and to evaluate possible neuroprotection by nimodipine. MeHg impaired performance on the IRA task, and this was partially or completely blocked by dietary nimodipine, depending on dose. Measures of learning co-varied with measures of motoric function as indicated by overall response rate. Nimodipine delayed or prevented the behavioral toxicity of MeHg exposure as evidenced by IRA performance; effects on learning seemed secondary to response rate decreases.

  8. A novel automated indirect immunofluorescence autoantibody evaluation.

    PubMed

    Kivity, Shaye; Gilburd, Boris; Agmon-Levin, Nancy; Carrasco, Marina Garcia; Tzafrir, Yaron; Sofer, Yael; Mandel, Matilda; Buttner, Thomas; Roggenbuck, Dirk; Matucci-Cerinic, Marco; Danko, Katalin; Hoyos, Marcos López; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2012-03-01

    Autoantibodies (AAb), especially antinuclear (ANAs) and anticytoplasmatic antibodies (ACyA), are essential diagnosing markers for several autoimmune diseases. The current gold standard method for ANA detection is manual indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on human epithelial-2 (HEp-2) cells. However, this technique is cost and time consuming, and characterized by considerable intra- and interlaboratory variability. Thus, an automated IIF-HEp-2 reader has been developed recently. In the current study, we compared the performance of the automated AAb IIF-HEp-2 interpretation to conventional detection methods. Autoantibody detection by IIF on HEp-2 cells was performed in a total of 260 sera of patients, including 34 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 111 with dermatomyositis or polymyositis, 74 with systemic sclerosis, 41 with rare AAb patterns, and 137 healthy individuals. Visual interpretation and routine immunoassays were compared with a novel automated IIF-HEp-2 system using Aklides pattern recognition algorithms. Positive AAbs were detected in 95-100% of rheumatic patients by automated interpretation, in 74-100% with manual reading, and in 64-100% by immunodot assay. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of fluorescent intensity revealed a high sensitivity and specificity for automated reading of AAb with an agreement ranging from 90% to 95% between manual and automated interpretation (kappa 0.554-0.69) for systemic sclerosis and myositis, respectively. This study demonstrates a good correlation between manual and automated interpretation of AAb including ANA and ACyA in patients with autoimmune diseases. Full automation of HEp-2 cell assay reading may minimize errors in ANA pattern interpretation and thus help in the standardization of ANA assessment.

  9. Direct Immunofluorescence in Oral Lichen Planus

    PubMed Central

    Okuma, Nis; Thanakun, Supanee; Laothumthut, Titikarn

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a common immune-mediated oral mucosal disease. Diagnosis of OLP depends mainly on both clinical and histopathological features. Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) is a useful investigation method to distinguish between similar lesions and to confirm diagnosis in cases of uncharacterized features. Aim The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and pattern of DIF in a group of Thai patients with OLP. Materials and Methods Records of clinically and histologically diagnosed OLP patients attending the Oral Medicine Clinic, Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand were consecutively reviewed for DIF results. The DIF patterns in these patients were analysed. Results There were 82 atrophic and/or erosive OLP patients with a mean age of 51.6 years. Male to female ratio was 1:5. Of these, 82.9% showed positive DIF. Buccal mucosa was superior to the gingiva and palate in terms of sensitivity for DIF. All specimens except one (98.5%) demonstrated deposition of fibrinogen at the basement membrane zone (BMZ) in a shaggy pattern. The most common DIF pattern was shaggy fibrinogen at BMZ with IgM deposition on the colloid bodies (CB) (35.3%) followed by shaggy fibrinogen along BMZ (27.9%). Conclusion The prevalence of positive DIF in Thai OLP patients was 82.9%. The most common finding was shaggy fibrinogen at BMZ. The typical pattern was shaggy fibrinogen along BMZ with or without positive IgM at CB. DIF pattern could be evaluated for the diagnosis of OLP lacking clinical and/or histopathological characteristic features. PMID:26436043

  10. THE USE OF LOCAL MERCURY DEPOSITION MEASUREMENTS IN MODELING THE FATE, TRANSPORT AND BIOACCUMULATION OF METHYLMERCURY ON THE CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBAL LANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Managed farm ponds on Sioux Tribal lands were monitored as a part of a two year study to address the variation in methylmercury bioaccumulation in fishes from 2003-2004. Initial tissue residue monitoring suggested that larger ponds posed less risk for human exposure to methylmer...

  11. THE USE OF LOCAL MERCURY DEPOSITION MEASUREMENTS IN MODELING THE FATE, TRANSPORT AND BIOACCUMULATION OF METHYLMERCURY ON THE CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBAL LANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Managed farm ponds on Sioux Tribal lands were monitored as a part of a two year study to address the variation in methylmercury bioaccumulation in fishes from 2003-2004. Initial tissue residue monitoring suggested that larger ponds posed less risk for human exposure to methylmer...

  12. SUB-ACUTE TREATMENT WITH METHYLMERCURY DURING DIFFERENTIATION OF PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA (PC12) CELLS DOES NOT ALTER BINDING OF ION CHANNEL LIGANDS OR CELL MORPHOLOGY.

    EPA Science Inventory

    We demonstrated recently that 6 days of exposure to nanomolar concentrations (3-10 nM) of methylmercury (MeHg) during nerve growth factor (NGF) induced PC12 cell differentiation reduced the amplitude and density of voltage-gated sodium and calcium currents. In the present study,...

  13. SUB-ACUTE TREATMENT WITH METHYLMERCURY DURING DIFFERENTIATION OF PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA (PC12) CELLS DOES NOT ALTER BINDING OF ION CHANNEL LIGANDS OR CELL MORPHOLOGY.

    EPA Science Inventory

    We demonstrated recently that 6 days of exposure to nanomolar concentrations (3-10 nM) of methylmercury (MeHg) during nerve growth factor (NGF) induced PC12 cell differentiation reduced the amplitude and density of voltage-gated sodium and calcium currents. In the present study,...

  14. Comparison of mercury accumulation among the brain, liver, kidney, and the brain regions of rats administered methylmercury in various phases of postnatal development

    SciTech Connect

    Sakamoto, M.; Nakano, A.

    1995-10-01

    Several animal studies have indicated that a developing organism in its prenatal and early postnatal stage may be at higher risk in toxic metal exposure than in adult stage. Many infants were congenitally affected by methylmercury in the epidemics in Japan and Iraq. The infants reported from Minamata, Japan, had severe cerebral palsy, whereas their mothers had mild or no manifestations of poisoning. Some of the high susceptibility in infants may resulted from the specific features of the methylmercury metabolism in the developing organisms. Prenatal or postnatal development is characterized by functional immaturity of organs, which may affect the mercury (Hg) accumulation among organs. It seems possible that the Hg distribution might, in fact, reflect the toxic effects of methylmercury during a given developing phase. Thus, its distribution deserves closer examination. In our previous study, when a toxic level of methylmercury was administered, the Hg distribution and its effects on body weight gain and neurological disorders were found to be different among the rat postnatal developing phases. In the present study the Hg distribution among organs and brain regions was investigated during the several development phases with a nontoxic level of methylmercury treatment. 24 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  15. Interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into mallard eggs.

    PubMed

    Klimstra, Jon D; Yee, Julie L; Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2012-03-01

    Methylmercury chloride and seleno-L-methionine were injected separately or in combinations into mallard eggs (Anas platyrhynchos), and embryo mortality and teratogenic effects (deformities) were modeled using a logistic regression model. Methylmercury was injected at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.6 µg/g Hg in the egg on a wet weight basis and selenomethionine at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 µg/g Se in the egg, also on a wet weight basis. When selenomethionine and methylmercury were injected separately, hatching probability decreased in both cases. However, when methylmercury was injected at 1.6 µg/g in combination with selenomethionine at 0.2 µg/g, the presence of the methylmercury resulted in less embryo mortality than had been seen with 0.2 µg/g Se by itself, but it increased the number of deformed embryos and hatchlings. Selenomethionine appeared to be more embryotoxic than equivalent doses of methylmercury when injected into eggs, and both injected methylmercury and selenomethionine were more toxic to mallard embryos than when deposited naturally in the egg by the mother. The underlying mechanisms behind the interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine and why methylmercury appeared to improve hatching probability of Se-dosed eggs yet increased deformities when the two compounds were combined are unclear. These findings warrant further studies to understand these mechanisms in both laboratory and field settings. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  16. Interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into mallard eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klimstra, J.D.; Yee, J.L.; Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Stebbins, K.R.

    2012-01-01

    Methylmercury chloride and seleno-L-methionine were injected separately or in combinations into mallard eggs (Anas platyrhynchos), and embryo mortality and teratogenic effects (deformities) were modeled using a logistic regression model. Methylmercury was injected at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.6 µg/g Hg in the egg on a wet weight basis and selenomethionine at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 µg/g Se in the egg, also on a wet weight basis. When selenomethionine and methylmercury were injected separately, hatching probability decreased in both cases. However, when methylmercury was injected at 1.6 µg/g in combination with selenomethionine at 0.2 µg/g, the presence of the methylmercury resulted in less embryo mortality than had been seen with 0.2 µg/g Se by itself, but it increased the number of deformed embryos and hatchlings. Selenomethionine appeared to be more embryotoxic than equivalent doses of methylmercury when injected into eggs, and both injected methylmercury and selenomethionine were more toxic to mallard embryos than when deposited naturally in the egg by the mother. The underlying mechanisms behind the interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine and why methylmercury appeared to improve hatching probability of Se-dosed eggs yet increased deformities when the two compounds were combined are unclear. These findings warrant further studies to understand these mechanisms in both laboratory and field settings.

  17. Comparative toxicogenomic responses of mercuric and methyl-mercury.

    PubMed

    McElwee, Matthew K; Ho, Lindsey A; Chou, Jeff W; Smith, Marjolein V; Freedman, Jonathan H

    2013-10-11

    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant that exists in multiple chemical forms. A paucity of information exists regarding the differences or similarities by which different mercurials act at the molecular level. Transcriptomes of mixed-stage C. elegans following equitoxic sub-, low- and high-toxicity exposures to inorganic mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and organic methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) were analyzed. In C. elegans, the mercurials had highly different effects on transcription, with MeHgCl affecting the expression of significantly more genes than HgCl2. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that inorganic and organic mercurials affected different biological processes. RNAi identified 18 genes that were important in C. elegans response to mercurial exposure, although only two of these genes responded to both mercurials. To determine if the responses observed in C. elegans were evolutionarily conserved, the two mercurials were investigated in human neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH), hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. The human homologs of the affected C. elegans genes were then used to test the effects on gene expression and cell viability after using siRNA during HgCl2 and MeHgCl exposure. As was observed with C. elegans, exposure to the HgCl2 and MeHgCl had different effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in the cellular response to the two mercurials. These results suggest that, contrary to previous reports, inorganic and organic mercurials have different mechanisms of toxicity. The two mercurials induced disparate effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in protecting the organism from mercurial toxicity.

  18. Comparative toxicogenomic responses of mercuric and methyl-mercury

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant that exists in multiple chemical forms. A paucity of information exists regarding the differences or similarities by which different mercurials act at the molecular level. Results Transcriptomes of mixed-stage C. elegans following equitoxic sub-, low- and high-toxicity exposures to inorganic mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and organic methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) were analyzed. In C. elegans, the mercurials had highly different effects on transcription, with MeHgCl affecting the expression of significantly more genes than HgCl2. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that inorganic and organic mercurials affected different biological processes. RNAi identified 18 genes that were important in C. elegans response to mercurial exposure, although only two of these genes responded to both mercurials. To determine if the responses observed in C. elegans were evolutionarily conserved, the two mercurials were investigated in human neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH), hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. The human homologs of the affected C. elegans genes were then used to test the effects on gene expression and cell viability after using siRNA during HgCl2 and MeHgCl exposure. As was observed with C. elegans, exposure to the HgCl2 and MeHgCl had different effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in the cellular response to the two mercurials. Conclusions These results suggest that, contrary to previous reports, inorganic and organic mercurials have different mechanisms of toxicity. The two mercurials induced disparate effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in protecting the organism from mercurial toxicity. PMID:24118919

  19. Reanalysis of dose-response data from the Iraqi methylmercury poisoning episode

    SciTech Connect

    Crump, K.; Clewell, H.; Gearhart, J.

    1995-08-01

    Applying a hockey stick parametric dose-response model to data on late or retarded development in Iraqi children exposed in utero to methylmercury, with mercury (Hg) exposure characterized by the peak Hg concentration in mothers` hair during pregnancy, Cox et al. calculated the {open_quotes}best statistical estimate{close_quotes} of the threshold for health effects as 10 ppm Hg in hair with a 95% range of uncertainty of between 0 and 13.6 ppm. A new application of the hockey stick model to the Iraqi data shows, however, that the statistical upper limit of the threshold based on the hockey stick model could be as high as 255 ppm. Futhermore, the maximum likelihood estimate of the threshold using a different parametric model is virtually zero. These and other analyses demonstrate that threshold estimates based on parametric models exhibit high statistical variability and model dependency, and are highly sensitive to the precise definition of an abnormal response. Consequently, they are not a reliable basis for setting a reference dose (RfD) for methylmercury. Benchmark analyses and statistical analyses useful for deriving NOAELs are also presented. We believe these latter analyses-particularly the benchmark analyses-generally form a sounder basis for determining RfDs than the type of hockey stick analysis presented by Cox et al. However, the acute nature of the exposures, as well as other limitations in the Iraqi data suggest that other data may be more appropriate for determining acceptable human exposures to methylmercury. 24 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  20. Assessment of the effects of acrylamide, methylmercury, and 2,5-hexanedione on motor functions in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, S.G.; Maurissen, J.P.J.

    1982-07-01

    Neurotoxic effects of acrylamide, methylmercury, and 2,5-hexanedione were studied in forty female BALB/c mice. Three control groups were used. The first received distilled water, the second received concentrated saccharin solution to assess the effects of reduced water intake, and the third was maintained on a reduced food diet. Motor functions were quantified by measuring landing foot-spread and rotarod performance. Baseline data were collected before dosing started. Mice were placed, twice weekly, on an accelerating rotarod, and their retention time was recorded. In the landing foot-spread test, the experimenter dropped mice from 15 cm onto a flat, smooth surface once a week. The hindlimb splay was then measured by the examiner. Both experimenter and examiner were unaware of the identity of each group (except of the food deprived group, in the case of the experimenter) during the first exposure. Decreased retention time and increased hindlimb splay were observed in mice after 12 d of exposure to acrylamide. Recovery followed treatment cessation. Increased hindlimb splay preceded an obvious decline of rotarod performance in the group receiving the 10 ppm of methylmercury solution. Mice receiving the 20 and 40 ppm of methylmercury solutions did not display any change in these tests before overt signs of toxicity. 2,5-Hexanedione produced a small decline in performance to a constant level after 85 d of exposure. After dosing termination, performance returned to baseline values.

  1. Hippocampal developmental vulnerability to methylmercury extends into prepubescence

    PubMed Central

    Obiorah, Maryann; McCandlish, Elizabeth; Buckley, Brian; DiCicco-Bloom, Emanuel

    2015-01-01

    The developing brain is sensitive to environmental toxicants such as methylmercury (MeHg), to which humans are exposed via contaminated seafood. Prenatal exposure in children is associated with learning, memory and IQ deficits, which can result from hippocampal dysfunction. To explore underlying mechanisms, we have used the postnatal day (P7) rat to model the third trimester of human gestation. We previously showed that a single low exposure (0.6 μg/gbw) that approaches human exposure reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) 24 h later, producing later proliferation and memory deficits in adolescence. Yet, the vulnerable stem cell population and period of developmental vulnerability remain undefined. In this study, we find that P7 exposure of stem cells has long-term consequences for adolescent neurogenesis. It reduced the number of mitotic S-phase cells (BrdU), especially those in the highly proliferative Tbr2+ population, and immature neurons (Doublecortin) in adolescence, suggesting partial depletion of the later stem cell pool. To define developmental vulnerability to MeHg in prepubescent (P14) and adolescent (P21) rats, we examined acute 24 h effects of MeHg exposure on mitosis and apoptosis. We found that low exposure did not adversely impact neurogenesis at either age, but that a higher exposure (5 μg/gbw) at P14 reduced the total number of neural stem cells (Sox2+) by 23% and BrdU+ cells by 26% in the DG hilus, suggesting that vulnerability diminishes with age. To determine whether these effects reflect changes in MeHg transfer across the blood brain barrier (BBB), we assessed Hg content in the hippocampus after peripheral injection and found that similar levels (~800 ng/gm) were obtained at 24 h at both P14 and P21, declining in parallel, suggesting that changes in vulnerability depend more on local tissue and cellular mechanisms. Together, we show that MeHg vulnerability declines with age, and that early exposure impairs later

  2. An immunofluorescent method for characterization of Barrett's esophagus cells.

    PubMed

    Inge, Landon J; Fowler, Aaron J; Bremner, Ross M

    2014-07-20

    Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has an overall survival rate of less than 17% and incidence of EAC has risen dramatically over the past two decades. One of the primary risk factors of EAC is Barrett's esophagus (BE), a metaplastic change of the normal squamous esophagus in response to chronic heartburn. Despite the well-established connection between EAC and BE, interrogation of the molecular events, particularly altered signaling pathways involving progression of BE to EAC, are poorly understood. Much of this is due to the lack of suitable in vitro models available to study these diseases. Recently, immortalized BE cell lines have become commercially available allowing for in vitro studies of BE. Here, we present a method for immunofluorescent staining of immortalized BE cell lines, allowing in vitro characterization of cell signaling and structure after exposure to therapeutic compounds. Application of these techniques will help develop insight into the mechanisms involved in BE to EAC progression and provide potential avenues for treatment and prevention of EAC.

  3. Role of methylmercury exposure (from fish consumption) on growth and neurodevelopment of children under 5 years of age living in a transitioning (tin-mining) area of the western Amazon, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Marques, Rejane C; Dórea, José G; Leão, Renata S; Dos Santos, Verusca G; Bueno, Lucélia; Marques, Rayson C; Brandão, Katiane G; Palermo, Elisabete F A; Guimarães, Jean Remy D

    2012-02-01

    Human occupation of the Amazon region has recently increased, bringing deforestation for agriculture and open-cast mining, activities that cause environmental degradation and pollution. Families of new settlers in mining areas might have a diet less dependent on abundant fish and their children might also be impacted by exposures to mining environments. Therefore, there is compounded interest in assessing young children's nutritional status and neurobehavioral development with regard to family fish consumption. Anthropometric (z-scores, WHO standards) and neurologic [Gesell developmental scores (GDS)] development in 688 preschool children (1-59 months of age) was studied. Overall, the prevalence of malnutrition [i.e., moderate stunting (≤2 H/A-Z), underweight (≤2 W/A-Z), and wasting (≤2 W/H-Z) were respectively 0.3% (n = 2), 1.6% (n = 11), and 2.5% (n = 17). Children's mean hair Hg (HHg) concentration was 2.56 μg/g (SD = 1.67); only 14% of children had HHg concentrations lower than 1 μg/g and 1.7% had ≥5 μg/g. The biomarker of fish consumption was weakly but positively correlated with GDS (Spearman r = 0.080; p = 0.035). In the bivariate model, attained W/H-Z scores were not significantly correlated with GDS. A moderate level of GDS deficits (70-84%) was seen in 20% of children. There was significant correlation between family fish consumption and children's hair Hg (HHg) (Spearman r = 0.1756; p < 0.0001) but no significant correlation between children's HHg and W/H-Z scores. However, the multivariate model showed that breastfeeding, a fish consumption biomarker (HHg), maternal education, and child's age were statistically significant associated with specific domains (language and personal-social) of the Gesell scale. In this mining environment, family fish-eating did not affect children's linear growth, but it showed a positive influence (along with maternal variables) on neurodevelopment. Health hazards attendant on a high prevalence of moderate

  4. Methylmercury concentrations in broiler's meat and hen's meat and eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Kambamanoli-Dimou, A. ); Kilikidis, S.; Kamarianos, A. )

    1989-05-01

    The concentration of mercury in food has been considered to present the greatest toxicological danger to the average citizen. The presence of mercury in foods has been reported in several studies. Much of the research has been carried out on total mercury concentration in foods and not on methylmercury concentration and as it is known methylmercury is the most dangerous form of mercury. Methylmercury, which is highly resistant to biodegradation, can be synthesized from any other form of mercury in the aquatic biosphere, can be bioconcentrated in the aquatic food chain and through fish-meals can be transported and concentrated in animals and their products. Such food chains, together with the various terrestrial food chains would represent a serious risk for man. This study was undertaken to determine the methylmercury levels in broiler's meat, hen's meat and eggs.

  5. Toxicity of ethylmercury (and Thimerosal): a comparison with methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Dórea, José G; Farina, Marcelo; Rocha, João B T

    2013-08-01

    Ethylmercury (etHg) is derived from the metabolism of thimerosal (o-carboxyphenyl-thio-ethyl-sodium salt), which is the most widely used form of organic mercury. Because of its application as a vaccine preservative, almost every human and animal (domestic and farmed) that has been immunized with thimerosal-containing vaccines has been exposed to etHg. Although methylmercury (meHg) is considered a hazardous substance that is to be avoided even at small levels when consumed in foods such as seafood and rice (in Asia), the World Health Organization considers small doses of thimerosal safe regardless of multiple/repetitive exposures to vaccines that are predominantly taken during pregnancy or infancy. We have reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies that compare the toxicological parameters among etHg and other forms of mercury (predominantly meHg) to assess their relative toxicities and potential to cause cumulative insults. In vitro studies comparing etHg with meHg demonstrate equivalent measured outcomes for cardiovascular, neural and immune cells. However, under in vivo conditions, evidence indicates a distinct toxicokinetic profile between meHg and etHg, favoring a shorter blood half-life, attendant compartment distribution and the elimination of etHg compared with meHg. EtHg's toxicity profile is different from that of meHg, leading to different exposure and toxicity risks. Therefore, in real-life scenarios, a simultaneous exposure to both etHg and meHg might result in enhanced neurotoxic effects in developing mammals. However, our knowledge on this subject is still incomplete, and studies are required to address the predictability of the additive or synergic toxicological effects of etHg and meHg (or other neurotoxicants).

  6. Ecological risk of methylmercury in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Rumbold, D G; Lange, T R; Axelrad, D M; Atkeson, T D

    2008-10-01

    Dramatic declines in mercury levels have been reported in Everglades biota in recent years. Yet, methylmercury (MeHg) hot spots remain. This paper summarizes a risk assessment of MeHg exposure to three piscivorous wildlife species (bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus; wood stork, Mycteria americana; and great egret, Ardea albus) foraging at a MeHg hot spot in northern Everglades National Park (ENP). Available data consisted of literature-derived life history parameters and tissue concentrations measured in 60 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 60 sunfish (Lepomis spp.), and three composite samples of mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) collected from 2003 to 2005. To assess risk, daily MeHg intake was estimated using Monte Carlo methods and compared to literature-derived effects thresholds. The results indicated the likelihood was very high, ranging from 98-100% probability, that these birds would experience exposures above the acceptable dose when foraging in northern ENP. Moreover, the likelihood that these birds would experience exposures above the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAEL) ranged from a 14% probability for the wood stork to 56% probability for the eagle. Data from this study, along with the results from several other surveys suggest that biota in ENP currently contain the highest MeHg levels in South Florida and that these levels are similar to or greater than other known MeHg hot spots in the United States. Given these findings, this paper also outlines a strategic plan to obtain additional measured and modeled information to support risk-based management decisions in ENP.

  7. The process of methylmercury accumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Meng, Bo; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Liang, Peng; Li, Ping; Chen, Chunxiao; Shang, Lihai

    2011-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that rice consumption can be an important pathway of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure to humans in Hg mining areas and also in certain inland areas of Southwestern China. The seed of rice has the highest ability to accumulate MeHg compared to other tissues. The main objective of this study was to investigate the process of (MeHg) accumulation in rice seed (Oryza sativa L.) by monitoring MeHg levels in specific tissues of rice plants experiencing various levels of Hg multisource pollution during a full rice growing season. Four groups of experimental plantations were utilized, distributed among a rural artisanal Hg production site and a regional background control site. Our results suggest that the newly deposited Hg is more readily transformed to MeHg and accumulated in rice plants than Hg forms with an extended residence time in soil, and soil is the potential source of MeHg in the tissues of rice plants. MeHg in soil was first absorbed by roots and then translocated to the above-ground parts (leaf and stalk). During the full rice growing season only a very small amount of MeHg was retained in the root section. In the premature plant, the majority of MeHg is located in the leaf and stalk; however, most of this MeHg was transferred to seed during the ripening period.

  8. Involvement of AAT transporters in methylmercury toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Caito, Samuel W; Zhang, Yaofang; Aschner, Michael

    2013-06-14

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that enters mammalian cells as a conjugate with L-cysteine through L-type large neutral amino acid transporter, LAT1, by a molecular mimicry mechanism by structurally resembling L-methionine. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been increasingly used to study the neurotoxic effects of MeHg, but little is known about uptake and transport of MeHg in the worm. This study examined whether MeHg uptake through LAT1 is evolutionarily conserved in nematodes. MeHg toxicity in C. elegans was blocked by pre-treatment of worms with l-methionine, suggesting a role for amino acid transporters in MeHg transport. Knockdown of aat-1, aat-2, and aat-3, worm homologues to LAT1, increased the survival of C. elegans following MeHg treatment and significantly attenuated MeHg content following exposure. These results indicate that MeHg is transported in the worm by a conserved mechanism dependent on functioning amino acid transporters.

  9. Biochar amendment reduced methylmercury accumulation in rice plants.

    PubMed

    Shu, Rui; Wang, Yongjie; Zhong, Huan

    2016-08-05

    There is growing concern about methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice grains and thus enhanced dietary exposure to MeHg in Asian countries. Here, we explored the possibility of reducing grain MeHg levels by biochar amendment, and the underlying mechanisms. Pot (i.e., rice cultivation in biochar amended soils) and batch experiments (i.e., incubation of amended soils under laboratory conditions) were carried out, to investigate MeHg dynamics (i.e., MeHg production, partitioning and phytoavailability in paddy soils, and MeHg uptake by rice) under biochar amendment (1-4% of soil mass). We demonstrate for the first time that biochar amendment could evidently reduce grain MeHg levels (49-92%). The declines could be attributed to the combined effects of: (1) increased soil MeHg concentrations, probably explained by the release of sulfate from biochar and thus enhanced microbial production of MeHg (e.g., by sulfate-reducing bacteria), (2) MeHg immobilization in soils, facilitated by the large surface areas and high organosulfur content of biochar, and (3) biodilution of MeHg in rice grains, due to the increased grain biomass under biochar amendment (35-79%). These observations together with mechanistic explanations improve understanding of MeHg dynamics in soil-rice systems, and support the possibility of reducing MeHg phytoaccumulation under biochar amendment.

  10. Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of methylmercury in Long Island Sound.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, Chad R; Fitzgerald, William F

    2006-10-01

    Humans are exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) principally by consumption of marine fish. The coastal zone supports the majority of marine fish production, and may therefore be an important source of MeHg to humans; however, little is known about the bioaccumulation of MeHg in near-shore marine ecosystems. We examined MeHg in microseston, zooplankton, a decapod crustacean, and four representative species of finfish that differ in trophic status and/or prey selection in Long Island Sound (LIS), a large coastal embayment in the northeastern United States. MeHg biomagnifies in LIS; levels in microseston were 10(4.2) greater than those in water and 2.3-fold less than zooplankton. MeHg concentrations were related positively to fish length for each species, but often varied considerably among larger individuals. This may be due to differences in the past dietary MeHg exposure of these fish, some of which are migratory. Sedimentary production and mobilization can account for most of the MeHg in microseston of LIS, and by extension, other near-shore locations. Hence, much of the MeHg in higher trophic levels of coastal marine ecosystems, including fishes destined for human consumption, may be attributed to net sedimentary production and dietary bioaccumulation.

  11. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ziming; Fang, Wei; Lu, Xia; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Graham, David E; Liang, Liyuan; Wullschleger, Stan D; Gu, Baohua

    2016-07-01

    Rapid temperature rise in Arctic permafrost impacts not only the degradation of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) and climate feedback, but also the production and bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) toxin that can endanger humans, as well as wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Currently little is known concerning the effects of rapid permafrost thaw on microbial methylation and how SOC degradation is coupled to MeHg biosynthesis. Here we describe the effects of warming on MeHg production in an Arctic soil during an 8-month anoxic incubation experiment. Net MeHg production increased >10 fold in both organic- and mineral-rich soil layers at warmer (8 °C) than colder (-2 °C) temperatures. The type and availability of labile SOC, such as reducing sugars and ethanol, were particularly important in fueling the rapid initial biosynthesis of MeHg. Freshly amended mercury was more readily methylated than preexisting mercury in the soil. Additionally, positive correlations between mercury methylation and methane and ferrous ion production indicate linkages between SOC degradation and MeHg production. These results show that climate warming and permafrost thaw could potentially enhance MeHg production by an order of magnitude, impacting Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by increased exposure to mercury through bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the food web. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Meagher, Richard B

    2010-04-28

    Our long-term goal is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and sequester the toxic elemental pollutants, like the heavy metal mercury. Our current working hypothesis is that transgenic plants controlling the transport, chemical speciation, electrochemical state. volatilization, and aboveground binding of mercury will: a) tolerate mercury and grow rapidly in mercury contaminated environments; b) prevent methylmercury from entering the food chain; c) remove mercury from polluted soil and . water; and d) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Progress toward these specific aims is reported: to increase the transport of mercury into roots and to aboveground vegetative organs; to increase biochemical sinks and storage for mercury in leaves; to increase leaf cell vacuolar storage of mercury; and to demonstrate that several stacked transgenes, when functioning in concert, enhance mercury resistance and hyperaccumulation to high levels.

  13. A Physiologically-based Model for Methylmercury Uptake and Accumulation in Female American Kestrels

    EPA Science Inventory

    A physiologically-based model was developed to describe the uptake, distribution, and elimination of methylmercury in female American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). The model was adapted from established models for methylmercury in rodents. Features unique to the model include meth...

  14. A Physiologically-based Model for Methylmercury Uptake and Accumulation in Female American Kestrels

    EPA Science Inventory

    A physiologically-based model was developed to describe the uptake, distribution, and elimination of methylmercury in female American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). The model was adapted from established models for methylmercury in rodents. Features unique to the model include meth...

  15. Immuno-fluorescence Assay of Leptospiral Surface-exposed Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pinne, Marija; Haake, David

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial surface proteins are involved in direct contact with host cells and in uptake of nutrients from the environment 1. For this reason, cellular localization can provide insights into the functional role of bacterial proteins. Surface localization of bacterial proteins is a key step towards identification of virulence factors involved in mechanisms of pathogenicity. Methods for fractionating leptospiral membranes 2-5 may be selective for a certain class of outer-membrane proteins (OMPs), such as lipoproteins vs. transmembrane OMPs, and therefore lead to misclassification. This likely is due to structural differences and how they are associated to the outer membrane. Lipoproteins are associated with membranes via a hydrophobic interaction between the N-terminal lipid moiety (three fatty acids) and the lipid bilayer phospholipids 6, 7. In contrast, transmembrane OMPs are typically integrated into the lipid bilayer by amphipathic β-sheets arranged in a barrel-like structure 8, 9. In addition, presence of a protein in the outer-membrane does not necessarily guarantee that the protein or its domains are exposed on the surface. Spirochetal outer membranes are known to be fragile and therefore necessitate methods involving gentle manipulation of cells and inclusion of sub-surface protein controls to assess the integrity of the outer membrane. Here, we present an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) method to directly assess surface exposure of proteins on intact leptospires. This method is based on recognition of leptospiral surface proteins by antigen-specific antibodies. Herein, antibodies specific for OmpL5410 are detetcted aftero binding to native, surface exposed epitopes. Comparison of antibody reactivity to intact versus permeabilized cells enables evaluation of cellular distribution and whether or not a protein is selectively present on leptospiral surface. The integrity of outer membrane should be assessed using antibody to one or more subsurface proteins

  16. Role of docosahexaenoic acid in modulating methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Parvinder; Schulz, Kristina; Aschner, Michael; Syversen, Tore

    2007-12-01

    The effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in modulating methylmercury (MeHg)-induced neurotoxicity was investigated in C6-glial and B35-neuronal cell lines. Gas chromatography measurements indicated increased DHA content in both the cell lines after 24 h supplementation. Mitochondrial activity evaluated by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction indicated that 10 microM MeHg treatment for 50 min led to a significant (p < 0.001) and similar decrease in MTT activity in both the cell lines. However, DHA pretreatment led to more pronounced depletion (p < 0.05) in the MTT activity in C6 cells as compared to B35 cells. The depletion of glutathione (GSH) content measured with the fluorescent indicator monochlorobimane was more apparent (p < 0.001) in C6 cells treated with DHA and MeHg. The amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) detected with the fluorescent indicator -- chloromethyl derivative of dichloro dihydro fluorescein diacetate (CMH(2)DCFDA) -- indicated a fourfold increase in C6 cells (p < 0.001) as compared to twofold increase in B35 cells (p < 0.001) upon DHA and MeHg exposure. However, the cell-associated MeHg measurement using (14)C-labeled MeHg indicated a decrease (p < 0.05) in MeHg accumulation upon DHA exposure in both the cell lines. These findings provide experimental evidence that although pretreatment with DHA reduces cell-associated MeHg, it causes an increased ROS (p < 0.001) and GSH depletion (p < 0.05) in C6 cells.

  17. Flow cytometric immunofluorescence of rat anterior pituitary cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatfield, J. Michael; Hymer, W. C.

    1985-01-01

    A flow cytometric immunofluorescence technique was developed for the quantification of growth hormone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone producing cells. The procedure is based on indirect-immunofluorescence of intracellular hormone using an EPICS V cell sorter and can objectively count 50,000 cells in about 3 minutes. It can be used to study the dynamics of pituitary cell populations under various physiological and pharmacological conditions.

  18. Flow cytometric immunofluorescence of rat anterior pituitary cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatfield, J. Michael; Hymer, W. C.

    1985-01-01

    A flow cytometric immunofluorescence technique was developed for the quantification of growth hormone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone producing cells. The procedure is based on indirect-immunofluorescence of intracellular hormone using an EPICS V cell sorter and can objectively count 50,000 cells in about 3 minutes. It can be used to study the dynamics of pituitary cell populations under various physiological and pharmacological conditions.

  19. Microwave oven-based technique for immunofluorescent staining of paraffin-embedded tissues

    PubMed Central

    Buggs, Colleen

    2011-01-01

    Immunohistochemical analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues can be challenging due to potential modifications of protein structure by exposure to formalin. Heat-induced antigen retrieval techniques can reverse reactions between formalin and proteins that block antibody recognition. Interactions between antibodies and antigens are further enhanced by microwave irradiation, which has simplified immunohistochemical staining protocols. In this report, we modify a technique for antigen retrieval and immunofluorescent staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues by showing that it works well with several antibodies and buffers. This microwave-assisted method for antigen retrieval and immunofluorescent staining eliminates the need for blocking reagents and extended washes, which greatly simplifies the protocol allowing one to complete the analysis in less than 3 h. PMID:17653827

  20. Microwave oven-based technique for immunofluorescent staining of paraffin-embedded tissues.

    PubMed

    Long, Delwin J; Buggs, Colleen

    2008-02-01

    Immunohistochemical analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues can be challenging due to potential modifications of protein structure by exposure to formalin. Heat-induced antigen retrieval techniques can reverse reactions between formalin and proteins that block antibody recognition. Interactions between antibodies and antigens are further enhanced by microwave irradiation, which has simplified immunohistochemical staining protocols. In this report, we modify a technique for antigen retrieval and immunofluorescent staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues by showing that it works well with several antibodies and buffers. This microwave-assisted method for antigen retrieval and immunofluorescent staining eliminates the need for blocking reagents and extended washes, which greatly simplifies the protocol allowing one to complete the analysis in less than 3 h.

  1. Effects of embryonic methylmercury exposure on larval behavior of mummichogs

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, T.; Weis, J.S.; Weis, P.

    1995-12-31

    Fundulus heteroclitus embryos were exposed to 5 and 10 ug/l meHg throughout development. Larvae were maintained in clean seawater and tested regularly for prey capture and predator avoidance. Experimentals captured significantly fewer prey (Artemia nauplii) than controls, although differences disappeared after about one week. However, 2-wk posthatch larvae showed significantly more miscues than controls. Differences were seen between controls from different populations. Fish from Hg-polluted Piles Creek (Linden NJ) which have impaired predation as adults, showed higher prey capture rate as larvae, although they exhibited more miscues than the reference population (from East Hampton, NY). Differences were also seen in the response to meHg: Piles Creek fish, which were previously found to be more resistant to teratogenic effects of higher concentrations of meHg, appeared to be more resistant than the reference population to these behavioral effects as well. In other studies, meHg-exposed larvae (from the reference population) swam greater distances than controls in a test of swimming performance. This difference also disappeared over time. Despite their increased swimming performance, exposed larvae were more vulnerable to predation by the grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, due perhaps to their higher overall level of activity.

  2. Methylmercury formation in a wetland mesocosm amended with sulfate.

    PubMed

    Harmon, S M; King, J K; Gladden, J B; Chandler, G T; Newman, L A

    2004-01-15

    This study used an experimental model to evaluate methylmercury accumulation when the soil of a constructed wetland is amended with sulfate. The model was planted with Schoenoplectus californicus and designed to reduce wastestream metals and metal-related toxicity. The soil was varied during construction to provide a control and two sulfate treatments which were equally efficient at overall mercury and copper removal. After an initial stabilization period, methylmercury concentrations in porewater were up to three times higher in the sulfate-treated porewater (0.5-1.6 ng/L) than in the control (<0.02-0.5 ng/L). Mean percent methylmercury was 9.0% in the control with 18.5 and 16.6% in the low- and high-sulfate treatments, respectively. Methylmercury concentrations measured in mesocosm surface water did not reflect the differences between the control and the sulfate treatments that were noted in porewater. The mean bulk sediment methylmercury concentration in the top 6 cm of the low-sulfate treatment (2.33 ng/g) was significantly higher than other treatment means which ranged from 0.96 to 1.57 ng/g. Total mercury in sediment ranged from 20.8 to 33.4 ng/g, with no differences between treatments. Results suggest that the non-sulfate-amended control was equally effective in removing metals while keeping mercury methylation low.

  3. Lead, Manganese, and Methylmercury as Risk Factors for Neurobehavioral Impairment in Advanced Age

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Bernard

    2011-01-01

    Contamination of the environment by metals is recognized as a threat to health. One of their targets is the brain, and the adverse functional effects they induce are reflected by neurobehavioral assessments. Lead, manganese, and methylmercury are the metal contaminants linked most comprehensively to such disorders. Because many of these adverse effects can appear later in life, clues to the role of metals as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders should be sought in the exposure histories of aging populations. A review of the available literature offers evidence that all three metals can produce, in advanced age, manifestations of neurobehavioral dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative disease. Among the critical unresolved questions is timing; that is, during which periods of the lifespan, including early development, do environmental exposures lay the foundations for their ultimate effects? PMID:21234365

  4. Acute toxic responses of the freshwater planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, to methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Best, J.B.; Morita, M.; Ragin, J.; Best, J. Jr.

    1981-07-01

    Toxic responses of planaria to various aquatic habitat concentrations of methylmercury chloride (MMC) were investigated. One hundred percent lethality occurred within 5 h in 2 ppM MMC, 24 h in 1 ppM MMC, and 5 days in 0.5 ppM MMC. No deaths occurred in 0.2 ppM MMC over a 10 day period, however, non-lethal toxic responses were observed. Varying degrees of head resorption, progressing caudally from the snout were observed. With continuing exposure, partial head regeneration and recovery toward more normal appearance occurred by 10 days. Teratogenic effects were observed in surgical decapitation experiments. Head regeneration was retarded in 0.1 and 0.2 ppM MMC. Malformations, visible lesions, or gross behavioral abnormalities were produced by 2 week exposure of planaria to concentrations of 20 ppB MMC or lower. (RJC)

  5. Interrelationships of blood and hair mercury concentrations in a North American population exposed to methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Phelps, R.W.; Clarkson, T.W.

    1980-05-01

    Samples of blood and head hair were analyzed for organic and inorganic mercury from a population which consumed large amonts of fish contaminated with methylmercury. Mercury levels in newly formed hair were found to reflect those in blood with the concentration in hair being approximately 300 times that in blood. Organic and inorganic mercury levels were linearly related in both hair and blood samples, with a mean inorganic/organic ratio of 0.05 in blood and 0.21 in hair, but individual differences were found to exist. In addition, the total mercury concentration and inorganic/organic ratio in hair remained constant with time. Thus, longitudinal analysis of hair samples can provide a simple and accurate method of monitoring continuing exposure and an estimation of peak blood levels months to years after exposure.

  6. New Evidence on Variations of Human Body Burden of Methylmercury from Fish Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Canuel, René; de Grosbois, Sylvie Boucher; Atikessé, Laura; Lucotte, Marc; Arp, Paul; Ritchie, Charles; Mergler, Donna; Chan, Hing Man; Amyot, Marc; Anderson, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies commonly use mercury (Hg) level in hair as a valid proxy to estimate human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through fish consumption. This study presents the results yielded by a complete data set on fish consumption habits, Hg levels in edible fish resources, and corresponding Hg accumulation in hair, gathered in three distinct communities of eastern Canada. For one of these communities, the average hair Hg concentration was 14 times less than the expected value based on calculated daily oral exposure and current knowledge of MeHg metabolism. This finding could be explained by differences in specific genetic characteristics and/or interactive effects of other dietary components. PMID:16451872

  7. Distinguishing Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita From Bullous Pemphigoid Without Direct Immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Kerry M; Crawford, Richard I

    2017-07-01

    It has been postulated that periodic acid-Schiff staining of basement membrane can predict direct immunofluorescence patterns seen in epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and bullous pemphigoid. It has also been suggested that the type of inflammatory infiltrate or presence of fraying of basal keratinocytes may differentiate these two conditions. In this study, we aimed to confirm these observations. We reviewed 13 cases of direct immunofluorescence-confirmed epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and 19 cases of direct immunofluorescence-confirmed bullous pemphigoid, all with a subepidermal blister in the routinely processed specimen. The gold standard for diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa acquisita vs bullous pemphigoid was taken to be identification of immune deposits on the dermal side ('floor' for epidermolysis bullosa acquisita) or the epidermal side ('roof' for bullous pemphigoid) of the salt-split direct immunofluorescence specimen. Our tests to distinguish epidermolysis bullosa acquisita from bullous pemphigoid on the routinely processed biopsy included periodic acid-Schiff basement membrane on the blister roof, neutrophilic infiltrate, lack of eosinophilic infiltrate, and absence of keratinocyte fraying. Sensitivity and specificity for each test were as follows: periodic acid-Schiff staining of roof (sensitivity 25%, specificity 95%), neutrophilic infiltrate (sensitivity 54%, specificity 74%), lack of eosinophilic infiltrate (sensitivity 92%, specificity 68%), and absence of keratinocyte fraying (sensitivity 62%, specificity 58%). Features in the routinely processed biopsy were unable to reliably distinguish between epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and bullous pemphigoid. Direct immunofluorescence on salt-split skin remains the standard for differentiation.

  8. Methylmercury Bioaccumulation, Transformation, and Trophic Transfer in Marine Plankton Assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C. S.; Fisher, N. S.

    2016-02-01

    Few studies have quantified the bioconcentration of methylmercury (MeHg) in marine phytoplankton from seawater, even though this is by far the largest bioaccumulation step in aquatic organisms. Aquatic animals acquire MeHg mainly from dietary exposure and it is important to evaluate the bioaccumulation of this compound in planktonic organisms that form the base of marine food webs. We used a gamma-emitting radioisotope, 203Hg, to assess the rate and extent of MeHg uptake in marine diatoms, dinoflagellates, coccolithophores, cryptophytes chlorophytes, and cyanobacteria held in unialgal cultures under varying temperature, light and nutrient conditions. For experimental conditions in which cells were exposed to MeHg at 300 pM, the uptake rates in all species ranged from 0.001 to 0.034 atto-mol MeHg µm-2 cell surface h-1 and reached steady state within 2 d. Volume concentration factors (VCFs) ranged from 0.3 to 40 x 105 for the different species. Temperature, light and nutrient conditions had no direct effect on cellular MeHg uptake but ultimately affected growth of the cells, resulting in greater suspended particulate matter and associated MeHg. VCFs strongly correlated with cell surface area to volume ratios in all species. Nearly 40 % of the MeHg was released into the air from coccolithophore cultures within 4 d, but <10 % from other algal cultures. Assimilation efficiencies of MeHg from different phytoplankton diets in a marine copepod (Acartia tonsa) ranged from 74 to 92%, directly proportional to the cytoplasmic partitioning of MeHg in the phytoplankton cells. MeHg uptake in copepods from the aqueous phase was low and modeling shows that nearly all the MeHg acquired by this zooplankter is from diet. Herbivorous zooplankton can be an important link from phytoplankton at the base of the food web to fish higher in the food chain.

  9. Identification of Methylmercury Tolerance Gene Candidates in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Mahapatra, Cecon T.; Bond, Jeffrey; Rand, David M.; Rand, Matthew D.

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that preferentially targets the developing nervous system. Variable outcomes of prenatal MeHg exposure within a population point to a genetic component that regulates MeHg toxicity. We therefore sought to identify fundamental MeHg tolerance genes using the Drosophila model for genetic and molecular dissection of a MeHg tolerance trait. We observe autosomal dominance in a MeHg tolerance trait (development on MeHg food) in both wild-derived and laboratory-selected MeHg-tolerant strains of flies. We performed whole-genome transcript profiling of larval brains of tolerant (laboratory selected) and nontolerant (control) strains in the presence and absence of MeHg stress. Pairwise transcriptome comparisons of four conditions (+/−selection and +/−MeHg) identified a “down-down-up” expression signature, whereby MeHg alone and selection alone resulted in a greater number of downregulated transcripts, and the combination of selection + MeHg resulted in a greater number of upregulated transcripts. Functional annotation cluster analyses showed enrichment for monooxygenases/oxidoreductases, which include cytochrome P450 (CYP) family members. Among the 10 CYPs upregulated with selection + MeHg in tolerant strains, CYP6g1, previously identified as the dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane resistance allele in flies, was the most highly expressed and responsive to MeHg. Among all the genes, Turandot A (TotA), an immune pathway–regulated humoral response gene, showed the greatest upregulation with selection + MeHg. Neural-specific transgenic overexpression of TotA enhanced MeHg tolerance during pupal development. Identification of TotA and CYP genes as MeHg tolerance genes is an inroad to investigating the conserved function of immune signaling and phase I metabolism pathways in MeHg toxicity and tolerance in higher organisms. PMID:20375079

  10. Effects of dietary methylmercury on reproduction of fathead minnows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hammerschmidt, C.R.; Sandheinrich, M.B.; Wiener, J.G.; Rada, R.G.

    2002-01-01

    We examined effects of dietary methylmercury (MeHg) on reproduction of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Juvenile fish were fed one of four diets until sexual maturity (phase 1): a control diet (0.06 μg Hg g-1 dry weight) and three diets contaminated with MeHg at 0.88 (low), 4.11 (medium), and 8.46 μg Hg g-1 dry weight (high). At sexual maturity, male and female fish were paired, again fed one of the four diets, and allowed to reproduce (phase 2). To assess effects of MeHg during gametogenesis, some fish were fed diets during phase 2 that differed from those during phase 1. Spawning success of pairs fed the same diet during phases 1 and 2 was 75% for controls and 46%, 50%, and 36% for the low-, medium-, and high-MeHg treatments, respectively. Spawning success of pairs fed a contaminated diet during phase 1 and a control diet during phase 2 was 63%, 40%, and 14% for the low-, medium-, and high-MeHg treatments, respectively, whereas exposure to dietary MeHg only during phase 2 did not reduce spawning success. Dietary MeHg delayed spawning, and days to spawning was positively correlated with concentration of total mercury in the carcasses of test fish. MeHg reduced the instantaneous rate of reproduction of fish fed the same diets during phases 1 and 2. Both the gonadosomatic index and reproductive effort of female fish were inversely correlated with mercury in carcasses, whereas developmental and hatching success of embryos, 7-d survival, and 7-d growth of larvae were unrelated to mercury concentrations in parental fish or their diets. MeHg decreased reproduction of adult fathead minnows at dietary concentrations encountered by predatory fishes in aquatic systems with MeHg-contaminated food webs, implying that exposed fish populations could be adversely affected by this widespread contaminant.

  11. Identification of methylmercury tolerance gene candidates in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mahapatra, Cecon T; Bond, Jeffrey; Rand, David M; Rand, Matthew D

    2010-07-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that preferentially targets the developing nervous system. Variable outcomes of prenatal MeHg exposure within a population point to a genetic component that regulates MeHg toxicity. We therefore sought to identify fundamental MeHg tolerance genes using the Drosophila model for genetic and molecular dissection of a MeHg tolerance trait. We observe autosomal dominance in a MeHg tolerance trait (development on MeHg food) in both wild-derived and laboratory-selected MeHg-tolerant strains of flies. We performed whole-genome transcript profiling of larval brains of tolerant (laboratory selected) and nontolerant (control) strains in the presence and absence of MeHg stress. Pairwise transcriptome comparisons of four conditions (+/-selection and +/-MeHg) identified a "down-down-up" expression signature, whereby MeHg alone and selection alone resulted in a greater number of downregulated transcripts, and the combination of selection + MeHg resulted in a greater number of upregulated transcripts. Functional annotation cluster analyses showed enrichment for monooxygenases/oxidoreductases, which include cytochrome P450 (CYP) family members. Among the 10 CYPs upregulated with selection + MeHg in tolerant strains, CYP6g1, previously identified as the dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane resistance allele in flies, was the most highly expressed and responsive to MeHg. Among all the genes, Turandot A (TotA), an immune pathway-regulated humoral response gene, showed the greatest upregulation with selection + MeHg. Neural-specific transgenic overexpression of TotA enhanced MeHg tolerance during pupal development. Identification of TotA and CYP genes as MeHg tolerance genes is an inroad to investigating the conserved function of immune signaling and phase I metabolism pathways in MeHg toxicity and tolerance in higher organisms.

  12. Mechanisms of methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity: evidence from experimental studies

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Marcelo; Rocha, João B. T.; Aschner, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Neurological disorders are common, costly, and can cause enduring disability. Although mostly unknown, a few environmental toxicants are recognized causes of neurological disorders and subclinical brain dysfunction. One of the best known neurotoxins is methylmercury (MeHg), a ubiquitous environmental toxicant that leads to long-lasting neurological and developmental deficits in animals and humans. In the aquatic environment, MeHg is accumulated in fish, which represent a major source of human exposure. Although several episodes of MeHg poisoning have contributed to the understanding of the clinical symptoms and histological changes elicited by this neurotoxicant in humans, experimental studies have been pivotal in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that mediate MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. The objective of this mini-review is to summarize data from experimental studies on molecular mechanisms of MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. While the full picture has yet to be unmasked, in vitro approaches based on cultured cells, isolated mitochondria and tissue slices, as well as in vivo studies based mainly on the use of rodents, point to impairment in intracellular calcium homeostasis, alteration of glutamate homeostasis and oxidative stress as important events in MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. The potential relationship among these events is discussed, with particular emphasis on the neurotoxic cycle triggered by MeHg-induced excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. The particular sensitivity of the developing brain to MeHg toxicity, the critical role of selenoproteins and the potential protective role of selenocompounds are also discussed. These concepts provide the biochemical bases to the understanding of MeHg neurotoxicity, contributing to the discovery of endogenous and exogenous molecules that counteract such toxicity and provide efficacious means for ablating this vicious cycle. PMID:21683713

  13. Mercury and methylmercury in reservoirs in Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Risch, Martin R.; Fredericksen, Amanda L.

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (reported as Hg) in fish-tissue samples collected for the State fish consumption advisory program was used to describe MeHg food-web accumulation and magnification in the reservoirs. The highest percentages of fish-tissue samples with Hg concentrations that exceeded the criterion of 0.30 milligram per kilogram for protection of human health were from Monroe Lake (38 percent) and Patoka Lake (33 percent). A review of the number and size of fish species caught from these two reservoirs resulted in two implications for fish consumption by humans. First, the highest numbers of fish harvested for potential human consumption were species more likely to have MeHg concentrations lower than the human-health criterion (crappie, bluegill, and catfish). Second, although largemouth bass were likely to have MeHg concentrations higher than the human-health criterion, they were caught and released more often than they were harvested. However, the average size largemouth bass (in both reservoirs) and above-average size walleye (in Monroe Lake) that were harvested for potential human consumption were likely to have MeHg concentrations higher than the human-health criterion.

  14. Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2002-06-01

    Our long-term objective is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic organic and heavy metal pollutants (Meagher, 2000) applying scientific strategies and technologies from a rapidly developing field called phytoremediation. The phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants requires the use relatively different approaches (Meagher, 2000). Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and aboveground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Various parts of this strategy are being critically tested by examining different genes in model plants and field species and comparing the results to control plants as we recently reviewed (Meagher et al., 2000; Rugh et al., 2000). A positive spin-off from this work on mercury has been a strategy for the phytoremediation of arsenic (Dhankher et al., 2002) and cadmium.

  15. Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2003-06-01

    Our long-term objective is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic organic and heavy metal pollutants (Meagher, 2000) applying scientific strategies and technologies from a rapidly developing field called phytoremediation. The phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants requires the use relatively different approaches (Meagher, 2000). Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and aboveground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Various parts of this strategy are being critically tested by examining different genes in model plants and field species and comparing the results to control plants as we recently reviewed (Meagher et al., 2000; Rugh et al., 2000). A positive spin-off from this work on mercury has been a strategy for the phytoremediation of arsenic (Dhankher et al., 2002) and cadmium.

  16. Methylmercury Uptake and Degradation by Methanotrophs

    DOE PAGES

    Lu, Xia; Gu, Wenyu; Zhao, Linduo; ...

    2017-05-31

    Methylmercury (CH3Hg+) is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain anaerobic microorganisms in natural environments. While numerous studies have characterized the basis of mercury methylation, no studies have examined CH3Hg+ degradation by methanotrophs, despite their ubiquitous presence in the environment. We report that some methanotrophs (e.g., Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b) can take up and degrade CH3Hg+ rapidly, whereas others (e.g., Methylococcus capsulatus Bath) can take up but not degrade CH3Hg+. Demethylation by M. trichosporium OB3b increases with increasing CH3Hg+ concentrations but is abolished in mutants deficient in methanobactin biosynthesis. Further, addition of methanol as a competing C1 substrate inhibits demethylation, suggesting thatmore » CH3Hg+ degradation by methanotrophs may involve an initial bonding of CH3Hg+ by methanobactin followed by cleavage of the C-Hg bond in CH3Hg+ by the methanol dehydrogenase. This new demethylation pathway by methanotrophs indicates possible broader involvement of C1-metabolizing aerobes in the environmental degradation of toxic CH3Hg+.« less

  17. The Chemical Nature of Mercury in Human Brain Following Poisoning or Environmental Exposure

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury is among the most potentially toxic species to which human populations are exposed, both at high levels through poisonings and at lower levels through consumption of fish and other seafood. However, the molecular mechanisms of methylmercury toxicity in humans remain poorly understood. We used synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to study mercury chemical forms in human brain tissue. Individuals poisoned with high levels of methylmercury species showed elevated cortical selenium with significant proportions of nanoparticulate mercuric selenide plus some inorganic mercury and methylmercury bound to organic sulfur. Individuals with a lifetime of high fish consumption showed much lower levels of mercuric selenide and methylmercury cysteineate. Mercury exposure did not perturb organic selenium levels. These results elucidate a key detoxification pathway in the central nervous system and provide new insights into the appropriate methods for biological monitoring. PMID:22826746

  18. Neurotoxic effects of low-level methylmercury contamination in the Amazonian basin

    SciTech Connect

    Lebel, J.; Mergler, D.; Lucotte, M.; Larribe, F.; Dolbec, J.; Branches, F.; Amorim, M.

    1998-10-01

    Many studies have demonstrated mercury contamination in the Amazonian ecosystem, particularly in fish, a dietary mainstay of populations in this region. The present study focused on potential health effects of this low-level methylmercury exposure. The study was carried out in a village on the Tapajos River, a tributary of the Amazon, on 91 adults inhabitants whose hair mercury levels were inferior to 50 {micro}/g. Performance on a neurofunctional test battery and clinical manifestations of nervous system dysfunction were examined in relation to hair mercury concentrations. Near visual contrast sensitivity and manual dexterity, adjusted for age, decreased significantly with hair mercury levels (P < 0.05), while there was a tendency for muscular fatigue to increase and muscular strength to decrease in women. For the most part, clinical examinations were normal, however, hair mercury levels were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for persons who presented disorganized movements on an alternating movement task and for persons with restricted visual fields. These results suggest dose-dependent nervous system alterations at hair mercury levels below 50 {micro}g/g, previously considered a threshold for clinical effects. The profile of dysfunction in this adult population is consistent with the current knowledge on methylmercury poisoning. The long-term implications of these findings are unknown and need to be addressed.

  19. Neurotoxic effects of low-level methylmercury contamination in the Amazonian Basin.

    PubMed

    Lebel, J; Mergler, D; Branches, F; Lucotte, M; Amorim, M; Larribe, F; Dolbec, J

    1998-10-01

    Many studies have demonstrated mercury contamination in the Amazonian ecosystem, particularly in fish, a dietary mainstay of populations in this region. The present study focused on potential health effects of this low-level methylmercury exposure. The study was carried out in a village on the Tapajós River, a tributary of the Amazon, on 91 adults inhabitants (15-81 years), whose hair mercury levels were inferior to 50 mu/g. Performance on a neurofunctional test battery and clinical manifestations of nervous system dysfunction were examined in relation to hair mercury concentrations. Near visual contrast sensitivity and manual dexterity, adjusted for age, decreased significantly with hair mercury levels (P < 0.05), while there was a tendency for muscular fatigue to increase and muscular strength to decrease in women. For the most part, clinical examinations were normal, however, hair mercury levels were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for persons who presented disorganized movements on an alternating movement task and for persons with restricted visual fields. These results suggest dose-dependent nervous system alterations at hair mercury levels below 50 micrograms/g, previously considered a threshold for clinical effects. The profile of dysfunction in this adult population is consistent with the current knowledge on methyl-mercury poisoning. The long-term implications of these findings are unknown and need to be addressed.

  20. Indirect Immunofluorescence for the Detection of Autoimmune Urticaria.

    PubMed

    Bahrani, Bahar; Gattey, Natasha T; Hull, Peter R

    2016-01-01

    An autoimmune basis is believed to be responsible for about half of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) cases. The autologous serum skin test is used as a possible indicator, but there is currently no test that directly indicates an autoimmune etiology. In this study, an indirect immunofluorescence was used to identify patients with autoantibodies directed at mast cells. Two substrates were used including paraffin embedded sections of skin biopsies from an infant with bullous mastocytosis and cord blood-derived mast cells (CBMC). Sera from 76 patients with CSU were incubated with substrates and conjugated with human IgG. Using the bullous mastocytosis preparations, positive indirect immunofluorescence was found in 46% (n = 76), while the CBMC substrate was positive in 39% (n = 70). The IgG autoantibodies directed at mast cells could be detected in about half the patients with CSU. Indirect immunofluorescence should be considered as an indicator of the autoimmune form of CSU. © The Author(s) 2015.

  1. Immunofluorescence detection of pea protein in meat products.

    PubMed

    Petrášová, Michaela; Pospiech, Matej; Tremlová, Bohuslava; Javůrková, Zdeňka

    2016-08-01

    In this study we developed an immunofluorescence method to detect pea protein in meat products. Pea protein has a high nutritional value but in sensitive individuals it may be responsible for causing allergic reactions. We produced model meat products with various additions of pea protein and flour; the detection limit (LOD) of the method for pea flour was 0.5% addition, and for pea protein it was 0.001% addition. The repeatabilities and reproducibilities for samples both positive and negative for pea protein were all 100%. In a blind test with model products and commercial samples, there was no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) between the declared concentrations of pea protein and flour and the immunofluorescence method results. Sensitivity was 1.06 and specificity was 1.00. These results show that the immunofluorescence method is suitable for the detection of pea protein in meat products.

  2. Molecular composition of organic matter controls methylmercury formation in boreal lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bravo, Andrea G.; Bouchet, Sylvain; Tolu, Julie; Björn, Erik; Mateos-Rivera, Alejandro; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2017-02-01

    A detailed understanding of the formation of the potent neurotoxic methylmercury is needed to explain the large observed variability in methylmercury levels in aquatic systems. While it is known that organic matter interacts strongly with mercury, the role of organic matter composition in the formation of methylmercury in aquatic systems remains poorly understood. Here we show that phytoplankton-derived organic compounds enhance mercury methylation rates in boreal lake sediments through an overall increase of bacterial activity. Accordingly, in situ mercury methylation defines methylmercury levels in lake sediments strongly influenced by planktonic blooms. In contrast, sediments dominated by terrigenous organic matter inputs have far lower methylation rates but higher concentrations of methylmercury, suggesting that methylmercury was formed in the catchment and imported into lakes. Our findings demonstrate that the origin and molecular composition of organic matter are critical parameters to understand and predict methylmercury formation and accumulation in boreal lake sediments.

  3. Molecular composition of organic matter controls methylmercury formation in boreal lakes

    PubMed Central

    Bravo, Andrea G.; Bouchet, Sylvain; Tolu, Julie; Björn, Erik; Mateos-Rivera, Alejandro; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    A detailed understanding of the formation of the potent neurotoxic methylmercury is needed to explain the large observed variability in methylmercury levels in aquatic systems. While it is known that organic matter interacts strongly with mercury, the role of organic matter composition in the formation of methylmercury in aquatic systems remains poorly understood. Here we show that phytoplankton-derived organic compounds enhance mercury methylation rates in boreal lake sediments through an overall increase of bacterial activity. Accordingly, in situ mercury methylation defines methylmercury levels in lake sediments strongly influenced by planktonic blooms. In contrast, sediments dominated by terrigenous organic matter inputs have far lower methylation rates but higher concentrations of methylmercury, suggesting that methylmercury was formed in the catchment and imported into lakes. Our findings demonstrate that the origin and molecular composition of organic matter are critical parameters to understand and predict methylmercury formation and accumulation in boreal lake sediments. PMID:28181492

  4. Molecular composition of organic matter controls methylmercury formation in boreal lakes.

    PubMed

    Bravo, Andrea G; Bouchet, Sylvain; Tolu, Julie; Björn, Erik; Mateos-Rivera, Alejandro; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2017-02-09

    A detailed understanding of the formation of the potent neurotoxic methylmercury is needed to explain the large observed variability in methylmercury levels in aquatic systems. While it is known that organic matter interacts strongly with mercury, the role of organic matter composition in the formation of methylmercury in aquatic systems remains poorly understood. Here we show that phytoplankton-derived organic compounds enhance mercury methylation rates in boreal lake sediments through an overall increase of bacterial activity. Accordingly, in situ mercury methylation defines methylmercury levels in lake sediments strongly influenced by planktonic blooms. In contrast, sediments dominated by terrigenous organic matter inputs have far lower methylation rates but higher concentrations of methylmercury, suggesting that methylmercury was formed in the catchment and imported into lakes. Our findings demonstrate that the origin and molecular composition of organic matter are critical parameters to understand and predict methylmercury formation and accumulation in boreal lake sediments.

  5. Mercury and methylmercury bioaccessibility in swordfish.

    PubMed

    Torres-Escribano, S; Vélez, D; Montoro, R

    2010-03-01

    Concentrations of mercury (Hg) in swordfish (Xiphias gladius) present a food safety problem for many countries. This study analyses total Hg (t-Hg) concentrations in 27 samples of swordfish marketed in Spain in 2005 and in their bioaccessible fractions (soluble concentration in gastrointestinal medium), obtained after applying an in vitro digestion method. Methylmercury (MeHg) was also determined in the bioaccessible fractions. t-Hg concentrations in the samples were 0.41-2.11 mg kg(-1) wet weight, with a mean of 0.96 +/- 0.47 mg kg(-1) wet weight. A total of 37% of the samples exceeded the Hg limit set by Spanish legislation (1.0 mg kg(-1) wet weight). Bioaccessible t-Hg concentrations were 0.17-1.72 mg kg(-1) wet weight (0.63 +/- 0.4 mg kg(-1) wet weight), corresponding to 38-83% (64% +/- 14%) of t-Hg. Bioaccessible MeHg concentrations, representing 94% of the bioaccessible t-Hg concentrations, were 0.16-1.53 mg kg(-1) wet weight, with a mean of 0.49 +/- 0.32 mg kg(-1) wet weight. Children and adults who regularly consume this product in Spain have Hg and MeHg intakes that exceed the tolerable daily intake limits recommended by the Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). These results show the need for recommendations about swordfish consumption by population groups at risk in Spain.

  6. 21 CFR 866.3460 - Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents. 866.3460 Section 866.3460 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES... consist of rabiesvirus antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye used to identify rabiesvirus...

  7. 21 CFR 866.3460 - Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents. 866.3460 Section 866.3460 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES... consist of rabiesvirus antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye used to identify rabiesvirus...

  8. 21 CFR 866.3460 - Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents. 866.3460 Section 866.3460 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES... consist of rabiesvirus antisera conjugated with a fluorescent dye used to identify rabiesvirus...

  9. Rapid Diagnosis of Arbovirus and Arenavirus Infections by Immunofluorescence.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-01-31

    Lassa fever virus ...Crimean Hemorrhagic fever -Cong viruses Ebola virus Immunofluorescence Marburg virus ELISA Rift Valley fever virus Equatorial Africa 20. ABSTRACT Ctf ae...Cong, Rift Valley fever , Ebola, Lassa fever , and Marburg viruse was continued. In Sudan, prevalence rates wore Marburg 0.2%, CCHF 0.7%, Lassa 3.9%,

  10. 21 CFR 866.3370 - Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunofluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunofluorescent reagents. 866.3370 Section 866.3370 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents...

  11. 21 CFR 866.3460 - Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents. 866.3460 Section 866.3460 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3460 Rabiesvirus...

  12. 21 CFR 866.3460 - Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Rabiesvirus immuno-fluorescent reagents. 866.3460 Section 866.3460 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3460 Rabiesvirus...

  13. 21 CFR 866.3370 - Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunofluorescent reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunofluorescent reagents. 866.3370 Section 866.3370 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents...

  14. Combined toxicity of silica nanoparticles and methylmercury on cardiovascular system in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.

    PubMed

    Duan, Junchao; Hu, Hejing; Li, Qiuling; Jiang, Lizhen; Zou, Yang; Wang, Yapei; Sun, Zhiwei

    2016-06-01

    This study was to investigate the combined toxicity of silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) and methylmercury (MeHg) on cardiovascular system in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. Ultraviolet absorption analysis showed that the co-exposure system had high absorption and stability. The dosages used in this study were based on the NOAEL level. Zebrafish embryos exposed to the co-exposure of SiNPs and MeHg did not show any cardiovascular malformation or atrioventricular block, but had an inhibition effect on bradycardia. Using o-Dianisidine for erythrocyte staining, the cardiac output of zebrafish embryos was decreased gradually in SiNPs, MeHg, co-exposure groups, respectively. Co-exposure of SiNPs and MeHg enhanced the vascular endothelial damage in Tg(fli-1:EGFP) transgenic zebrafish line. Moreover, the co-exposure significantly activated the oxidative stress and inflammatory response in neutrophils-specific Tg(mpo:GFP) transgenic zebrafish line. This study suggested that the combined toxic effects of SiNPs and MeHg on cardiovascular system had more severe toxicity than the single exposure alone. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Toward a working definition of C3 glomerulopathy by immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jean; Markowitz, Glen S; Bomback, Andrew S; Appel, Gerald B; Herlitz, Leal C; Barry Stokes, M; D'Agati, Vivette D

    2014-02-01

    Precise immunofluorescence criteria for C3 glomerulopathy remain to be defined. Here we tested hierarchical immunofluorescence criteria with varying stringency for C3 glomerulopathy in a cohort with dense deposit disease as the gold standard and then applied these criteria to analyze the incidence of C3 glomerulopathy in membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) types 1 and 3. Among 319 archived cases of primary MPGN types 1-3, immunofluorescence reports were retrospectively coded as glomerular deposits of the following: C3 only; C3 dominant with trace or 1+ immunoglobulin (Ig)M only; and C3 dominant and at least two orders of intensity stronger than any combination of IgG, IgM, IgA, and C1q. The most restrictive criteria of 'C3 only' captured only half of the cases with dense deposit disease (compared with 8% of type 1 and 10% of type 3). Adding the most liberal definition identified 88% of those with dense deposit disease (compared with 31% of type 1 and 39% of type 3). The unaccounted 12% had stronger intensity of Ig staining, but it never exceeded the intensity of C3. Among MPGN type 3, 90% of C3 glomerulopathy cases were the Strife and Anders variant. Repeat biopsies in C3 glomerulopathy revealed a change in immunofluorescence pattern in 10 of 23 biopsies. The prevalence of low serum C3 and/or low C4 did not significantly differ among the three immunofluorescence criteria. Thus, 'C3 only' is an impractical definition of C3 glomerulopathy, and we propose a definition of C3 dominant and at least two orders of magnitude more intense than any other immune reactant, which requires validation by alternative pathway evaluation. These criteria provide a framework for identifying patients most likely to benefit from investigations of alternative complement pathway dysregulation.

  16. The Engineered Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methylmercury Pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Richard Meagher; Sarah Marshburn; Andrew Heaton; Anne Marie Zimer; Raoufa Rahman

    2003-06-24

    Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and above ground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in above ground tissues for later harvest.

  17. A Physiologically Based Model for Methylmercury in Female American Kestrels

    EPA Science Inventory

    A physiologically based toxicokinetic (PBTK) model was developed to describe the uptake, distribution, and elimination of methylmercury (CH3Hg) in female American kestrels. The model consists of six tissue compartments corresponding to the brain, liver, kidney, gut, red blood cel...

  18. A Physiologically Based Model for Methylmercury in Female American Kestrels

    EPA Science Inventory

    A physiologically based toxicokinetic (PBTK) model was developed to describe the uptake, distribution, and elimination of methylmercury (CH3Hg) in female American kestrels. The model consists of six tissue compartments corresponding to the brain, liver, kidney, gut, red blood cel...

  19. BACTERIAL METHYLMERCURY DEGRADATION IN FLORIDA EVERGLADES PEAT SEDIMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methylmercury (MeHg) degradation was investigated along an eutrophication gradient in the Florida Everglades by quantifying 14CH4 and 14CO2 production after incubation of anaerobic sediments with [14C]MeHg. Degradation rate constants (k) were consistently <=0.1 d-1 and decreased ...

  20. Developmental Changes in the Biliary Excretion of Methylmercury and Glutathione

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballatori, Nazzareno; Clarkson, Thomas W.

    1982-04-01

    The long half-time for methylmercury in the neonatal rat is explained by the neonatal liver's inability to secrete the toxin into bile, which in adults is the main route of elimination. The ability to secrete mercury into bile develops between 2 and 4 weeks of age and is correlated with the increasing ability of the developing liver to secrete glutathione into bile.

  1. Transfer of methylmercury to hens' eggs after oral administration

    SciTech Connect

    Kambamanoli-Dimou, A. ); Kamarianos, A.; Kilikidis, S. )

    1991-01-01

    The present investigation was performed to elucidate the possibility of transport of methylmercury into eggs after its oral administration. Also, to determine the quantity of mercury excreted via eggs after oral administration of a certain quantity of this element once or in doses.

  2. Biomagnifications of mercury and methylmercury in tuna and mackerel.

    PubMed

    Hajeb, P; Jinap, S; Ahmad, I

    2010-12-01

    Seawater may be contaminated by harmful substances, including toxic elements released by human activities. The present study evaluates the total mercury and methylmercury concentrations and their correlations to fish body size in longtail tuna and short-bodied mackerel from Chendring, Kuantan, at east coast and Kuala Perlis at west costs of Peninsular Malaysia during May to November 2007. Total mercury and methylmercury in muscle tissue of 69 samples of longtail tuna and short-bodied mackerel, ranged from 0.180 to 1.460 μg/g and 0.0.169-0.973 μg/g and 0.251-1.470 μg/g and 0.202-1.352, whereas the methylmercury to total mercury ratio ranged from 70% to 83%, respectively. Samples of both species from the east coast showed higher levels of mercury compared to those from west coast. In all of the locations, significant positive correlations were found between fish body weight and mercury content (R(2) > 0.470). The estimated weekly intake of total mercury and methylmercury from the consumption 66.33 g/week of short-bodied mackerel and 18.34 g/week of longtail tuna (based on local dietry survey) was found to be lower than the maximum limit of 5 and 1.5 μg/kg bodyweight established by FAO/WHO and codex, respectively.

  3. Effects of methylmercury on primary cultured rat hepatocytes: Cell injury and inhibition of growth factor stimulated DNA synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Tanno, Keiichi; Fukazawa, Toshiyuki; Tajima, Shizuko; Fujiki, Motoo )

    1992-08-01

    Many more studies deal with the toxicity of methylmercury on nervous tissue than on its toxicity to the liver. Methylmercury accumulates in the liver in higher concentrations than brain and the liver has the primary function of detoxifying methylmercury. According to recent studies, hepatocyte mitochondrial membranes are destroyed by methylmercury and DNA synthesis is inhibited by methylmercury during hepatocyte regeneration. Methylmercury alters the membrane ion permeability of isolate skate hepatocytes, and inhibits the metal-sensitive alcohol dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase of primary cultured rat hepatocytes. However, little is known about the effect of methylmercury on hepatocyte proliferation in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. We therefore used the primary cultured rat hepatocytes to investigate the effects of methylmercury on cell injury and growth factor stimulate DNA synthesis. The primary effect of methylmercury is to inhibit hepatocyte proliferation rather than to cause direct cell injury. 16 refs., 4 figs.

  4. Photolytic degradation of methylmercury enhanced by binding to natural organic ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tong; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2010-07-01

    Methylmercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in food webs and poses a significant risk to human health. In natural water bodies, methylmercury concentrations remain low due to the degradation of methylmercury into inorganic mercury by sunlight, a process known as photodecomposition. Rates of photodecomposition are relatively rapid in freshwater lakes, and slow in marine waters, but the cause of this difference is not clear. Here, we carry out incubation experiments with artificial freshwater and seawater samples to examine the mechanisms regulating methylmercury photodecomposition. We show that singlet oxygen-a highly reactive form of dissolved oxygen generated by sunlight falling on dissolved organic matter-drives photodecomposition. However, in our experiments the rate of methylmercury degradation depends on the type of methylmercury-binding ligand present in the water. Relatively fast degradation rates (similar to observations in freshwater lakes) were detected when methylmercury species were bound to sulphur-containing ligands such as glutathione and mercaptoacetate. In contrast, methylmercury-chloride complexes, which are the dominant form of methylmercury in marine systems, did not degrade as easily. Our results could help to explain why methylmercury photodecomposition rates are relatively rapid in freshwater lakes and slow in marine waters.

  5. Absorption, distribution, and elimination of graded oral doses of methylmercury in juvenile white sturgeon.

    PubMed

    Huang, Susie Shih-Yin; Strathe, Anders Bjerring; Fadel, James G; Lin, Pinpin; Liu, Tsung-Yun; Hung, Silas S O

    2012-10-15

    Mercury (Hg) is toxic and is released into the environment from a wide variety of anthropogenic sources. Methylmercury (MeHg), a product of microbial methylation, enables rapid Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the biota. Methylmercury is sequestered and made available to the rest of the biota through the benthic-detrital component leading to the high risk of exposure to benthic fish species, such as white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). In the present study, a combined technique of stomach intubation, dorsal aorta cannulation, and urinary catheterization was utilized to characterize the absorption, distribution, and elimination of Hg in white sturgeon over a 48h exposure. Mercury, as methylmercury chloride, at either 0, 250, 500, or 1000 μg Hg/kg body weight, was orally intubated into white sturgeon, in groups of five. The blood was repeatedly sampled and urine collected from the fish over the 48h post intubation period, and at 48h, the fish were sacrificed for Hg tissue concentration and distribution determinations. The fractional rate of absorption (K), blood Hg concentration (μg/ml), tissue concentration (μg/g dry weight) and distribution (%), and urinary Hg elimination flux (μg/kg/h) are significantly different (p<0.05) among the MeHg doses. Complete blood uptake of Hg was observed in all MeHg treated fish by 12h. The maximal observed blood Hg concentration peaks are 0.56±0.02, 0.70±0.02, and 2.19±0.07 μg/ml (mean±SEM) for the 250, 500, and 1000 μgHg/kg body weight dose groups, respectively. Changes in blood Hg profiles can be described by a monomolecular function in all of the MeHg treated fish. The Hg concentration asymptote (A) and K are dose dependent. The relationship between A and the intubation dose, however, is nonlinear. Mercury levels in certain tissues are comparable to field data and longer-term study, indicating that the lower doses used in the current study are ecologically relevant for the species. Tissue Hg concentrations

  6. Chronic dietary toxicity of methylmercury in the zebra finch, Poephila guttata

    SciTech Connect

    Scheuhammer, A.M.

    1988-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of the environment through anthropogenic activity continues to be significant, and has resulted in the accumulation of elevated levels of Hg in invertebrates, fish and wildlife in certain Hg contaminated habitats. In addition, the availability of methylmercury (MeHg), a highly toxic and readily absorbable form of Hg, to the food chain is enhanced at low pH, an this has resulted in higher concentrations of Hg in various biota which inhabit environments sensitive to acid precipitation. The chronic dietary toxicity of MeHg has been investigated in a number of bird species including mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos, black ducks, pheasants, quail, and chickens. Except for a subchronic feeding study, the effects of MeHg on small passerines have not been studied. The present report describes the tissue accumulation and toxicity of MeHg in zebra finches (Poephila guttata) in response to chronic dietary exposure.

  7. Neurodevelopment of Amazonian children exposed to ethylmercury (from Thimerosal in vaccines) and methylmercury (from fish).

    PubMed

    Marques, Rejane C; Abreu, Luciana; Bernardi, José V E; Dórea, José G

    2016-08-01

    Few studies have addressed co-occurring methylmercury (MeHg) from maternal origin and ethylmercury (EtHg) from Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) during infant's neurodevelopment. We studied children (n=1139) from the Western Amazon based on combined (low, intermediate, and high) exposure to chronic MeHg from fish consumption and acute TCV- EtHg. Neurodevelopment outcomes were age of walking and age of talking, and the Bayley Scale of Infant Development (BSID). The Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) were measured at six and 24 months of age. Median hair-Hg (HHg) at birth was 6.4µgg(-1) in mothers, and 1.94µgg(-1) in newborns; total (pregnancy and infancy) EtHg exposure ranged from 0 to 187.5µg. The combined (MeHg+EtHg) exposure showed significant differences for MDI but not for PDI; however, there was a significant decrease in both MDI and PDI scores at 24 months. The increase in BSID delays (scores <80) between six and 24 months was not discernible with regards to EtHg or MeHg exposure. We found a statistically significant increase in neurodevelopmental (BSID) delays related to the combined exposure to Hg (MeHg>EtHg). Neurodevelopment delays due to low-doses of organic mercury (albeit undiscernible) are not predictable but can be avoided by choosing low-Hg fish and providing Thimerosal-free vaccines.

  8. Methylmercury risk and awareness among American Indian women of childbearing age living on an inland northwest reservation

    SciTech Connect

    Kuntz, Sandra W.; Hill, Wade G.; Linkenbach, Jeff W.; Lande, Gary; Larsson, Laura

    2009-08-15

    American Indian women and children may be the most overrepresented among the list of disparate populations exposed to methylmercury. American Indian people fish on home reservations where a state or tribal fishing license (a source of advisory messaging) is not required. The purpose of this study was to examine fish consumption, advisory awareness, and risk communication preferences among American Indian women of childbearing age living on an inland Northwest reservation. For this cross-sectional descriptive study, participants (N=65) attending a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinic were surveyed between March and June 2006. An electronic questionnaire adapted from Anderson et al. (2004) was evaluated for cultural acceptability and appropriateness by tribal consultants. Regarding fish consumption, approximately half of the women surveyed (49%) indicated eating locally caught fish with the majority signifying they consumed medium- and large-size fish (75%) that could result in exposure to methylmercury. In addition, a serendipitous discovery indicated that an unanticipated route of exposure may be fish provided from a local food bank resulting from sportsman's donations. The majority of women (80%) were unaware of tribal or state fish advisory messages; the most favorable risk communication preference was information coming from doctors or healthcare providers (78%). Since the population consumes fish and has access to locally caught potentially contaminated fish, a biomonitoring study to determine actual exposure is warranted.

  9. Binding Strength of Methylmercury to Aquatic NOM

    SciTech Connect

    Khwaja, A.; Bloom, P; Brezonik, P

    2010-01-01

    A competitive-ligand, equilibrium-dialysis technique using bromide measured methylmercury (MeHg{sup +}) binding to Suwannee River fulvic acid (SRFA) and NOM from a lake and a bog in Minnesota. Distribution coefficients (K{sub OC}) and stability constants (K{prime}) varied only slightly over a range of [Br{sup -}] and ratios of MeHg{sup +} to reduced sulfur, S{sub re}, the putative NOM binding site. For SRFA at pH 3.0, K{sub OC} ranged from 10{sup 7.7} to 10{sup 8.2} and K{prime} ranged from 10{sup 15.5} to 10{sup 16.0} over MeHg{sup +}:S{sub re} ratios from 1:1220 to 1:12200 (well below S{sub re} saturation). The importance of pH depends on the calculation model for binding constants. Over pH 2.98-7.62, K{sub OC} had little pH dependence (slope = 0.2; r{sup 2} = 0.4; range 10{sup 7.7}-10{sup 9.1}), but K{prime} calculated using thiol ligands with pK{sub a} = 9.96 had an inverse relationship (slope = -0.8; r{sup 2} = 0.9; range 10{sup 15.6}-10{sup 12.3}). A pH-independent model was obtained only with thiol pK{sub a} {le} 4. The mean K{prime}{sub 4} for SRFA (K{prime} with thiol pK{sub a} = 4.2) was 10{sup 9.8} (range 10{sup 9.11}-10{sup 10.27}) and small slope (0.02). Similar values were found for Spring Lake NOM; bog S2 NOM had values one-tenth as large. These constants are generally similar to published values; differences reflect variations in methods, pH, types of NOM, and calculation models.

  10. Effects of zinc on fin regeneration in the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, and its interaction with methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Weis, P.; Weis, J.S.

    1980-01-01

    Methylmercury has been found to retard fin regeneration in the marsh killifish, Fundulus confluentus, and striped mullet, Mugil cephalus. Cadmium, which also retarded fin regeneration in killifhsh interacted antagonistically with methylmercury so that fish exposed simultaneously to the two metals exhibited growth rates comparable to controls. Current studies on the effects of zinc on regeneration in the mummichog, F. heteroclitus, and the effects of combinations of methylmercury and zinc on this process, are reported. The data indicate that in F. heteroclitus, zinc can accelerate regenerative growth, and, by so doing, can counteract the retarding effects of methylmercury. In this species, the regeneration rate of controls was similar in 3% and 1% salinity, and the methylmercury retarded growth at both salinities. This is in contrast to F. confluentus in which decreased salinities depressed the regeneration rate, thus masking the effects of methylmercury in water of .9% salinity.

  11. A protocol for immunofluorescence staining of floating neurospheres.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Ryo; Aoki, Shunsuke; Yamato, Masayuki; Uchiyama, Hiroto; Wada, Keiji; Ogiuchi, Hideki; Okano, Teruo; Ando, Tomohiro

    2010-07-26

    This protocol describes the immunofluorescence staining of floating neurospheres in culture plates. Although this protocol is similar to conventional immunofluorescence staining, the staining procedure of floating neurospheres in multiwell culture plates and the washing procedure are different. Neurospheres in culture plates are transferred to a 12-well plate using a 200-1000microL pipette. The spheres are precipitated by gravity for 3min. Then, the 12-well plate is tilted slightly, and the culture medium is aspirated by the pipette. After aspiration, the spheres are visually verified to be at the bottom of the wells. PBS (400microL) is added to the well for washing the spheres. This procedure is repeated three times. This protocol is easier than a conventional procedure using cryostat sections and can give clear sphere structures. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Rapid Diagnosis of Arbovirus and Arenavirus Infections by Immunofluorescence.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-01-01

    have been prepared with the following viruses: Mayaro, dengue type 3 , dengue type 4 , West Nile, Oropouche and Sicilian phlebotomu fever. Similar slides...for use as antigen in the indirect immunofluorescence (IF) test have been prepared with the following viruses: Mayaro, dengue type 3 , dengue type 4 ...type 2, NGB; dengue type 3 , H 87; dengue type 4 , H 241; JE, Nakayama; Langat, TP 21; Rocio, San Paulo; West Nile, Egypt 101; yellow fever, Asibi

  13. RGB method in immunofluorescence investigations on stem cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riccio, Massimo; Resca, Elisa; Bertoni, Laura; Cavani, Francesco; Sena, Paola; Ferretti, Marzia; Baldini, Andrea; Palumbo, Carla; De Pol, Anto

    2011-03-01

    Colour is not related to a particular discipline, but it is transversely present in many circles and in almost all the aspects of life. It has a special value in art, but also as far as other disciplines are concerned, like the sciences, the colour is at the basis of some of their intrinsic significances and it often needed to allow the interpretation of some of their phenomena as well. As regards the development of cell biology knowledge, colour acquired more and more importance in revealing the observations of the researchers. A field in which the methods based on the colours are particularly employed is the immunofluorescence, used to identify specific proteins in cells and tissues. These techniques combine the fluorochrome properties with specific molecules, i.e. antibodies, directed against particular substances to investigate, for example a specific protein. In single immunofluorescence analysis, the signal from an excited fluorochrome corresponds to a particular protein. In multiple immunofluorescence analysis, two or more signals are simultaneously detected to show the localization of different proteins on the same sample. The three primary colours red, green and blue were currently assigned to the signals from immunofluorescence-processed samples and visualized by the RGB method. In the present work, different examples of RGB applications in immunocytochemical investigations are showed: the first concerns the multiple analysis of three markers, localized in different loci of the cell plasma membrane; the second is related to the co-localization of two signals in the same site of specific subcellular structures. In this case the secondary colours, obtained by overlapping the primary ones, demonstrate the specific co-presence of two proteins in the same site. With the present paper, the authors wish to underline the relevant role of colours also in those areas in which colours are the means not the end.

  14. Dual immunofluorescence staining of proteoglycans in human temporal bones.

    PubMed

    Markaryan, Adam; Nelson, Erik G; Kohut, Robert I; Hinojosa, Raul

    2011-07-01

    Immunofluorescence staining methods have been developed to study the distribution of macromolecules in archival formalin-fixed celloidin-embedded human temporal bone tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of utilizing this approach to evaluate the codistribution of more than one molecule of interest in a single tissue section. Retrospective study of proteoglycan codistribution in archival human temporal bone tissues. The chondroitin sulfate and keratan sulfate proteoglycans were selected for evaluating this methodology. Human tissues with known proteoglycan staining patterns were studied as controls. Thirty-one formalin-fixed celloidin-embedded archival human temporal bones were evaluated, and the observations in 11 specimens are described. A dual immunofluorescence staining method was developed using primary antibodies of differing isotypes and secondary antibodies labeled with fluorophores having nonoverlapping emission characteristics. The specificity of the dual immunofluorescence technique for chondroitin sulfate and keratan sulfate proteoglycans was demonstrated in control tissues and confirmed through inhibition studies. The normal human tectorial membrane exhibited intense chondroitin sulfate staining. Cochlear and vestibular hair cells exhibited predominantly keratan sulfate staining. Keratan sulfate staining predominated in spiral ganglion cell bodies and fibers. Alterations in the normal distribution pattern of proteoglycans were observed in cases of presbycusis and otosclerosis. The dual immunofluorescence staining methodology can be used to study archival formalin-fixed celloidin-embedded human temporal bone tissues. This technique may be applied to the evaluation of other molecules in archival human temporal bone tissues and lead to improvement in our understanding of the function of these molecules and their role in disease processes. Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

  15. Rapid Diagnosis of Arbovirus and Arenavirus Infections by Immunofluorescence.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-02-01

    Hemorrhagic Fever-Congo viruses Ebola virus Immunofluorescence Marburg virus ELISA Rift Valley Fever virus Equatorial Africa 20. AWsrNAC(ouingm ,.rm . IN me& &O...Lassa fever, and Marburg viruses was begun. Positi.e reactiorito Ebola virus have been observed with sera from military recruits from southern Sudan...geographic region. .- One hundred and fifty-eight (158) bunyavirus supergroup viruses have been screened for reaction on KHF virus -infected spot-slides

  16. Species differences in the sensitivity of avian embryos to methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Klimstra, J.D.; Stebbins, K.R.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2009-01-01

    We injected doses of methylmercury into the air cells of eggs of 26 species of birds and examined the dose-response curves of embryo survival. For 23 species we had adequate data to calculate the median lethal concentration (LC50). Based on the dose-response curves and LC50s, we ranked species according to their sensitivity to injected methylmercury. Although the previously published embryotoxic threshold of mercury in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) has been used as a default value to protect wild species of birds, we found that, relative to other species, mallard embryos are not very sensitive to injected methylmercury; their LC50 was 1.79 ug/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. Other species we categorized as also exhibiting relatively low sensitivity to injected methylmercury (their LC50s were 1 ug/g mercury or higher) were the hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), and laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Species we categorized as having medium sensitivity (their LC50s were greater than 0.25 ug/g mercury but less than 1 ug/g mercury) were the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), chicken (Gallus gallus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), herring gull (Larus argentatus), common tern (S terna hirundo), royal tern (Sterna maxima), Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), great egret (Ardea alba), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), and anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Species we categorized as exhibiting high sensitivity (their LC50s were less than 0.25 ug/g mercury) were the American kestrel (Falco sparverius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), and tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). For mallards, chickens, and ring-necked pheasants (all species for which we could compare the toxicity of our

  17. Species differences in the sensitivity of avian embryos to methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R; Kondrad, Shannon L; Erwin, Carol A

    2009-01-01

    We injected doses of methylmercury into the air cells of eggs of 26 species of birds and examined the dose-response curves of embryo survival. For 23 species we had adequate data to calculate the median lethal concentration (LC(50)). Based on the dose-response curves and LC(50)s, we ranked species according to their sensitivity to injected methylmercury. Although the previously published embryotoxic threshold of mercury in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) has been used as a default value to protect wild species of birds, we found that, relative to other species, mallard embryos are not very sensitive to injected methylmercury; their LC(50 )was 1.79 microg/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. Other species we categorized as also exhibiting relatively low sensitivity to injected methylmercury (their LC(50)s were 1 microg/g mercury or higher) were the hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), and laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Species we categorized as having medium sensitivity (their LC(50)s were greater than 0.25 microg/g mercury but less than 1 microg/g mercury) were the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), chicken (Gallus gallus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), herring gull (Larus argentatus), common tern (Sterna hirundo), royal tern (Sterna maxima), Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), great egret (Ardea alba), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), and anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Species we categorized as exhibiting high sensitivity (their LC(50)s were less than 0.25 microg/g mercury) were the American kestrel (Falco sparverius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), and tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). For mallards, chickens, and ring-necked pheasants (all species for which we

  18. Current concepts of immunofluorescence in oral mucocutaneous diseases

    PubMed Central

    Anuradha, CH; Malathi, N; Anandan, S; Magesh, KT

    2011-01-01

    Aim: To study the immunofluorescence pattern and to assess its reliability as a confirmatory diagnostic test in patients with pemphigus, pemphigoid, lichen planus, and lupus erythematosus and also to assess the disease activity by indirect immunofluorscence (IIF) in patients with pemphigus only. Materials and Methods: Twenty-six patients were included in the study group, out of which, 6 patients were clinically and histopathologically diagnosed as pemphigus, completely free of active lesions were subjected to IIF only to assess the disease activity and were grouped separately. Based on the clinical and provisional diagnosis, the remaining 20 patients who had active lesions were subjected to direct immunofluorscence (DIF) and IIF and were divided into four groups. Biopsy specimens were taken from the periphery of the lesions and were examined by both conventional light microscopic and DIF methods. Five milliliters of venous blood was collected from each patient and were subjected to IIF. Results: Histopathological diagnosis was consistent with direct immunofluorescence study in 15 cases (75%). The various immunofluorescence patterns observed in our study were consistent with those described by various authors in standard textbooks and articles. Conclusion: Histopathology remains gold standard for most of the diseases, it is recognized from this study that not all lesions are amenable to definitive histopathological diagnosis thus; DIF can provide a valuable additional criterion in diagnosis. PMID:22144826

  19. Magneto immunofluorescence assay for diagnosis of celiac disease.

    PubMed

    Kergaravat, Silvina V; Beltramino, Luis; Garnero, Nidia; Trotta, Liliana; Wagener, Marta; Fabiano, Silvia N; Pividori, Maria Isabel; Hernandez, Silvia R

    2013-10-10

    A magneto immunofluorescence assay for the detection of anti-transglutaminase antibodies (ATG2) in celiac disease was developed. The ATG2 were recognized by transglutaminase enzyme immobilized on the magnetic beads and then the immunological reaction was revealed by antibodies labeled with peroxidase. The fluorescent response of the enzymatic reaction with o-phenylenediamine and H2O2 as substrates was correlated with anti-transglutaminase titer, showing EC50 and LOD values of 1:11,600 and 1:74,500 of antibody titers, respectively. A total number of 29 sera samples from clinically confirmed cases of celiac disease and 19 negative control samples were tested by the novel magneto immunofluorescence assay. The data were submitted to the receiver-operating characteristic plot (ROC) analysis which indicated that 8.1 U was the most effective cut-off value to discriminate correctly between celiac and non-celiac patients. The immunofluorescence assay exhibited a sensitivity of 96.6%, a specificity of 89.5% and an efficiency 93.8% compared with the commercial optical ELISA kit.

  20. Research Techniques Made Simple: Immunofluorescence Antigen Mapping in Epidermolysis Bullosa.

    PubMed

    Has, Cristina; He, Yinghong

    2016-07-01

    Inherited epidermolysis bullosa is a group of genetic blistering diseases with a broad spectrum of clinical severity and molecular defects. Epidermolysis bullosa results from mutations in genes encoding proteins involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion in the epidermis. Immunofluorescence antigen mapping makes use of monoclonal antibodies against proteins of the dermal-epidermal junction zone to determine the layer of skin where cleavage occurs and the relative protein abundance. It allows the diagnosis of the type and subtype of inherited epidermolysis bullosa and sheds light on molecular mechanisms underlying the disease. Immunofluorescence mapping steps include obtaining a skin biopsy sample, processing the biopsy material, antigen-antibody interaction on tissue, washing, incubation with fluorescently conjugated secondary antibodies, mounting, observation under a fluorescence microscope, and interpretation. A minimal antibody panel allows discrimination of the main epidermolysis bullosa subtypes. Extended panels can be used depending on the diagnostic or scientific question to be addressed. Immunofluorescence mapping contributed to significant progress in understanding epidermolysis bullosa, including identification of new underlying genetic mutations, mutation mechanisms, and the presence of revertant mosaicism. It is also an important tool in the assessment of the efficacy of experimental therapeutic approaches. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of dietary methylmercury on juvenile Sacramento blackfish bioenergetics.

    PubMed

    Houck, Ann; Cech, Joseph J

    2004-08-10

    Although much is known about the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in the environment, relatively little is known about methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulation in fishes and how chronic sub-lethal exposures affect their functioning. Several species of fish in Clear Lake, California have high MeHg tissue levels, including Sacramento blackfish, Orthodon microlepidotus, a large native cyprinid that is fished commercially. We fed juvenile blackfish one of four diets containing MeHg (0.21 mg/kg control; 0.52 mg/kg low; 22.2 mg/kg medium; and 55.5 mg/kg high treatments) for 70 days. There were no statistical differences (P > 0.05) in food consumption among the treatment groups. By 35 days the high treatment group had a significantly depressed growth rate when compared to the control group (P < 0.05) and by 70 days both the medium and the high groups had significantly lower growth rates (P < 0.05). The high-dose group had a significantly (P < 0.05) lower specific growth rate (SGR) compared all other treatment groups at 35 days, although by 70 days these differences were not significant. The wet/dry muscle mass and muscle mass/total mass ratios, condition factor, and resting routine metabolic rates at both 35 and 70 days were statistically indistinguishable (P > 0.05) between treatment groups. All treatment groups assimilated the dietary MeHg into muscle tissue in a dose-dependent fashion. Percent assimilation was significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the high-dose group compared to the low-dose group at 35 days, (control 53%, low-dose 61%, medium-dose 50%, and high-dose 40%) but at 70 days assimilation was lower (35, 43, 42, and 32%, respectively) and statistically indistinguishable (P > 0.05) among the treatment groups. Dietary MeHg concentrations and bioaccumulation rates were correlated (r2 = 0.98 at 35 days, 0.99 at 70 days). These results may contribute to construction of ecosystem mercury models and more informed natural resources management at Clear Lake.

  2. Mercury accumulation in mallards fed methylmercury with or without added DDE

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.

    1987-01-01

    Adult female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed a control diet or diets containing 1 ppm methylmercury chloride, 5 ppm methylmercury chloride, 1 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE, or 5 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE. The presence of DDE in the diet did not affect retention of mercury in breast muscle or eggs. There was a good correlation between the levels of mercury in the breast muscle of females and their eggs, and this correlation was unaffected by the presence of DDE in the diet. This correlation suggests that one could predict mercury levels in female mallards in the field when only eggs have been collected and vice versa.

  3. Meeting report: Methylmercury in marine ecosystems--from sources to seafood consumers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Celia Y; Serrell, Nancy; Evers, David C; Fleishman, Bethany J; Lambert, Kathleen F; Weiss, Jeri; Mason, Robert P; Bank, Michael S

    2008-12-01

    Mercury and other contaminants in coastal and open-ocean ecosystems are an issue of great concern globally and in the United States, where consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). A recent National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-Superfund Basic Research Program workshop titled "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human Exposure," convened by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program on 15-16 November 2006 in Durham, New Hampshire, brought together human health experts, marine scientists, and ecotoxicologists to encourage cross-disciplinary discussion between ecosystem and human health scientists and to articulate research and monitoring priorities to better understand how marine food webs have become contaminated with MeHg. Although human health effects of Hg contamination were a major theme, the workshop also explored effects on marine biota. The workgroup focused on three major topics: a) the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in marine ecosystems, b) the trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of MeHg in marine food webs, and c) human exposure to Hg from marine fish and shellfish consumption. The group concluded that current understanding of Hg in marine ecosystems across a range of habitats, chemical conditions, and ocean basins is severely data limited. An integrated research and monitoring program is needed to link the processes and mechanisms of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and transfer with MeHg exposure in humans.

  4. Transport of Methylmercury and Inorganic Mercury to the Fetus and Breast-Fed Infant

    PubMed Central

    Björnberg, Karolin Ask; Vahter, Marie; Berglund, Birgitta; Niklasson, Boel; Blennow, Mats; Sandborgh-Englund, Gunilla

    2005-01-01

    It is well established that methylmercury (MeHg) and mercury vapor pass the placenta, but little is known about infant exposure via breast milk. We measured MeHg and inorganic mercury (I-Hg) in blood of Swedish mothers (n = 20) and their infants, as well as total mercury (T-Hg) in breast milk up to 13 weeks postpartum. Infant blood MeHg was highly associated with maternal blood MeHg at delivery, although more than twice as high. Infant MeHg decreased markedly until 13 weeks of age. Infant blood I-Hg was associated with, and about as high as, maternal blood I-Hg at delivery. Infant I-Hg decreased until 13 weeks. In breast milk, T-Hg decreased significantly from day 4 to 6 weeks after delivery but remained unchanged thereafter. At 13 weeks, T-Hg in breast milk was associated with infant MeHg but not with maternal MeHg. Conversely, T-Hg in breast milk was associated with maternal I-Hg but not with infant I-Hg. From the findings of the present study in which the exposure to both MeHg and I-Hg was low, we conclude that the exposure to both forms of mercury is higher before birth than during the breast-feeding period, and that MeHg seems to contribute more than I-Hg to infant exposure postnatally via breast milk. PMID:16203251

  5. Meeting Report: Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems—From Sources to Seafood Consumers

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia Y.; Serrell, Nancy; Evers, David C.; Fleishman, Bethany J.; Lambert, Kathleen F.; Weiss, Jeri; Mason, Robert P.; Bank, Michael S.

    2008-01-01

    Mercury and other contaminants in coastal and open-ocean ecosystems are an issue of great concern globally and in the United States, where consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). A recent National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences–Superfund Basic Research Program workshop titled “Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human Exposure,” convened by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program on 15–16 November 2006 in Durham, New Hampshire, brought together human health experts, marine scientists, and ecotoxicologists to encourage cross-disciplinary discussion between ecosystem and human health scientists and to articulate research and monitoring priorities to better understand how marine food webs have become contaminated with MeHg. Although human health effects of Hg contamination were a major theme, the workshop also explored effects on marine biota. The workgroup focused on three major topics: a) the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in marine ecosystems, b) the trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of MeHg in marine food webs, and c) human exposure to Hg from marine fish and shellfish consumption. The group concluded that current understanding of Hg in marine ecosystems across a range of habitats, chemical conditions, and ocean basins is severely data limited. An integrated research and monitoring program is needed to link the processes and mechanisms of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and transfer with MeHg exposure in humans. PMID:19079724

  6. Trace elements as paradigms of developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury and arsenic

    PubMed Central

    Grandjean, Philippe; Herz, Katherine T.

    2014-01-01

    Trace elements have contributed unique insights into developmental neurotoxicity and serve as paradigms for such adverse effects. Many trace elements are retained in the body for long periods and can be easily measured to assess exposure by inexpensive analytical methods that became available several decades ago so that past and cumulated exposures could be easily characterized through analysis of biological samples, e.g. blood and urine. The first compelling evidence resulted from unfortunate poisoning events that allowed scrutiny of long-term outcomes of acute exposures that occurred during early development. Pursuant to this documentation, prospective studies of children's cohorts that applied sensitive neurobehavioral methods supported the notion that the brain is uniquely vulnerable to toxic damage during early development. Lead, methylmercury, and arsenic thereby serve as paradigm neurotoxicants that provide a reference for other substances that may have similar adverse effects. Less evidence is available on manganese, fluoride, and cadmium, but experience from the former trace elements suggest that, with time, adverse effects are likely to be documented at exposures previously thought to be low and safe. PMID:25175507

  7. Trace elements as paradigms of developmental neurotoxicants: Lead, methylmercury and arsenic.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Philippe; Herz, Katherine T

    2015-01-01

    Trace elements have contributed unique insights into developmental neurotoxicity and serve as paradigms for such adverse effects. Many trace elements are retained in the body for long periods and can be easily measured to assess exposure by inexpensive analytical methods that became available several decades ago so that past and cumulated exposures could be easily characterized through analysis of biological samples, e.g. blood and urine. The first compelling evidence resulted from unfortunate poisoning events that allowed scrutiny of long-term outcomes of acute exposures that occurred during early development. Pursuant to this documentation, prospective studies of children's cohorts that applied sensitive neurobehavioral methods supported the notion that the brain is uniquely vulnerable to toxic damage during early development. Lead, methylmercury, and arsenic thereby serve as paradigm neurotoxicants that provide a reference for other substances that may have similar adverse effects. Less evidence is available on manganese, fluoride, and cadmium, but experience from the former trace elements suggest that, with time, adverse effects are likely to be documented at exposures previously thought to be low and safe. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. Spatial gradients of methylmercury for breeding common loons in the Laurentian Great Lakes region.

    PubMed

    Evers, David C; Williams, Kathryn A; Meyer, Michael W; Scheuhammer, Anton M; Schoch, Nina; Gilbert, Andrew T; Siegel, Lori; Taylor, Robert J; Poppenga, Robert; Perkins, Christopher R

    2011-10-01

    Much of the Laurentian Great Lakes region is a mercury-sensitive landscape, in which atmospheric deposition and waterborne sources of mercury (Hg) have led to high concentrations of bioavailable methylmercury (MeHg) in predatory fish and piscivorous wildlife. Efforts since the early 1990s have established the common loon (Gavia immer) as the primary avian indicator for evaluating the exposure and effects of MeHg in North America. A regional Hg dataset was compiled from multiple loon tissue types and yellow perch (Perca flavescens), a preferred prey fish species for loons. Hg exposure in loons and perch was modeled to develop male and female loon units (MLU and FLU, respectively), standardized metrics that represent the estimated blood Hg exposure of a male or female loon for a given loon territory or water body. Using this common endpoint approach to assess loon Hg exposure, the authors demonstrate spatial trends in biotic Hg concentrations, examine MeHg availability in aquatic ecosystems of the Great Lakes region in relation to landscape-level characteristics, and identify areas with potentially significant adverse reproductive impacts to loons and other avian piscivores. Based on 8,101 MLUs, seven biological Hg hotspots were identified in the Great Lakes region. Policy-relevant applications are presented.

  9. Accumulation of dietary methylmercury in the testes of the adult brown norway rat: Impaired testicular and epididymal function

    SciTech Connect

    Friedmann, A.S.; Chen, H.; Zirkin, B.R.; Rabuck, L.D.

    1998-05-01

    The widespread consumption of fish containing elevated concentrations of methylmercury has prompted concern over the health effects of such a diet. Previous studies with rodents have indicated that exposure to dietary mercury (Hg) impairs male reproductive health. However, adverse effects were observed following doses in the range of milligrams per kilogram of body weight, whereas typical human consumption in the United States is in the range of micrograms per kilogram of body weight. This study examined the effects of dietary Hg on male rats using levels of the metal that are more similar to those typically consumed by humans. For 19 weeks, adult male Brown Norway rats were administered methylmercury twice weekly at 0.8, 8.0, or 80 {micro}g/kg. Intratesticular testosterone levels in the high-dose group were reduced by 44$, suggesting that steroidogenesis in these animals was dramatically impaired. Although sperm production was not significantly affected, numbers of sperm in the cauda epididymides of the high-dose group were reduced by 17%. Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between fertility and testicular Hg content. These results raise the possibility that exposure to Hg at levels consumed by humans may result in steroidogenic impairment, reduced sperm counts, and fertility problems.

  10. Spatial characteristics of net methylmercury production hot spots in peatlands

    Treesearch

    Carl P.J. Mitchell; Brian A. Branfireun; Randall K. Kolka

    2008-01-01

    Many wetlands are sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to surface waters, yet little information exists about the distribution of MeHg within wetlands. Total mercury (THg) and MeHg in peat pore waters were studied in four peatlands in spring, summer, and fall 2005. Marked spatial variability in the distribution of MeHg, and %MeHg as a proxy for net MeHg production, was...

  11. Accelerated methylmercury elimination in gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase-deficient mice.

    PubMed Central

    Ballatori, N.; Wang, W.; Lieberman, M. W.

    1998-01-01

    The disposition and toxicity of methylmercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, is modulated by binding to the endogenous tripeptide glutathione (GSH) and metabolism of the resulting methylmercury-glutathione complex by the ectoproteins gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and dipeptidase. To evaluate the role of GGT in the whole-body disposition of methylmercury, we compared the elimination of [203Hg]methylmercury in GGT-deficient mice with that in wild-type mice and mice heterozygous for this deficiency. The effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a drug used to maintain the cysteine and GSH levels of GGT-deficient mice, were also examined. Female mice were treated with either 0.5 or 25 micromol of CH3 203HgCl/kg body weight, in the presence and absence of 10 mg/ml NAC in the drinking water. There were no differences in methylmercury excretion between the wild-type and heterozygous mice; however, the GGT-deficient mice excreted methylmercury more rapidly at both dose levels. Wild-type and heterozygous mice excreted from 11 to 24% of the dose in the first 48 hours, whereas the GGT-deficient mice excreted 55 to 66% of the dose, with most of the methylmercury being excreted in urine. Urinary methylmercury excretion was further accelerated in mice that received NAC. In contrast to methylmercury, the whole-body elimination of inorganic mercury was not affected by GGT deficiency, although the tissue distribution of inorganic mercury was markedly different in GGT-deficient male mice, with only 13% of the 203Hg body burden in the kidneys of GGT-deficient mice versus approximately 50% in kidneys of wild-type male mice. These findings provide direct evidence for a major role of GGT in regulating the tissue distribution and elimination of methylmercury and inorganic mercury and provide additional support for the use of NAC as an antidote in methylmercury poisoning. PMID:9546365

  12. Teratogenic efects of injected methylmercury on avian embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, Gary H.; Hoffman, David J.; Klimstra, Jon D.; Stebbins, Katherine R.; Kondrad, Shannon L.; Erwin, Carol A.

    2011-01-01

    Controlled laboratory studies with game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and chickens (Gallus gallus) have demonstrated that methylmercury can cause teratogenic effects in birds, but studies with wild species of birds are lacking. To address this need, doses of methylmercury chloride were injected into the eggs of 25 species of birds, and the dead embryos and hatched chicks were examined for external deformities. When data for controls were summed across all 25 species tested and across all types of deformities, 24 individuals out of a total of 1,533 (a rate of 1.57%) exhibited at least one deformity. In contrast, when data for all of the mercury treatments and all 25 species were summed, 188 deformed individuals out of a total of 2,292 (8.20%) were found. Some deformities, such as lordosis and scoliosis (twisting of the spine), misshapen heads, shortening or twisting of the neck, and deformities of the wings, were seldom observed in controls but occurred in much greater frequency in Hg-treated individuals. Only 0.59% of individual control dead embryos and hatchlings exhibited multiple deformities versus 3.18% for Hg-dosed dead embryos and hatchlings. Methylmercury seems to have a widespread teratogenic potential across many species of birds.

  13. Organotropism of methylmercury in fish of the southeastern of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, L S; Almeida, M G; Bastos, W R; Suzuki, M S; Recktenvald, M C N N; Bastos, M T S; Vergílio, C S; de Souza, C M M

    2017-10-01

    This is one of the first studies to evaluate the effect of biometric variables (total length and weight), diet, and abiotic matrices (sediment and water column) on the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in tissues (muscle, liver, and gills) of four fish (two carnivore-invertivores, Pimelodus fur and Pachyurus adspersus; one carnivore-piscivore, Oligosarcus hepsetus; and one omnivore, Pimelodella lateristriga) in the lower section of a river in southeastern Brazil. Samples of fish (n = 120), water (n = 5) and sediment (n = 5) were collected at five sites characterized by pollution with mercury due to the use of organomercury fungicides and stream bed gold mining, commonly carried out in that section of the river in the 1980s. The results show that biometric variables are strongly correlated with methylmercury levels in muscle (r = 0.61, p < 0.0005) of P. fur. As a rule, concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury did not vary considerably between the organs of the species of different food habits, because of the environmental conditions in the study area. Despite the low concentrations of mercury in sediments (<0.05 mg kg(-1) wet. wt), this compartment is a representative source of this pollutant for the organisms investigated, due to the close contact these animals keep with it in view of the low water columns in that section of the river. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Methylmercury-induced changes in operant discrimination by the pigeon

    SciTech Connect

    Laties, V.G.; Evans, H.L.

    1980-01-01

    Pigeons were trained on a fixed consecutive number schedule of reinforcement, pecking eight or nine ties on one key (a run) before making the single response on a second key that was reinforced if the number requirement had been met. A run of fewer than eight or more than nine responses reset the response requirement. They then were given methylmercury chronically until behavioral signs of poisoning occurred. Where possible, recovery was followed. Percentage of reinforcers earned and rate at which the birds pecked both decreased, whereas variability of run length increased after enough methylmercury had been given to produce blood mercury concentrations between 13 and 27 ppM. Some birds also showed consistent shortening of run length throughout the time of maximum poisoning. Because ataxia was a common accompaniment of the changes in operant behavior, other methods of producing ataxia (hobbling one foot or dosing with ethanol) were also studied in some birds. The pattern of changes induced with these methods did not match that seen after methylmercury.

  15. Uptake dynamics of inorganic mercury and methylmercury by the earthworm Pheretima guillemi.

    PubMed

    Dang, Fei; Zhao, Jie; Zhou, Dongmei

    2016-02-01

    Mercury uptake dynamics in the earthworm Pheretima guillemi, including the dissolved uptake rate constant (ku) from pore-water and assimilation efficiencies (AEs) from mercury-contaminated soil, was quantified in this study. Dissolved uptake rate constants were 0.087 and 0.553 L g(-1) d(-1) for inorganic mercury (IHg) and methylmercury (MeHg), respectively. Assimilation efficiency of IHg in field-contaminated soil was 7.2%, lower than 15.4% of spiked soil. In contrast, MeHg exhibited comparable AEs for both field-contaminated and spiked soil (82.4-87.2%). Within the framework of biodynamic model, we further modelled the exposure pathways (dissolved exposure vs soil ingestion) to source the accumulated mercury in Pheretima guillemi. The model showed that the relative importance of soil ingestion to mercury bioaccumulation depended largely on mercury partitioning coefficients (K(d)), and was also influenced by soil ingestion rate of earthworms. In the examined field-contaminated soil, almost (>99%) accumulated IHg and MeHg was predicted to derive from soil ingestion. Therefore, soil ingestion should be carefully considered when assessing mercury exposure risk to earthworms.

  16. Altered pairing behaviour and reproductive success in white ibises exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Frederick, Peter; Jayasena, Nilmini

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most biologically available and toxic form of mercury, and can act as a powerful teratogen, neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor in vertebrates. However, mechanisms of endocrine impairment and net effects on demography of biota are poorly understood. Here, we report that experimental exposure of an aquatic bird over 3 years to environmentally relevant dietary MeHg concentrations (0.05–0.3 ppm wet weight) resulted in dose-related increases in male–male pairing behaviour (to 55% of males), and decreases in egg productivity (to 30%). Dosed males showed decreased rates of key courtship behaviours, and were approached less by courting females in comparison to control males. Within dosed groups, homosexual males showed a similar reduction when compared with dosed heterosexual males. We found an average 35 per cent decrease in fledgling production in high-dose birds over the study duration. These results are of interest because (i) MeHg exposure is experimentally tied to demographically important reproductive deficits, (ii) these effects were found at low, chronic exposure levels commonly experienced by wildlife, and (iii) effects on reproductive behaviour and sexual preference mediated by endocrine disruption represent a novel and probably under-reported mechanism by which contaminants may influence wild populations of birds. PMID:21123262

  17. Autoantibody detection using indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Sack, Ulrich; Conrad, Karsten; Csernok, Elena; Frank, Ingrid; Hiepe, Falk; Krieger, Thorsten; Kromminga, Arno; von Landenberg, Philipp; Messer, Gerald; Witte, Torsten; Mierau, Rudolf

    2009-09-01

    The detection of autoantibodies is an important element in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression in patients with autoimmune diseases. In laboratory diagnostic tests for connective tissue and autoimmune liver diseases, indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells plays a central role in a multistage diagnostic process. Despite the high quality of diagnostics, findings at different laboratories can differ considerably due to a lack of standardization, as well as subjective factors. The present paper formulates recommendations for the standardized processing and interpretation of the HEp-2 cell test for the detection of non-organ-specific (especially antinuclear) antibodies. It provides requirements regarding the diagnostic tests used, instructions for laboratory procedure and evaluation, and recommendations for interpretation. For an optimal laboratory diagnostic process, it is useful to have an informative, tentative clinical diagnosis and an experienced laboratory diagnostician. In addition, the following key elements are recommended: initial screening using indirect immunofluorescence on carefully chosen HEp-2 cells beginning with a serum dilution of 1:80 and evaluation under a microscope with powerful illumination; results from a titer of 1:160 upwards being considered positive; internal laboratory quality control; and standardized interpretation. The aim is to improve diagnostic tests and care of patients with autoimmune diseases as a central concern of the European Autoimmunity Standardization Initiative (EASI).

  18. Oral Mucocutaneous Lesions – A Comparative Clinicopathological and Immunofluorescence Study

    PubMed Central

    Rameshkumar, Annasamy; Varghese, Alex Kumaranthara; Dineshkumar, Thayalan; Ahmed, Shaheen; Venkatramani, Janaki; Sugirtharaj, G

    2015-01-01

    Background: Oral mucosa is often affected by many diseases including mucocutaneous disorders. The diagnoses of these disorders are primarily based on history, clinical features, and histopathology. For the past few years’ immunofluorescence techniques emerged as an important tool to study the pathogenesis and in the diagnosis of oral mucocutaneous and vesiculobullous disorders. The present study was designed to carry out retrospective and prospective analysis of oral mucocutaneous lesions to elucidate the clinicopathologic features and its immunofluorescence findings. Materials and Methods: A total of 70 subjects with oral mucocutaneous lesions were retrieved from the oral pathology files of Tamil Nadu Govt. Dental College and their clinical features were evaluated, and the histopathology was also evaluated with the help of hematoxylin and eosin stained sections. For the prospective study, biopsy from 12 subjects with oral mucocutaneous lesions was subjected to routine histopathological examination and DIF to evaluate the consistency of the methods. Results: In the retrospective analysis of 70 subjects with oral mucocutaneous lesions in relation to clinical features and histopathology, most of the findings were similar to the previous studies except for few criteria like male predilection in lichen planus and mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) and more prevalence of pemphigus vulgaris than MMP (2:1). In the prospective analysis of 12 subjects, the histopathological diagnosis was consistent with DIF study in 66% of cases. Conclusion: The diagnostic efficiency of oral mucocutaneous lesions can be improved by modern tools like DIF studies in addition to traditional methods like clinical and histopathology. PMID:25878481

  19. Monitoring Chemokine Receptor Trafficking by Confocal Immunofluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Marchese, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    Here, we describe a protocol to detect chemokine receptor CXCR4 by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy in HeLa cells treated with its chemokine ligand CXCL12. Typically, ligand-activated chemokine receptors undergo a multistep process of desensitization and/or internalization from the plasma membrane in order to terminate signaling. Once internalized to endosomes, chemokine receptors readily enter the recycling pathway and return to the cell surface, giving rise to resensitization of signaling. The chemokine receptor CXCR4, when activated by CXCL12 is also internalized to endosomes, but in contrast to many chemokine receptors it is mainly sorted to the degradative pathway, contributing to a loss in the cellular complement of CXCR4 and long-term downregulation of signaling. The trafficking of CXCR4 from early endosomes to lysosomes can be easily detected by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy by immunostaining fixed cells for the receptor and with markers of these vesicular compartments. This approach is advantageous because it can be used to identify factors that regulate the trafficking of CXCR4 from early endosomes to lysosomes. The protocol described here focuses on CXCR4, but it can be easily adapted to other chemokine receptors. PMID:26921951

  20. The detection of platelet isoantibodies by membrane immunofluorescence.

    PubMed

    van der Schans, G S; Veenhoven, W A; Snijder, J A; Nieweg, H O

    1977-07-01

    A membrane ummunofluorescence test for the detection of platelet isoantibodies is described. Gel filtration of the incubation mixture was incorporated in the procedure and proved effective for the removal of serum proteins from the platelet suspension. With this technique isoantibodies were found in the serum of 13 out of a group of 16 patients who had received multiple transfusions. The results were checked by measuring the uptake of 125I-labeled anti-IgG fraction by gel-filtered platelets. Subsequently the membrane immunofluorescence method was also compared with established techniques described for the detection of isoantibodies such as the microtest for lymphocytotoxicity and a complement-fixation method and the procedures based on the release of labeled serotonin, the phagocytosis of chromium-tagged platelets, the increase of platelet factor 3 activity, and on platelet aggregation. We had the opportunity to investigate the serum of one patient for the presence of isoantibodies against platelets from HLA identical siblings both before and after the administration of their platelets. On the basis of this experience it is concluded that the membrane immunofluorescence test for platelet isoantibodies is a relatively simple method with a high degree of specificity and adequate sensitivity.

  1. Involvement of reactive oxygen species derived from mitochondria in neuronal injury elicited by methylmercury

    PubMed Central

    Ishihara, Yasuhiro; Tsuji, Mayumi; Kawamoto, Toshihiro; Yamazaki, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury induces oxidative stress and subsequent neuronal injury. However, the mechanism by which methylmercury elicits reactive oxygen species (ROS) production remains under debate. In this study, we investigated the involvement of mitochondrial ROS in methylmercury-induced neuronal cell injury using human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y-derived ρ0 cells, which have a deletion of mitochondrial DNA and thus decreased respiratory activity. SH-SY5Y cells were cultured for 60 days in the presence of ethidium bromide to produce ρ0 cells. Our ρ0 cells showed decreases in the cytochrome c oxidase expression and activity as well as oxygen consumption compared with original SH-SY5Y cells. Methylmercury at a concentration of 1 µM induced cell death with oxidative stress in original SH-SY5Y cells, but not ρ0 cells, indicating that ρ0 cells are resistant to methylmercury-induced oxidative stress. ρ0 cells also showed tolerance against hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion, suggesting that ρ0 cells are resistant to total ROS. These data indicate that mitochondrial ROS are clearly involved in oxidative stress and subsequent cell death induced by methylmercury. Considering that the dominant mechanism of ROS generation elicited by methylmercury is due to direct antioxidant enzyme inhibition, mitochondria might play a role in amplifying ROS in methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity. PMID:27895385

  2. A COMBINED PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOENERGETICS-BASED MODEL FOR METHYLMERCURY IN FEMALE AMERICAN KESTRELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The results of this combined dose-response and modeling effort will be used to improve effects characterizations for methylmercury in avian wildlife. This information will reduce uncertainty in risk assessments for methylmercury in the environment and contribute to the developme...

  3. Trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury and inorganic mercury to lake trout Salvelinus namaycush from its prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madenijian, C.P.; David, S.R.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2012-01-01

    Based on a laboratory experiment, we estimated the net trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury to lake trout Salvelinus namaycush from its prey to be equal to 76.6 %. Under the assumption that gross trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury to lake trout from its prey was equal to 80 %, we estimated that the rate at which lake trout eliminated methylmercury was 0.000244 day−1. Our laboratory estimate of methylmercury elimination rate was 5.5 times lower than the value predicted by a published regression equation developed from estimates of methylmercury elimination rates for fish available from the literature. Thus, our results, in conjunction with other recent findings, suggested that methylmercury elimination rates for fish have been overestimated in previous studies. In addition, based on our laboratory experiment, we estimated that the net trophic transfer efficiency of inorganic mercury to lake trout from its prey was 63.5 %. The lower net trophic transfer efficiency for inorganic mercury compared with that for methylmercury was partly attributable to the greater elimination rate for inorganic mercury. We also found that the efficiency with which lake trout retained either methylmercury or inorganic mercury from their food did not appear to be significantly affected by the degree of their swimming activity.

  4. Trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury and inorganic mercury to lake trout Salvelinus namaycush from its prey.

    PubMed

    Madenjian, C P; David, S R; Krabbenhoft, D P

    2012-08-01

    Based on a laboratory experiment, we estimated the net trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury to lake trout Salvelinus namaycush from its prey to be equal to 76.6 %. Under the assumption that gross trophic transfer efficiency of methylmercury to lake trout from its prey was equal to 80 %, we estimated that the rate at which lake trout eliminated methylmercury was 0.000244 day(-1). Our laboratory estimate of methylmercury elimination rate was 5.5 times lower than the value predicted by a published regression equation developed from estimates of methylmercury elimination rates for fish available from the literature. Thus, our results, in conjunction with other recent findings, suggested that methylmercury elimination rates for fish have been overestimated in previous studies. In addition, based on our laboratory experiment, we estimated that the net trophic transfer efficiency of inorganic mercury to lake trout from its prey was 63.5 %. The lower net trophic transfer efficiency for inorganic mercury compared with that for methylmercury was partly attributable to the greater elimination rate for inorganic mercury. We also found that the efficiency with which lake trout retained either methylmercury or inorganic mercury from their food did not appear to be significantly affected by the degree of their swimming activity.

  5. Methylmercury in fish and hair samples from the Balbina Feservoir, Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Kehrig, H A; Malm, O; Akagi, H; Guimarães, J R; Torres, J P

    1998-05-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate methylmercury in fish and human hair samples from an important hydroelectrical reservoir, Balbina (Brazil, Amazon). It presents a quite intense fishing activity and there is no known goldmining activity in its watershed. Fish and human hair were analyzed with a new extraction technique and measured by GC-ECD. Analytical quality was checked through intercomparisons between two laboratories with local samples and certified standards from IAEA. Methylmercury in hair ranged from 2.0 to 21.6 microg . g-1 with a mean of 8.76+/-5.20 microg . g-1 (N=20), while the methylmercury percentages were above 90. Fish presented methylmercury levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.9 microg small middle dot g-1 wet wt with a mean of 0.24+/-0.18 microg small middle dot g-1 wet wt (N=32), which is below the limit established for food by Brazilian legislation (0.5 microg small middle dot g-1 wet wt) and methylmercury mean percentages were above 95%. The total mean daily methylmercury intake ranged from 11 to 55 microg for 70% of the sampled population from the village based on a daily consumption of about 110 g of fish with methylmercury concentrations in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 microg . g-1. This calculation is consistent with methylmercury concentrations in hair samples in the range of 2.6 to 13.1 microg . g-1. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  6. A COMBINED PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOENERGETICS-BASED MODEL FOR METHYLMERCURY IN FEMALE AMERICAN KESTRELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The results of this combined dose-response and modeling effort will be used to improve effects characterizations for methylmercury in avian wildlife. This information will reduce uncertainty in risk assessments for methylmercury in the environment and contribute to the developme...

  7. Immunofluorescence on paraffin-embedded sections in evaluation of immune complex deposits in renal biopsy specimens.

    PubMed

    Wagrowska-Danilewicz, Małgorzata; Danilewicz, Marian

    2009-01-01

    The data focused on the value of immunofluorescence on paraffin-embedded sections are controversial, and it is still difficult to obtain reproducible results. The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of immunofluorescence on paraffin-embedded renal section in detecting immune complex deposits in IgA nephropathy (n = 24), membranous glomerulopathy (n = 22) and lupus nephritis (n = 24). Our study revealed that direct immunofluorescence on paraffin-embedded sections pre-treated with proteinase K for 30 or 60 min is a less sensitive method than immunofluorescence on frozen sections; therefore a number of glomerulopathies may be overlooked. Immunofluorescence on paraffin sections showed dominant or co-dominant fluorescence of Riga only in 41.7% of cases of Riga nephropathy. In the studied glomerulopathies the number of positive immunofluorescences of IgA, IgG, IgM and C3 was significantly lower in immunofluorescence on paraffin sections in comparison with findings obtained from immunofluorescence on frozen sections. Irrespective of glomerular disease the rate of agreement between immunofluorescence on paraffin sections and immunofluorescence on frozen sections with respect to the presence of IgA was 56.5%, IgM - 44.4%, IgG - 73.9%, and C3 - 51.5%. In conclusion, our study revealed that immunofluorescence on paraffin sections cannot replace immunofluorescence on frozen sections in the assessment of human renal biopsies, and must be interpreted with great caution.

  8. A probabilistic risk assessment of the effects of methylmercury and PCBs on mink and kingfishers along East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, D.R.J.; Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W.; Parkhurst, B.R.; Teed, R.S.

    1999-12-01

    Over fifty years of operations, storage, and disposal of wastes from the US Department of Energy (US DOE) Y-12 nuclear weapons facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, has resulted in the contamination of water, sediment, biota, and floodplain soils of East Fork Poplar Creek. A preliminary assessment revealed that methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the contaminants of most concern. Because these contaminants are persistent, accumulate in tissues, and biomagnify up the food chain, piscivorous wildlife are the biota at greatest risk of exposure. The objective of this study was to estimate the risks posed by methylmercury and PCBs to two piscivorous species: mink and belted kingfishers. The authors conducted Monte Carlo simulations to estimate total daily intakes of each contaminant by each species and then integrated the resulting distributions with their respective dose-response curves to estimate risks. The results indicate that methylmercury poses a moderate risk to female mink (24% probability of at least 15% mortality) and kingfishers (50% probability of at least a 12--28% decline in fecundity depending on location). The PCBs pose a very serious risk to mink (52% probability of at least a 50% decline in reproductive fecundity), a species known to be especially sensitive to the effects of organochlorine substances, but little risk to kingfishers (<5% probability of a decline in reproductive fecundity greater than 10% at any location).

  9. Identification and distribution of mercury species in rat tissues following administration of thimerosal or methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Jairo L; Serpeloni, Juliana M; Batista, Bruno L; Souza, Samuel S; Barbosa, Fernando

    2010-11-01

    Methylmercury (Met-Hg) is one the most toxic forms of Hg, with a considerable range of harmful effects on humans. Sodium ethyl mercury thiosalicylate, thimerosal (TM) is an ethylmercury (Et-Hg)-containing preservative that has been used in manufacturing vaccines in many countries. Whereas the behavior of Met-Hg in humans is relatively well known, that of ethylmercury (Et-Hg) is poorly understood. The present study describes the distribution of mercury as (-methyl, -ethyl and inorganic mercury) in rat tissues (brain, heart, kidney and liver) and blood following administration of TM or Met-Hg. Animals received one dose/day of Met-Hg or TM by gavage (0.5 mg Hg/kg). Blood samples were collected after 6, 12, 24, 48, 96 and 120 h of exposure. After 5 days, the animals were killed, and their tissues were collected. Total blood mercury (THg) levels were determined by ICP-MS, and methylmercury (Met-Hg), ethylmercury (Et-Hg) and inorganic mercury (Ino-Hg) levels were determined by speciation analysis with LC-ICP-MS. Mercury remains longer in the blood of rats treated with Met-Hg compared to that of TM-exposed rats. Moreover, after 48 h of the TM treatment, most of the Hg found in blood was inorganic. Of the total mercury found in the brain after TM exposure, 63% was in the form of Ino-Hg, with 13.5% as Et-Hg and 23.7% as Met-Hg. In general, mercury in tissues and blood following TM treatment was predominantly found as Ino-Hg, but a considerable amount of Et-Hg was also found in the liver and brain. Taken together, our data demonstrated that the toxicokinetics of TM is completely different from that of Met-Hg. Thus, Met-Hg is not an appropriate reference for assessing the risk from exposure to TM-derived Hg. It also adds new data for further studies in the evaluation of TM toxicity.

  10. Direct immunofluorescence on hair follicles--present and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Alexandru, Adina; Zurac, Sabina; Salavastru, Carmen M; Andrei, Razvan; Tebeica, Tiberiu; Staniceanu, Florica; Tiplica, George S

    2013-06-01

    Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) is an important tool for evaluating bullous autoimmune and connective tissue disorders. We report 21 cases of pemphigus vulgaris, bullous pemphigoid and lupus erythematosus that were investigated by performing DIF on scalp hair follicles. The study was done using a simplified technique of preparing the hairs for DIF testing. The anagen hairs tested positive in pemphigus vulgaris patients while the telogen hairs were negative. In bullous pemphigoid and lupus erythematosus cases hair DIF presented negative results.Hair DIF has the potential of taking the place of skin or mucosal DIF in pemphigus patients if performed on anagen hair follicles. The technique used to perform hair DIF is important in obtaining reliable results and eliminating the possibility of generating false-negative testing. Larger studies are needed in order to validate this method.

  11. Immunofluorescence versus ELISA for the detection of antinuclear antigens.

    PubMed

    Rondeel, Jan M M

    2002-05-01

    Determining the presence and specificity of antinuclear antigens (ANA) is a challenge to a laboratory involved in the diagnosis of connective tissue disease (CTD). The immunofluorescent technique (IF), once considered the gold standard, is more and more displaced by ELISA. ELISA can be fully automated and the interpretation does not require the extensive experience needed in IF. However, literature in which both techniques are compared does not give unequivocal conclusions that ELISA indeed performs better. The clue as to which technique is best in the cascade testing of ANA, is given by its clinical value, not only by its technical and logistic performance. Selective test ordering is strongly recommended to increase the predictive value of these tests. The pros and cons of both techniques are discussed.

  12. [Autoantibody detection by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells].

    PubMed

    Sack, U; Conrad, K; Csernok, E; Frank, I; Hiepe, F; Krieger, T; Kromminga, A; Landenberg, P von; Messer, G; Witte, T; Mierau, R

    2009-06-01

    Systemic autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA). Diluted patient sera are typically used to screen for the presence of ANA by immunfluorescence microscopy with fixed HEp-2 cells. Despite high-quality test kits, reports of different laboratories frequently present controversial results. This article recommends unified processing and interpretation of HEp-2 based screening for autoantibodies. Suggestions are made for the selection of high-quality test kits, optimized processing and diagnostic procedures. In addition to a relevant clinical diagnosis and an experienced laboratory specialist, the following procedure is highly recommended to achieve good laboratory practice: Initial HEp-2 based screening by indirect immunofluorescence, starting with a 1:80 serum dilution, and evaluation in a bright fluorescence microscope, pathological values from a titer of 1:160 upwards, internal quality checks and unified interpretation. We aim to improve diagnosis and care of patients with autoimmune diseases as a central focus of the European Autoimmunity Standardization Initiative (EASI).

  13. The Use of Direct Immunofluorescence in Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia.

    PubMed

    Donati, Aline; Gupta, Aditya K; Jacob, Carolina; Cavelier-Balloy, Benedicte; Reygagne, Pascal

    2017-08-01

    Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) differs from lichen planopilaris (LPP) in many clinical aspects, but histology fails to distinguish between these entities. Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) is a diagnostic technique used for autoimmune diseases, including those affecting skin and hair. To characterize DIF patterns in patients with FFA. Data was collected retrospectively from FFA cases presenting to the Centre de Santé Sabouraud Hair Clinic in Paris from November 2013 to November 2014. Of 149 patients with FFA, 44 cases underwent DIF. Thirteen cases showed positive results with DIF. Patterns characteristic of LPP and lupus erythematosus were observed, with nearly half showing nonspecific staining. DIF patterns in patients with FFA were variable. This diagnostic technique should be used with caution in cases of cicatricial alopecia, particularly FFA.

  14. Direct immunofluorescence for immunobullous and other skin diseases.

    PubMed

    Ghanadan, Alireza; Saghazadeh, Amene; Daneshpazhooh, Maryam; Rezaei, Nima

    2015-05-01

    A swift glance at ample evidence currently available about the assay clearly illustrates that the development of direct immunofluorescence (DIF), in which direct fluorescent antibodies are utilized to identify the target antigen, has been of immense importance. The immunoreactant deposits have been delineated by the DIF assay in three main locations, including throughout the epidermis, at the dermoepidermal junction (also known as the basement membrane zone) and in and/or around blood vessel walls. DIF testing can be conducted on several specimen sources, which are categorized according to feasibility of collection into invasive (e.g., skin) and non-invasive (e.g., hair). This review was intended to indicate that inspection of immunoreactant deposits via DIF is highly instrumental in diagnosing and monitoring the immunobullous and other diseases of the skin.

  15. Oxygen intrusion into anoxic fjords leads to increased methylmercury availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veiteberg Braaten, Hans Fredrik; Pakhomova, Svetlana; Yakushev, Evgeniy

    2013-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) appears in the oxic surface waters of the oceans at low levels (sub ng/L). Because inorganic Hg can be methylated into the toxic and bioaccumulative specie methylmercury (MeHg) levels can be high at the top of the marine food chain. Even though marine sea food is considered the main risk driver for MeHg exposure to people most research up to date has focused on Hg methylation processes in freshwater systems. This study identifies the mechanisms driving formation of MeHg during oxygen depletion in fjords, and shows how MeHg is made available in the surface water during oxygen intrusion. Studies of the biogeochemical structure in the water column of the Norwegian fjord Hunnbunn were performed in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In autumn of 2011 mixing flushing events were observed and lead to both positive and negative effects on the ecosystem state in the fjord. The oxygenated water intrusions lead to a decrease of the deep layer concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia and phosphate. On the other hand the intrusion also raised the H2S boundary from 8 m to a shallower depth of just 4 m. Following the intrusion was also observed an increase at shallower depths of nutrients combined with a decrease of pH. Before flushing events were observed concentrations of total Hg (TotHg) increased from 1.3 - 1.7 ng/L in the surface layer of the fjord to concentrations ranging from 5.2 ng/L to 6.4 ng/L in the anoxic zone. MeHg increased regularly from 0.04 ng/L in the surface water to a maximum concentration of 5.2 ng/L in the deeper layers. This corresponds to an amount of TotHg present as MeHg ranging from 2.1 % to 99 %. The higher concentrations of MeHg in the deeper layer corresponds to an area where no oxygen is present and concentrations of H2S exceeds 500 µM, suggesting a production of MeHg in the anoxic area as a result of sulphate reducing bacteria activity. After flushing the concentrations of TotHg showed a similar pattern ranging from 0.6 ng/L in the

  16. Methylmercury-induced changes in gene transcription associated with neuroendocrine disruption in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richter, Catherine A.; Martyniuk, Christopher J.; Annis, Mandy L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Chasar, Lia C.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    Methyl-mercury (MeHg) is a potent neuroendocrine disruptor that impairs reproductive processes in fish. The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize transcriptomic changes induced by MeHg exposure in the female largemouth bass (LMB) hypothalamus under controlled laboratory conditions, (2) investigate the health and reproductive impacts of MeHg exposure on male and female largemouth bass (LMB) in the natural environment, and (3) identify MeHg-associated gene expression patterns in whole brain of female LMB from MeHg-contaminated habitats. The laboratory experiment was a single injection of 2.5 μg MeHg/g body weight for 96 h exposure. The field survey compared river systems in Florida, USA with comparably lower concentrations of MeHg (Wekiva, Santa Fe, and St. Johns Rivers) in fish and one river system with LMB that contained elevated concentrations of MeHg (St. Marys River). Microarray analysis was used to quantify transcriptomic responses to MeHg exposure. Although fish at the high-MeHg site did not show overt health or reproductive impairment, there were MeHg-responsive genes and pathways identified in the laboratory study that were also altered in fish from the high-MeHg site relative to fish at the low-MeHg sites. Gene network analysis suggested that MeHg regulated the expression targets of neuropeptide receptor and steroid signaling, as well as structural components of the cell. Disease-associated gene networks related to MeHg exposure, based upon expression data, included cerebellum ataxia, movement disorders, and hypercalcemia. Gene responses in the CNS are consistent with the documented neurotoxicological and neuroendocrine disrupting effects of MeHg in vertebrates.

  17. Human Body Burden and Dietary Methylmercury Intake: The Relationship in a Rice-Consuming Population.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Chan, Hing-Man; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Du, Buyun

    2015-08-18

    Rice can be the main route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for rice-consuming populations living in area where mercury (Hg) is mined. However, the current risk assessment paradigm for MeHg exposure is based on epidemiological data collected from fish-consuming populations. This study was designed to evaluate the relationship between dietary MeHg intake and human body burden in a rice -consuming population from the Wanshan Hg mining area in China. Hair MeHg concentrations averaged 2.07 ± 1.79 μg/g, and the average blood MeHg concentration across the study area ranged from 2.20 to 9.36 μg/L. MeHg constituted 52.8 ± 17.5% and 71.7 ± 18.2% of total Hg (THg) on average in blood and hair samples, respectively. Blood and hair MeHg concentrations, rather than THg, can be used as a proxy of human MeHg exposure. Hair MeHg levels showed no significant monthly variation; however, hair THg can be impacted by inorganic Hg exposure. The toxicokinetic model of MeHg exposure based on fish consumption underestimated the human hair MeHg levels, and this may be a consequence of the high hair-to-blood MeHg ratio (361 ± 105) in the studied rice-consuming population. The use of risk assessment models based on fish consumption may not be appropriate for inland mining areas where rice is the staple food.

  18. Methylmercury-induced changes in gene transcription associated with neuroendocrine disruption in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)

    PubMed Central

    Annis, Mandy L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Chasar, Lia C.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    Methyl-mercury (MeHg) is a potent neuroendocrine disruptor that impairs reproductive processes in fish. The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize transcriptomic changes induced by MeHg exposure in the female largemouth bass (LMB) hypothalamus under controlled laboratory conditions, (2) investigate the health and reproductive impacts of MeHg exposure on male and female largemouth bass (LMB) in the natural environment, and (3) identify MeHg-associated gene expression patterns in whole brain of female LMB from MeHg-contaminated habitats. The laboratory experiment was a single injection of 2.5 μg MeHg/g body weight for 96 h exposure. The field survey compared river systems in Florida, USA with comparably lower concentrations of MeHg (Wekiva, Santa Fe, and St. Johns Rivers) in fish and one river system with LMB that contained elevated concentrations of MeHg (St. Marys River). Microarray analysis was used to quantify transcriptomic responses to MeHg exposure. Although fish at the high-MeHg site did not show overt health or reproductive impairment, there were MeHg-responsive genes and pathways identified in the laboratory study that were also altered in fish from the high-MeHg site relative to fish at the low-MeHg sites. Gene network analysis suggested that MeHg regulated the expression targets of neuropeptide receptor and steroid signaling, as well as structural components of the cell. Disease-associated gene networks related to MeHg exposure, based upon expression data, included cerebellum ataxia, movement disorders, and hypercalcemia. Gene responses in the CNS are consistent with the documented neurotoxicological and neuroendocrine disrupting effects of MeHg in vertebrates. PMID:24694518

  19. [A method for combining Fluoro-Jade B staining and immunofluorescent staining].

    PubMed

    Zuo, Xia-Lin; Jin, Ji-Zi; Liu, Dan-Dan; Sun, Wei-Wen; Xu, En

    2016-05-01

    To explore a method for combining Fluoro-Jade B (FJB) staining with immunofluorescent staining in rats with focal cortical infarction. Permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO) was induced in rats by electrocoagulation. The rat models were randomized into two groups, and frozen sections of the brain tissues from each group were stained with FJB followed by immunofluorescent staining or in the reverse order. FJB staining followed by immunofluorescence staining clearly visualized both FJB-positive and immunofluorescence-positive cells in the frozen sections, but the staining protocol in the reverse sequence failed to clearly show the immunofluorescence-positive cells. FJB staining prior to immunofluorescence staining does not affect the staining effect of protein immunofluorescent staining and better visualizes the positive cells.

  20. Factors affecting the toxicity of methylmercury injected into eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2006-01-01

    We developed a standardized protocol for comparing the sensitivities of the embryos of different bird species to methylmercury when methylmercury was injected into their eggs. During the course of developing this protocol, we investigated the effects of various factors on the toxicity of the injected methylmercury. Most of our experiments were done with chicken (Gallus domesticus), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) eggs, all of which were purchased in large numbers from game farms. A smaller amount of work was done with double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs collected from the wild. Several solvents were tested, and corn oil at a rate of 1 :l/g egg contents was selected for the final standardized protocol because it had minimal toxicity to embryos and because methylmercury dissolved in corn oil yielded a dose?response curve in a range of egg concentrations that was similar to the range that causes reproductive impairment when the mother deposits methylmercury into her own eggs. The embryonic stage at which eggs were injected with corn oil altered mercury toxicity; at early stages, the corn oil itself was toxic. Therefore, in the final protocol we standardized the time of injection to occur when each species reached the morphologic equivalent of a 3-day-old chicken embryo. Although solvents can be injected directly into the albumen of an egg, high embryo mortality can occur in the solvent controls because of the formation of air bubbles in the albumen. Our final protocol used corn oil injections into the air cell, which are easier and safer than albumen injections. Most of the methylmercury, when dissolved in corn oil, injected into the air cell passes through the inner shell membrane and into the egg albumen. Most commercial incubators incubate eggs in trays with the air cell end of the egg pointing upward, but we discovered that mercury-induced mortality was too great when eggs were held in this orientation

  1. Factors affecting the toxicity of methylmercury injected into eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2006-01-01

    We developed a standardized protocol for comparing the sensitivities of the embryos of different bird species to methylmercury when methylmercury was injected into their eggs. During the course of developing this protocol, we investigated the effects of various factors on the toxicity of the injected methylmercury. Most of our experiments were done with chicken (Gallus domesticus), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) eggs, all of which were purchased in large numbers from game farms. A smaller amount of work was done with double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs collected from the wild. Several solvents were tested, and corn oil at a rate of 1 ??l/g egg contents was selected for the final standardized protocol because it had minimal toxicity to embryos and because methylmercury dissolved in corn oil yielded a dose-response curve in a range of egg concentrations that was similar to the range that causes reproductive impairment when the mother deposits methylmercury into her own eggs. The embryonic stage at which eggs were injected with corn oil altered mercury toxicity; at early stages, the corn oil itself was toxic. Therefore, in the final protocol we standardized the time of injection to occur when each species reached the morphologic equivalent of a 3-day-old chicken embryo. Although solvents can be injected directly into the albumen of an egg, high embryo mortality can occur in the solvent controls because of the formation of air bubbles in the albumen. Our final protocol used corn oil injections into the air cell, which are easier and safer than albumen injections. Most of the methylmercury, when dissolved in corn oil, injected into the air cell passes through the inner shell membrane and into the egg albumen. Most commercial incubators incubate eggs in trays with the air cell end of the egg pointing upward, but we discovered that mercury-induced mortality was too great when eggs were held in this

  2. Methylmercury dose estimation from umbilical cord concentrations in patients with Minamata disease.

    PubMed

    Akagi, H; Grandjean, P; Takizawa, Y; Weihe, P

    1998-05-01

    The methylmercury exposure of patients with congenital or infantile Minamata disease is known only from a small number of analyses of umbilical cords. Four laboratories in Japan have analyzed a total of 176 samples of umbilical cord tissue obtained from Minamata. The highest concentrations were seen in cord tissue from children born during 1950-1965, i.e., the peak period of acetaldehyde production in Minamata before installation of waste water treatment. Twenty-four samples from patients diagnosed with Minamata disease showed a median mercury concentration of 1.63 microg/g and differed significantly from levels seen in cord tissue from control children. However, children diagnosed with mental retardation had mercury concentrations in cord that were intermediate between the two other groups. Using regression coefficients obtained at a study conducted at the Faroe Islands, the median cord mercury concentration from the children with Minamata disease is estimated to correspond to about 216 microg/L cord blood and 41 microg/g in maternal hair. Based on correlations reported in the literature, the median daily mercury intake of the women whose children developed Minamata disease can then be estimated at about 225 microg. Although these children had fully developed Minamata disease, the estimates of median mercury levels are only four to five times higher than current mercury exposure limits.

  3. [Methylmercury causes diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex: how to diagnose Minamata disease].

    PubMed

    Ekino, Shigeo; Ninomiya, Tadashi; Imamura, Keiko; Susa, Mari

    2007-01-01

    The first acute case of methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning by the consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. It was officially recognized and called Minamata disease (MD) in 1956. There are still arguments about the definition of MD in terms of its associated clinical symptoms and lesions even 50 years after the initial recognition of MD. Studies on this MD epidemic are reviewed along with its historical background. Since MeHg dispersed from Minamata to the Shiranui Sea, residents living around the sea had been exposed to low-dose MeHg through fish consumption for about 20 years (at least from 1950 to 1968). These chronic MeHg poisoning patients complained of paresthesia at the distal parts of their extremities and around the lips even 30 years after the cessation of exposure to MeHg of anthropogenic origin. The persisting somatosensory disorders after the discontinuation of exposure to MeHg were induced by diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex, but not by damage to the peripheral nervous system, as previously believed. Based on these findings, symptoms and lesions in MeHg poisoning are reappraised.

  4. Photodemethylation of Methylmercury in Eastern Canadian Arctic Thaw Pond and Lake Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-05

    Permafrost thaw ponds of the warming Eastern Canadian Arctic are major landscape constituents and often display high levels of methylmercury (MeHg). We examined photodegradation potentials in high-dissolved organic matter (DOC) thaw ponds on Bylot Island (BYL) and a low-DOC oligotrophic lake on Cornwallis Island (Char Lake). In BYL, the ambient MeHg photodemethylation (PD) rate over 48 h of solar exposure was 6.1 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1), and the rate in MeHg amended samples was 9.3 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1). In contrast, in low-DOC Char Lake, PD was only observed in the first 12 h, which suggests that PD may not be an important loss process in polar desert lakes. Thioglycolic acid addition slowed PD, while glutathione and chlorides did not impact northern PD rates. During an ecosystem-wide experiment conducted in a covered BYL pond, there was neither net MeHg increase in the dark nor loss attributable to PD following re-exposure to sunlight. We propose that high-DOC Arctic thaw ponds are more prone to MeHg PD than nearby oligotrophic lakes, likely through photoproduction of reactive species rather than via thiol complexation. However, at the ecosystem level, these ponds, which are widespread through the Arctic, remain likely sources of MeHg for neighboring systems.

  5. Effect of Bacopa monniera extract on methylmercury-induced behavioral and histopathological changes in rats.

    PubMed

    Christinal, Johnson; Sumathi, Thangarajan

    2013-10-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a well-recognized environmental contaminant with established health risk to human beings by fish and marine mammal consumption. Bacopa monniera (BM) is a perennial herb and is used as a nerve tonic in Ayurveda, a traditional medicine system in India. This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of B. monniera extract (BME) on MeHg-induced toxicity in rat cerebellum. Male Wistar rats were administered with MeHg orally at a dose of 5 mg/kg b.w. for 21 days. Experimental rats were given MeHg and also administered with BME (40 mg/kg, orally) 1 h prior to the administration of MeHg for 21 days. After treatment period, MeHg exposure significantly decreases the body weight and also caused the following behavioral changes. Decrease tail flick response, longer immobility time, significant decrease in motor activity, and spatial short-term memory. BME pretreatment reverted the behavioral changes to normal. MeHg exposure decreases the DNA and RNA content in cerebellum and also caused some pathological changes in cerebellum. Pretreatment with BME restored all the changes to near normal. These findings suggest that BME has a potent efficacy to alleviate MeHg-induced toxicity in rat cerebellum.

  6. Spatial patterns of methylmercury risks to common loons and piscivorous fish in Canada.

    PubMed

    Depew, David C; Burgess, Neil M; Campbell, Linda M

    2013-11-19

    Deposition of inorganic mercury (Hg) from the atmosphere remains the principle source of Hg contamination for most aquatic ecosystems. Inorganic Hg is readily converted to toxic methylmercury (MeHg) that bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs and may pose a risk to piscivorous fish and wildlife. We conducted a screening-level risk assessment to evaluate the extent of risk to top aquatic piscivores: the common loon (Gavia immer), walleye (Sander vitreus), and northern pike (Esox lucius). Risk quotients (RQs) were calculated on the basis of a dietary Hg exposure indicator (HgPREY) modeled from over 230,000 observations of fish Hg concentrations at over 1900 locations across Canada and dietary Hg exposure screening benchmarks derived specifically for this assessment. HgPREY exceeded benchmark thresholds related to impaired productivity and behavior in adult loons at 10% and 36% of sites, respectively, and exceeded benchmark thresholds for impaired reproduction and health in fishes at 82% and 73% of sites, respectively. The ecozones of southeastern Canada characterized by extensive forest cover, elevated Hg deposition, and poorly buffered soils had the greatest proportion of RQs > 1.0. Results of this assessment suggest that common loons and piscivorous fishes would likely benefit from reductions in Hg deposition, especially in southeastern Canada.

  7. Risk assessment of methylmercury in five European countries considering the national seafood consumption patterns.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Silke; Sioen, Isabelle; Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Domingo, José L; Sloth, Jens J; Marques, António; Verbeke, Wim

    2017-06-01

    Although seafood is a nutritious protein source, due to marine environmental pollution, seafood may also be a source of contaminants. The results obtained within the FP7-ECsafeSEAFOOD-project show that among the range of studied environmental contaminants certainly methylmercury (MeHg) requires deeper investigation. This paper presents the results of a probabilistic risk assessment for MeHg based on: (1) primary concentration data, as well as secondary data from published papers, and (2) primary species-specific consumption data collected in five European countries (Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain). The results indicated that in the southern European countries, larger subgroups of the population (up to 11% in Portugal) are potentially at risk for a MeHg exposure above the Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) value, while this risk is much lower in Ireland and Belgium. This research confirms the substantial contribution of tuna to MeHg exposure in each of the countries. Also hake, cod, sea bream, sea bass and octopus are identified as important contributors. From this study, it is concluded that a country-specific seafood consumption advice is needed. Policy makers may adopt the results of this study in order to develop consumer advices that optimise health benefits versus potential health risks by providing species-specific information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Methylmercury Bioaccumulation in Rice and Wetland Biota: employing integrated indices of processes that drive methylmercury risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eagles-Smith, C.; Ackerman, J.; Windham-Myers, L.; Fleck, J.

    2013-12-01

    Wetlands often are associated with elevated methylmercury (MeHg) production and food web bioaccumulation, making them potentially important sources of Hg to surrounding waters and to wetland-dependent fish and wildlife. However, the cycling of MeHg through wetlands can vary markedly with wetland type. Agricultural wetlands such as rice fields can exhibit particularly pronounced MeHg concentrations and bioaccumulation because their biogeochemical, hydrological, and ecological characteristics facilitate the conversion of inorganic mercury (Hg) to MeHg. Rice fields are characterized by a series of seasonal extreme wetting and drying cycles, sulfate-containing fertilizers, and high levels of labile organic carbon, all of which are key processes in the Hg cycle. Rice fields comprise approximately 20% of freshwater habitats and 11% of cultivated land area globally, providing critical wildlife habitat while offering substantial economic, human health, and ecosystem benefits. Thus, there is strong impetus to better understand the drivers of Hg cycling in rice fields and to develop useful management approaches for minimizing Hg risk associated with rice agriculture without compromising rice production. We examined the role of rice wetlands on MeHg bioaccumulation through foodwebs by employing biosentinel caged fish as integrators of MeHg cycling processes. With experimental field studies in California's Central Valley, we placed biosentinel fishes into nine rice wetlands that were subjected to three different harvest strategies, and into nine managed wetlands that encompassed three different hydrological regimes. We simultaneously measured a suite of biogeochemical processes in surface water, sediment, and pore water in order to link the response in fish Hg bioaccumulation with within-field processes that regulate MeHg cycling. Our preliminary results indicate that fish Hg concentrations were 1.6 times higher in rice wetlands than in managed wetlands. Additionally, fish Hg

  9. The US EPA reference dose for methylmercury: sources of uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Rice, Deborah C

    2004-07-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) derived a reference dose for methylmercury in 2001, based on an extensive analysis by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. The NRC performed benchmark dose analysis on a number of endpoints from three longitudinal prospective studies: the Seychelles Islands, the Faroe Islands, and the New Zealand studies. Adverse effects were reported in the latter two studies, but not in the Seychelles study. The NRC also performed an integrative analysis of all three studies. Dose conversion from cord blood or maternal hair mercury concentration was performed by EPA using a one-compartment pharmacokinetic model. A total uncertainty factor of 10 was applied for intrahuman pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variability. There are numerous decisions made by the NRC/EPA that could greatly affect the value of the reference dose (RfD). Some of these include the choice of a linear model for the relationship between mercury body burden and neuropsychological performance, the choice of values of P0 and the benchmark response, the use of the "critical study/critical endpoint" approach in the interpretation of the maternal body burden that corresponds to the RfD, the use of central tendencies in a one-compartment pharmacokinetic model rather than the inclusion of the distributions of variables for the population of reproductive-age women, the assumption of unity for the ratio of fetal cord blood to maternal blood methylmercury concentrations, the choice of a total of 10 as an uncertainty factor, and the lack of dose-response analysis for other health effects such as cardiovascular disease. In addition, it may be argued that derivation of a RfD for methylmercury is inappropriate, given that there does not appear to be a threshold for adverse neuropsychological effects based on available data.

  10. Brain lesions in mallard ducklings from parents fed methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Locke, L.N.

    1976-01-01

    Methylmercury dicyandiamide was fed to mallard ducks at 3 ppm mercury. Mercury accumulated in the eggs to an average of 7.18 and 5.46 ppm on a wet-weight basis in 2 successive years. Mercury in the eggs is believed to have caused brain lesions in the hatched ducklings. Lesions included demyelination, neuron shrink-age, necrosis, and hemorrhage in the meninges overlying the cerebellum. Brains of dead ducklings contained an average of 6.17 and 5.19 ppm mercury on a wet-weight basis in 2 successive years.

  11. Methylmercury induces the expression of TNF-α selectively in the brain of mice

    PubMed Central

    Iwai-Shimada, Miyuki; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Kim, Min-Seok; Fujimura, Masatake; Ito, Hitoyasu; Toyama, Takashi; Naganuma, Akira; Hwang, Gi-Wook

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury selectively damages the central nervous system (CNS). The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily includes representative cytokines that participate in the inflammatory response as well as cell survival, and apoptosis. In this study, we found that administration of methylmercury selectively induced TNF-α expression in the brain of mice. Although the accumulated mercury concentration in the liver and kidneys was greater than in the brain, TNF-α expression was induced to a greater extent in brain. Thus, it is possible that there may exist a selective mechanism by which methylmercury induces TNF-α expression in the brain. We also found that TNF-α expression was induced by methylmercury in C17.2 cells (mouse neural stem cells) and NF-κB may participate as a transcription factor in that induction. Further, we showed that the addition of TNF-α antagonist (WP9QY) reduced the toxicity of methylmercury to C17.2 cells. In contrast, the addition of recombinant TNF-α to the culture medium decreased the cell viability. We suggest that TNF-α may play a part in the selective damage of the CNS by methylmercury. Furthermore, our results indicate that the higher TNF-α expression induced by methylmercury maybe the cause of cell death, as TNF-α binds to its receptor after being released extracellularly. PMID:27910896

  12. Voltammetric studies on the electrochemical determination of methylmercury in chloride medium at carbon microelectrodes.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, F; Neto, M M M; Rocha, M M; Fonseca, I T E

    2006-10-10

    Electroanalytical techniques have been used to determine methylmercury at low levels in environmental matrices. The electrochemical behaviour of methylmercury at carbon microelectrodes in a hydrochloric acid medium using cyclic, square wave and fast-scan linear-sweep voltammetric techniques has been investigated. The analytical utility of the methylmercury reoxidation peak has been explored, but the recorded peak currents were found to be poorly reproducible. This is ascribed to two factors: the adsorption of insoluble chloromercury compounds on the electrode surface, which appears to be an important contribution to hinder the voltammetric signal of methylmercury; and the competition between the reoxidation of the methylmercury radical and its dimerization reaction, which limits the reproducibility of the methylmercury peak. These problems were successfully overcome by adopting the appropriate experimental conditions. Fast-scan rates were employed and an efficient electrochemical regeneration procedure of the electrode surface was achieved, under potentiostatic conditions in a mercury-free solution containing potassium thiocyanate--a strong complexing agent. The influence of chloride ion concentration was analysed. Interference by metals, such as lead and cadmium, was considered. Calibration plots were obtained in the micromolar and submicromolar concentration ranges, allowing the electrochemical determination of methylmercury in trace amounts. An estuarine water sample was analysed using the new method with a glassy carbon microelectrode.

  13. [Microcosm Simulation Study and Methylmercury Forming Mechanism at Landscape Water of City].

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiao-hong; Si, You-bin; Guo, Zi-wei; Du, Cheng-zhu; Zhu, Cong-cong

    2016-04-15

    Mercury is harmful to the environment, which has gradually become one of the research hotspots. Sediments, as a main repository of pollutants, have an important impact on water quality and the internal organisms, which deserves our research. In this paper, we focused on Hefei landscape water sediment and tried to investigate the status of inorganic mercury and methylmercury pollutions in the sediment. To study the conversion process from inorganic mercury to methylmercury and their enrichment levels and mechanism, we established the ecological chain of "sediment-water-grass-fish" through analog microcosm examination. The results were as follows: from ten water and sediment samples in Hefei landscape water sediment, we found that the contents of inorganic mercury and methylmercury ranged 11.74-13.12 µg · kg⁻¹ and 0.37-2.23 µg · kg⁻¹, respectively. The microcosm examination showed that: with increasing culture time, inorganic mercury in sediments gradually decreased. There was a phenomenon that the content of methylmercury increased at first and then decreased to reach the balance later. Both the inorganic mercury and methylmercury in water change showed an increasing trend. The enrichment contents of inorganic mercury in Egeria densa Planch, and golden mandarin fish (Siniperca scherzeri Steindachner) were low while their enrichment of methylmercury could he great. In addition, we found that both the bioaccumulation ability and the enrichment coefficient of methylmercury in the body of golden mandarin fish were the maximum during the same period.

  14. Inhibition of the thioredoxin system in the brain and liver of zebra-seabreams exposed to waterborne methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Branco, Vasco; Canario, Joao; Holmgren, Arne; Carvalho, Cristina

    2011-03-01

    Mercury compounds were recently found to interact in vitro with the thioredoxin system, inhibiting both Thioredoxin (Trx) and Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR). In order to evaluate if Trx and TrxR are affected in vivo by methylmercury (MeHg), we exposed juvenile zebra-seabreams to different concentrations of this toxicant in water for 28 days followed by a 14-day depuration period. Methylmercury accumulated to a larger extent in the kidney and liver of fishes, but decreased significantly during the depuration. During the exposure, MeHg percentage in the liver reached levels above 90% of total mercury (HgT) decreasing to 60% of HgT by the end of the depuration period. In the kidney, MeHg accounted for 50-70% of HgT. In the brain and muscle, mercury accumulated throughout the exposure with all mercury being MeHg. The total mercury kept increasing in these organs during the depuration period. However, in the brain, this increase in HgT was accompanied by a decrease in the MeHg percentage ({approx} 10%). In the liver, both Trx and TrxR activities were significantly reduced (TrxR - 40%; Trx - 70%) by the end of the exposure, but recovered to control levels (100%) during the depuration. In the brain, both enzymes where inhibited during the depuration period (TrxR - 75%; Trx - 70%) when some production of inorganic mercury was detected. Activity of glutathione reductase showed increased levels when TrxR activity was low, suggesting complementarity between both systems. These results indicate that in vivo the thioredoxin system is a toxicological target for MeHg with TrxR being particularly affected.

  15. Methylmercury is the predominant form of mercury in bird eggs: a synthesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.

    2013-01-01

    Bird eggs are commonly used in mercury monitoring programs to assess methylmercury contamination and toxicity to birds. However, only 6% of >200 studies investigating mercury in bird eggs have actually measured methylmercury concentrations in eggs. Instead, studies typically measure total mercury in eggs (both organic and inorganic forms of mercury), with the explicit assumption that total mercury concentrations in eggs are a reliable proxy for methylmercury concentrations in eggs. This assumption is rarely tested, but has important implications for assessing risk of mercury to birds. We conducted a detailed assessment of this assumption by (1) collecting original data to examine the relationship between total and methylmercury in eggs of two species, and (2) reviewing the published literature on mercury concentrations in bird eggs to examine whether the percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form differed among species. Within American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), methylmercury concentrations were highly correlated (R2 = 0.99) with total mercury concentrations in individual eggs (range: 0.03–7.33 μg/g fww), and the regression slope (log scale) was not different from one (m = 0.992). The mean percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form in eggs was 97% for American avocets (n = 30 eggs), 96% for Forster’s terns (n = 30 eggs), and 96% among all 22 species of birds (n = 30 estimates of species means). The percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form ranged from 63% to 116% among individual eggs and 82% to 111% among species means, but this variation was not related to total mercury concentrations in eggs, foraging guild, nor to a species life history strategy as characterized along the precocial to altricial spectrum. Our results support the use of total mercury concentrations to estimate methylmercury concentrations in bird eggs.

  16. Methylmercury is the predominant form of mercury in bird eggs: a synthesis.

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Herzog, Mark P; Schwarzbach, Steven E

    2013-02-19

    Bird eggs are commonly used in mercury monitoring programs to assess methylmercury contamination and toxicity to birds. However, only 6% of >200 studies investigating mercury in bird eggs have actually measured methylmercury concentrations in eggs. Instead, studies typically measure total mercury in eggs (both organic and inorganic forms of mercury), with the explicit assumption that total mercury concentrations in eggs are a reliable proxy for methylmercury concentrations in eggs. This assumption is rarely tested, but has important implications for assessing risk of mercury to birds. We conducted a detailed assessment of this assumption by (1) collecting original data to examine the relationship between total and methylmercury in eggs of two species, and (2) reviewing the published literature on mercury concentrations in bird eggs to examine whether the percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form differed among species. Within American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) and Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), methylmercury concentrations were highly correlated (R(2) = 0.99) with total mercury concentrations in individual eggs (range: 0.03-7.33 μg/g fww), and the regression slope (log scale) was not different from one (m = 0.992). The mean percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form in eggs was 97% for American avocets (n = 30 eggs), 96% for Forster's terns (n = 30 eggs), and 96% among all 22 species of birds (n = 30 estimates of species means). The percentage of total mercury in the methylmercury form ranged from 63% to 116% among individual eggs and 82% to 111% among species means, but this variation was not related to total mercury concentrations in eggs, foraging guild, nor to a species life history strategy as characterized along the precocial to altricial spectrum. Our results support the use of total mercury concentrations to estimate methylmercury concentrations in bird eggs.

  17. Paraffin immunofluorescence in the renal pathology laboratory: more than a salvage technique.

    PubMed

    Messias, Nidia C; Walker, Patrick D; Larsen, Christopher P

    2015-06-01

    Immunofluorescence studies on paraffin-embedded tissue after Pronase digestion (paraffin immunofluorescence) is used as a salvage technique in renal pathology, when frozen tissue for routine immunofluorescence is inadequate. We have recently found that it is also useful in rare cases in which the immune deposits are 'masked' on routine immunofluorescence, giving false-negative staining by routine immunofluorescence and positive staining by paraffin immunofluorescence. This study aims to evaluate the role of paraffin immunofluorescence in clinical practice with emphasis on its utility to avoid misdiagnosis of cases with masked immune complex deposits. Paraffin immunofluorescence was used in 304 (6.1%) of 4969 native biopsies reviewed from our files. In 207 (68.1%) cases, paraffin immunofluorescence was used as a salvage technique. It was necessary for diagnosis in 24 (11.6%) and had a significant contribution in 63 (30.4%) of these cases. Paraffin immunofluorescence was used to evaluate masked deposits in 97 (31.9%) cases. In 61 (62.9%) of these cases it was used to evaluate masked immune complex glomerular deposits, and in 36 cases (37.1%) it was used to evaluate masked paraproteins. Of the cases where immune complex deposits were sought, paraffin immunofluorescence was necessary for diagnosis in 16 (26.2%) cases and had a significant contribution in 4 (6.6%) cases. Fourteen of the 20 cases with masked deposits had C3 dominant stain by routine immunofluorescence, which could have been misdiagnosed as C3 glomerulopathy. Overall, paraffin immunofluorescence was necessary or had a significant contribution to diagnosis in >1/3 of the cases and is a valuable technique in renal pathology.

  18. Fate and developmental effects of dietary uptake of methylmercury in Silurana tropicalis tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Melissa A; Croteau, Maxine C; Millar, Catherine S; Trudeau, Vance L; Lean, David R S

    2011-01-01

    Adverse effects of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure during amphibian metamorphosis remain to be fully characterized. Most previous investigations determined effects of short-term exposure to elevated dose rates, without information on mercury (Hg) depuration and degradation pathways. Since metamorphosis is primarily controlled by thyroid hormones (TH), alterations in this process suggest a disruption of the TH endocrine axis. The aim of this research was to (1) characterize patterns of MeHg accumulation and depuration in tadpoles and (2) examine effects of MeHg accumulation on metamorphosis and the TH axis. Silurana tropicalis tadpoles were exposed to environmental levels of dietary MeHg until metamorphic climax. Whole-body MeHg and total Hg (THg) levels were measured, as well as the number of metamorphs, rate of metamorphosis, body size, and whole-body triiodothyronine (T3) levels at metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to a higher level of MeHg exhibited increased mortality and size, and reduced metamorphosis. At lower levels of MeHg, body burdens increased rapidly and eventually reached a plateau, whereas no plateau was reached at a higher level of MeHg exposure. T3 levels were not affected. Data indicate that at low and medium levels of exposure, depuration of MeHg may prevent toxicity in tadpoles. However, depuration mechanisms may be insufficient at high doses, producing disruption of metamorphosis and death. Although there were no marked effects of MeHg on whole-body T3 levels, further investigation of other components of the TH axis is warranted.

  19. Methylmercury decreases NGF-induced TrkA autophosphorylation and neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Parran, Damani K; Barone, Stanley; Mundy, William R

    2003-03-14

    Neurotrophin signaling through Trk receptors is important for differentiation and survival in the developing nervous system. The present study examined the effects of CH(3)Hg on (125)I-nerve growth factor (NGF) binding to the TrkA receptor, NGF-induced activation of the TrkA receptor, and neurite outgrowth in an in vitro model of differentiation using PC12 cells. Whole-cell binding assays using (125)I-NGF revealed a single binding site with a K(d) of approximately 1 nM. Methylmercury (CH(3)Hg) at 30 nM (EC(50) for neurite outgrowth inhibition) did not affect NGF binding to TrkA. TrkA autophosphorylation was measured by immunoblotting with a phospho-specific antibody. TrkA autophosphorylation peaked between 2.5 and 5 min of exposure and then decreased but was still detectable at 60 min. Concurrent exposure to CH(3)Hg and NGF for 2.5 min resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in TrkA autophosphorylation, which was significant at 100 nM CH(3)Hg. To determine whether the observed inhibition of TrkA was sufficient to alter cell differentiation, NGF-stimulated neurite outgrowth was examined in PC12 cells after exposure to 30 nM CH(3)Hg, a concentration that inhibited TrkA autophosphorylation by approximately 50%. For comparison, a separate group of PC12 cells were exposed to a concentration of the selective Trk inhibitor K252a (30 nM), which had been shown to produce significant inhibition of TrkA autophosphorylation. Twenty-four hour exposure to either CH(3)Hg or K252a reduced neurite outgrowth to a similar degree. Our results suggest that CH(3)Hg may inhibit differentiation of PC12 cells by interfering with NGF-stimulated TrkA autophosphorylation.

  20. Mercury accumulation in mallards fed methylmercury with or without added DDE. [Anas platyrhynchos

    SciTech Connect

    Heinz, G.H.

    1987-04-01

    Adult female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed a control diet or diets containing 1 ppm methylmercury chloride, 5 ppm methylmercurychloride, 1 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE, or 5 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE. The presence of DDE in the diet did not affect retention of mercury in breast muscle or eggs. There was a good correlation between the levels of mercury in the breast muscle of females and their eggs, and this correlation was unaffected by the presence of DDE in the diet. This correlation suggests that one could predict mercury levels in female mallards in the field when only eggs have been collected and vice versa.

  1. Differences in mortality among bobwhite fed methylmercury chloride dissolved in various carriers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spann, J.W.; Heinz, G.H.; Camardese, M.B.; Hill, E.F.; Moore, John F.; Murray, H.C.

    1986-01-01

    Twelve-day-old bobwhite chicks were fed a diet containing 0, 5.4 or 20 ppm methylmercury chloride. The methylmercury chloride was added to the diet either in a dry, pulverized form or dissolved in acetone, propylene glycol or corn oil. Mortality was measured for 6 weeks, and samples of liver were saved for mercury analysis. Mortality was significantly lower in birds fed 20 ppm methylmercury chloride when acetone was the solvent. The reduced mortality could not be explained by effects of acetone on dietary level of mercury or on uptake of mercury into the body.

  2. Dietary selenomethionine influences the accumulation and depuration of dietary methylmercury in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Amlund, Heidi; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine; Boyle, David; Ellingsen, Ståle

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a toxicant of concern for aquatic food chains. In the present study, the assimilation and depuration of dietary MeHg and the influence of dietary selenium on MeHg toxicokinetics was characterised in zebrafish (Danio rerio). In a triplicate tank experimental design (n=3 tanks per treatment group), adult zebrafish were exposed to dietary MeHg (as methylmercury-cysteine) at 5 and 10 μg/g and with or without selenium (as selenomethionine) supplemented to the diets at a concentration of 5 μg/g for 8 weeks followed by a 4-week depuration period. Methylmercury accumulated in muscle, liver and brain of zebrafish; with higher mercury concentrations in liver and brain than in muscle following 8 weeks of exposure. In muscle, the mercury concentrations were 3.4±0.2 and 6.4±0.1 μg/g ww (n=3) in zebrafish fed the 5 and 10 μg Hg/g diets, respectively. During the depuration period, mercury concentrations were significantly reduced in muscle in both the 5 and 10 μg Hg/g diet groups with a greater reduction in the high dose group. After depuration, the mercury concentrations were 2.4±0.1 and 4.0±0.3 μg/g ww (n=3) for zebrafish fed the 5 and 10 μg Hg/g diets, respectively. Data also indicated that supplemented dietary selenium reduced accumulation of MeHg and enhanced the elimination of MeHg. Lower levels of mercury were found in muscle of zebrafish fed MeHg and SeMet compared with fish fed only MeHg after 8 weeks exposure; the mercury concentrations in muscle were 5.8±0.2 and 6.4±0.1 μg/g ww (n=3) for zebrafish fed the 10 μg Hg/g+5 μg Se/g diet and the 10 μg Hg/g diet, respectively. Furthermore, the elimination of MeHg from muscle during the 4-week depuration period was significantly greater in the fish fed the diet containing SeMet compared to a control diet; the mercury concentrations were 3.3±0.1 and 4.0±0.3 μg/g ww (n=3) for zebrafish fed the 5 μg Se/g and the control diets, respectively. In summary, dietary SeMet reduces the

  3. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  4. IFDOTMETER: A New Software Application for Automated Immunofluorescence Analysis.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Arribas, Mario; Pizarro-Estrella, Elisa; Gómez-Sánchez, Rubén; Yakhine-Diop, S M S; Gragera-Hidalgo, Antonio; Cristo, Alejandro; Bravo-San Pedro, Jose M; González-Polo, Rosa A; Fuentes, José M

    2016-04-01

    Most laboratories interested in autophagy use different imaging software for managing and analyzing heterogeneous parameters in immunofluorescence experiments (e.g., LC3-puncta quantification and determination of the number and size of lysosomes). One solution would be software that works on a user's laptop or workstation that can access all image settings and provide quick and easy-to-use analysis of data. Thus, we have designed and implemented an application called IFDOTMETER, which can run on all major operating systems because it has been programmed using JAVA (Sun Microsystems). Briefly, IFDOTMETER software has been created to quantify a variety of biological hallmarks, including mitochondrial morphology and nuclear condensation. The program interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it useful for users not familiar with computer handling. By setting previously defined parameters, the software can automatically analyze a large number of images without the supervision of the researcher. Once analysis is complete, the results are stored in a spreadsheet. Using software for high-throughput cell image analysis offers researchers the possibility of performing comprehensive and precise analysis of a high number of images in an automated manner, making this routine task easier.

  5. [Standardized indirect immunofluorescence. Differentiation of mitochondrial, microsomal and ribosomal antibodies].

    PubMed

    Storch, W

    1977-02-15

    By an extensive standardisation of the indirect immunofluorescence for the demonstration espeially of mitochondrial antibodies we succeeded in recognizing atypical fluorescence patterns and in describing their exact localisation. On the basis of absorption studies with mitochondrias, microsomas and ribosomas by comparative observation of sections of liver, stomach and kidneys of rats the preferred sort of reaction and the intensity of fluorescence of antibodies against mitochondria, microsomas and ribosomas were empirically established. Antimitochondrial antibodies react above all with the parietal cells of the stomach and the distal epithelia of the tubulus of the kidney. Antibodies against microsomas of liver and kidney are characterized by a brilliant diffuse cytoplasmatic fluorescence of the hepatocytes and by a comparatively weaker fluorescence of exclusively proximal tubuli of the kidneys of rats. Antibodies against ribosomas lead to a fluorescence especially of the main cells of the stomach. The differentiation of several cytoplasmatic antibodies is among others of interest for the diagnosis of certain autoimmune diseases. Although there are numerous still unclear findings and "overlap" phenomena the existence of high titre antibodies against mitochondrias speaks for a primarily biliary cirrhosis or a pseudo-LE-syndrome, the existence of antibodies against microsomas of kidney and liver of rats for a special form of a chronically active hepatitis and the existence of the very rare antibodies against ribosomas for an active lupus erythematodes disseminatus.

  6. Immunofluorescence staining with frozen mouse or chick embryonic tissue sections.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Matise, Michael P

    2013-01-01

    Immunofluorescence (IF), a form of immunohistochemistry (IHC) with specific applications, is commonly used for both basic research and clinical studies, including diagnostics, and involves visualizing the cellular distribution of target molecules (e.g., proteins, DNA, and small molecules) using a microscope capable of exciting and detecting fluorochrome compounds that emit light at specific, largely nonoverlapping wavelengths. The procedure for carrying out IF varies according to the tissue type and methods for processing and preparing tissue (e.g., fixative used to preserve tissue morphology and antigenicity). The protocol presented here provides a general guideline for multichannel IF staining using frozen embryonic mouse or chicken tissue sectioned on a cryostat. In general, the procedure involves the following: (1) fixing freshly dissected tissues in a 4 % paraformaldehyde solution buffered in the physiological pH range, (2) cryopreservation of tissue in a 30 % sucrose solution, (3) embedding and sectioning tissue in Optimal Cutting Temperature (OCT) matrix compound, (4) direct or indirect detection of the target antigen/s using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies.

  7. The protein transportation pathway from Golgi to vacuoles via endosomes plays a role in enhancement of methylmercury toxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Gi-Wook; Murai, Yasutaka; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Naganuma, Akira

    2014-07-01

    Methylmercury causes serious damage to the central nervous system, but the molecular mechanisms of methylmercury toxicity are only marginally understood. In this study, we used a gene-deletion mutant library of budding yeast to conduct genome-wide screening for gene knockouts affecting the sensitivity of methylmercury toxicity. We successfully identified 31 genes whose deletions confer resistance to methylmercury in yeast, and 18 genes whose deletions confer hypersensitivity to methylmercury. Yeast genes whose deletions conferred resistance to methylmercury included many gene encoding factors involved in protein transport to vacuoles. Detailed examination of the relationship between the factors involved in this transport system and methylmercury toxicity revealed that mutants with loss of the factors involved in the transportation pathway from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to the endosome, protein uptake into the endosome, and endosome-vacuole fusion showed higher methylmercury resistance than did wild-type yeast. The results of our genetic engineering study suggest that this vesicle transport system (proteins moving from the TGN to vacuole via endosome) is responsible for enhancing methylmercury toxicity due to the interrelationship between the pathways. There is a possibility that there may be proteins in the cell that enhance methylmercury toxicity through the protein transport system.

  8. Methylmercury: Reproductive and behavioral effects on three generations of mallard ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.

    1979-01-01

    Three generations of mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed either a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury in the form of methylmercury. The levels of mercury in adult tissues and eggs remained about the same over 3 generations. The methylmercury diet had no effect on adult weights or weight changes during the reproductive season. Females fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury laid a greater percentage of their eggs outside their nestboxes than did controls, and also laid fewer eggs and produced fewer ducklings. Methylmercury in the diet appeared to result in a small amount of eggshell thinning. Ducklings from parents fed methylmercury were less responsive than, controls to tape-recorded maternal calls, but were hyper-responsive to a frightening stimulus in avoidance tests; there were no significant differences in locomotor activity in an open-field test.

  9. Floodplain methylmercury biomagnification factor higher than that of the contiguous river (South River, Virginia USA).

    PubMed

    Newman, Michael C; Xu, Xiaoyu; Condon, Anne; Liang, Lian

    2011-10-01

    Mercury biomagnification on the South River floodplain (Virginia, USA) was modeled at two locations along a river reach previously modeled for methylmercury movement through the aquatic trophic web. This provided an opportunity to compare biomagnification in adjoining trophic webs. Like the aquatic modeling results, methylmercury-based models provided better prediction than those for total mercury. Total mercury Food Web Magnification Factors (FWMF, fold per trophic level) for the two locations were 4.9 and 9.5. Methylmercury FWMF for the floodplain locations were higher (9.3 and 25.1) than that of the adjacent river (4.6). Previous speculation was not resolved regarding whether the high mercury concentrations observed in floodplain birds was materially influenced by river prey consumption by riparian spiders and subsequent spider movement into the trophic web of the adjacent floodplains. Results were consistent with a gradual methylmercury concentration increase from contaminated floodplain soil, to arthropod prey, and finally, to avian predators.

  10. Environmental Origins of Methylmercury Accumulated in Subarctic Estuarine Fish Indicated by Mercury Stable Isotopes.

    PubMed

    Li, Miling; Schartup, Amina T; Valberg, Amelia P; Ewald, Jessica D; Krabbenhoft, David P; Yin, Runsheng; Balcom, Prentiss H; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2016-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) exposure can cause adverse reproductive and neurodevelopmental health effects. Estuarine fish may be exposed to MeHg produced in rivers and their watersheds, benthic sediment, and the marine water column, but the relative importance of each source is poorly understood. We measured stable isotopes of mercury (δ(202)Hg, Δ(199)Hg, and Δ(201)Hg), carbon (δ(13)C), and nitrogen (δ(15)N) in fish with contrasting habitats from a large subarctic coastal ecosystem to better understand MeHg exposure sources. We identify two distinct food chains exposed to predominantly freshwater and marine MeHg sources but do not find evidence for a benthic marine MeHg signature. This is consistent with our previous research showing benthic sediment is a net sink for MeHg in the estuary. Marine fish display lower and less variable Δ(199)Hg values (0.78‰ to 1.77‰) than freshwater fish (0.72‰ to 3.14‰) and higher δ(202)Hg values (marine: 0.1‰ to 0.57‰; freshwater: -0.76‰ to 0.15‰). We observe a shift in the Hg isotopic composition of juvenile and adult rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) when they transition between the freshwater and marine environment as their dominant foraging territory. The Hg isotopic composition of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) indicates they receive most of their MeHg from the marine environment despite a similar or longer duration spent in freshwater regions. We conclude that stable Hg isotopes effectively track fish MeHg exposure sources across different ontogenic stages.

  11. A systems approach to risk assessment: Application to methylmercury from coal combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Saroff, L.; Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.

    1995-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) asked Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to perform a probabilistic assessment of the health risks associated with Hg from coal-fired power plants. The objective of the assessment is to estimate the incremental health risks that might ensue from a typical coal-fired power plant, together with their uncertainties, taking into account existing background levels and the actual adverse health effects that have previously been associated with exposure to various Hg species. Mercury has a long history of association with adverse neurological effects at high exposure levels. The most important current exposure pathway has been found to be ingestion of fish containing methylmercury (MeHg), which is the end product of bioconcentration moving up the aquatic food chain. Mercury can enter natural waters from either industrial discharges or from atmospheric deposition of various inorganic Ho. compounds. Because of the worldwide background and the existence of local emissions sources, Hg deposition must be considered on local, regional and global scales. The regulatory technical challenge presented by methy1mercury is to protect public health without foreclosing an appreciable a portion of the food supply or impacting on the lifestyles of North American native populations. This paper presents an abbreviated account of the DOE/BNL risk assessment, as viewed from a systems perspective. We review the structure of the model, the sources of data used, the assumptions that were made, and the interpretation of the findings. Since publication of the first risk assessment report, we have refined our estimates of local atmospheric dispersion and deposition and {open_quotes}calibrated{close_quotes} the pharmacokinetic portion of the model against observations.

  12. Cancer mortality in Minamata disease patients exposed to methylmercury through fish diet.

    PubMed

    Kinjo, Y; Akiba, S; Yamaguchi, N; Mizuno, S; Watanabe, S; Wakamiya, J; Futatsuka, M; Kato, H

    1996-09-01

    We report here a historical cohort study on cancer mortality among Minamata disease (MD) patients (n = 1,351) in Kagoshima and Kumamoto Prefectures of Japan. Taking into account their living area, sex, age and fish eating habits, the residents (n = 5,667; 40 years of age or over at 1966) living in coastal areas of Kagoshima, who consumed fish daily, were selected as a reference group from the six-prefecture cohort study conducted by Hirayama et al. The observation periods of the MD patients and of the reference group were from 1973 to 1984 and from 1970 to 1981, respectively. Survival analysis using the Poisson regression model was applied for comparison of mortality between the MD patients and the reference group. No excess of relative risk (RR) adjusted for attained age, sex and follow-up period was observed for mortality from all causes, all cancers, and non-cancers combined. Analysis of site-specific cancers showed a statistically significant decrease in mortality from stomach cancer among MD patients (RR, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-0.94). In addition, a statistically significant eight-fold excess risk, based on 5 observed deaths, was noted for mortality from leukemia (RR, 8.35; 95 % confidence interval 1.61-43.3). It is, however, unlikely for these observed risks to be derived from methylmercury exposure only. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms involved in the observed risks among MD patients.

  13. Effects of injected methylmercury on the hatching of common loon (Gavia immer) eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenow, Kevin P.; Meyer, Michael W.; Rossmann, Ronald; Gendron-Fitzpatrick, Annette; Gray, Brian R.

    2011-01-01

    To determine the level of in ovo methylmercury (MeHg) exposure that results in detrimental effects on fitness and survival of loon embryos and hatched chicks, we conducted a field study in which we injected eggs with various doses of MeHg on day 4 of incubation. Eggs were collected following about 23 days of natural incubation and artificially incubated to observe hatching. Reduced embryo survival was evident in eggs injected at a rate of ≥1.3 μg Hg/g wet-mass. When maternally deposited Hg and injected Hg were considered together, the median lethal concentration of Hg (LC50) was estimated to be 1.78 μg Hg/g wet-mass. Organ mass patterns from eggs of chicks injected at a rate of 2.9 μg Hg/g differed from that of controls and chicks from the 0.5 μg Hg/g treatment, largely related to a negative relation between yolk sac mass and egg mercury concentration. Chicks from eggs in the 2.9 μg Hg/g treatment were also less responsive to a frightening stimulus than controls and chicks from the 0.5 μg Hg/g treatment. We also found that the length of incubation period increased with increasing egg mercury concentration. Tissue Hg concentrations were strongly associated (r2 ≥ 0.80) with egg Hg concentration.

  14. Pharmacokinetics and distribution of dietary tributyltin and methylmercury in the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

    SciTech Connect

    Rouleau, C.; Gobeil, C.; Tjaelve, H.

    1999-10-01

    The pharmacokinetics and distribution of a single 5-{micro}g dietary dose of radiolabeled [{sup 113}Sn]tributyltin (TBT) and [{sup 203}Hg]methylmercury (MeHg) were studied over 154 days in the snow crab, using in vivo gamma counting and whole-body autoradiography. Experiment was done under conditions typical of those encountered in the cold natural habitat of this crustacean. Retention efficiency was high for both compounds, and two kinetic pools could be distinguished. Elimination of the first pool proceeded within 20--80 days, but it accounted for 27--62% of the assimilated TBT, compared to 8--11% for MeHg. Biological half-life of the second pool was 33--187 days for TBT and 520--650 days for MeHg. Autoradiographic and dissection data revealed a less homogeneous distribution of the radiolabel and much higher radioactivity in gut lumen for TBT compared to MeHg. This suggests that the larger size of the first pool in the case of TBT resulted from metabolization in the hepatopancreas and fecal elimination of the metabolites. The whole-body biomagnification factor (BMF) that would result from the long-term chronic exposure of snow crab to TBT-contaminated food was estimated as 0.1--0.6. Although these BMF values were an order of magnitude lower than those estimated for MeHg, they are not negligible and indicate that uptake of TBT via food may be an important accumulation route.

  15. Periphyton biofilms influence net methylmercury production in an industrially contaminated system

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Todd Andrew; Brandt, Craig C.; Brooks, Scott C.

    2016-09-12

    Mercury (Hg) methylation and methylmercury (MMHg) demethylation activity of periphyton biofilms from East Fork Poplar Creek, Tennessee, USA (EFPC) were measured during 2014-2015 using stable Hg isotopic rate assays. 201HgII and MM202Hg were added to intact periphyton samples and the formation of MM201Hg and loss of MM202Hg were monitored over time and used to calculate first-order rate constants for methylation and demethylation, respectively. The influence of location, temperature/season, light exposure and biofilm structure on methylation and demethylation were examined. Between-site differences in net methylation for samples collected from an upstream versus downstream location were driven by differences in the demethylation rate constant (kd). In contrast, the within-site seasonal difference in net methylation was driven by changes in the methylation rate constant (km). Samples incubated in the dark had lower net methylation due to km values that were 60% less than those incubated in the light. Disrupting the biofilm structure decreased km by 50% and resulted in net demethylating conditions. Overall, the measured rates resulted in a net excess of MMHg generated which could account for 27-85% of the MMHg flux in EFPC and suggests intact, actively photosynthesizing periphyton biofilms harbor zones of MMHg production.

  16. Periphyton biofilms influence net methylmercury production in an industrially contaminated system

    DOE PAGES

    Olsen, Todd Andrew; Brandt, Craig C.; Brooks, Scott C.

    2016-09-12

    Mercury (Hg) methylation and methylmercury (MMHg) demethylation activity of periphyton biofilms from East Fork Poplar Creek, Tennessee, USA (EFPC) were measured during 2014-2015 using stable Hg isotopic rate assays. 201HgII and MM202Hg were added to intact periphyton samples and the formation of MM201Hg and loss of MM202Hg were monitored over time and used to calculate first-order rate constants for methylation and demethylation, respectively. The influence of location, temperature/season, light exposure and biofilm structure on methylation and demethylation were examined. Between-site differences in net methylation for samples collected from an upstream versus downstream location were driven by differences in the demethylationmore » rate constant (kd). In contrast, the within-site seasonal difference in net methylation was driven by changes in the methylation rate constant (km). Samples incubated in the dark had lower net methylation due to km values that were 60% less than those incubated in the light. Disrupting the biofilm structure decreased km by 50% and resulted in net demethylating conditions. Overall, the measured rates resulted in a net excess of MMHg generated which could account for 27-85% of the MMHg flux in EFPC and suggests intact, actively photosynthesizing periphyton biofilms harbor zones of MMHg production.« less

  17. Hepatic enzyme activity after combined administration of methylmercury, lead and cadmium in the pekin duck

    SciTech Connect

    Jordan, S.A.; Bhatnagar, M.K. )

    1990-04-01

    In order to assess adequately the environmental impact of heavy metals it is important to consider that they may occur simultaneously in the environment, where they may interact to alter their individual toxicities on living systems. Metals such as mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) can be found in all levels of the polluted ecosystem, and in animals inhabiting such areas. In the polluted aquatic environment waterfowl have been noted to accumulate high levels of these metals in their tissues. A major toxic manifestation of heavy metal exposure is the perturbation of a wide range of enzyme systems in virtually all subcellular compartments. With the exception of lead, little data is available on the effects of metals on avian enzyme systems. The present report describes the effects observed in vivo on acid phosphatase (AP), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and cytochrome c oxidase (cyt c ox) in the liver of pekin ducks exposed to combinations of methylmercury (MeHg), lead and cadmium.

  18. Aqueductal stenosis and development of hydrocephalus in prenatal methylmercury poisoning in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, B.H.; Caple, M.; Espinosa, T.; Kim, D.; Song, D.

    1986-03-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant that can cause irreparable CNS damage, particularly upon the developing fetal CNS. As an ongoing study of the effects of MeHg upon the developing CNS, timed-pregnant C57BL/6J mice were poisoned by intraperitoneal injections of methylmercuric chloride (MMC), 12 mg/kg, in divided doses on E-14, 15 and 16. In another experiment, the pregnant animals were fed MMC (2 mg/kg/day) in their drinking water, starting on E-2 and continuing throughout gestation. The animals were allowed to come to term and the offspring sacrificed on postnatal days 5, 10, and 20. In both of these experiments, up to 9% of the offspring affected by prenatal MeHg poisoning developed marked hydrocephalus. Serial on ..mu..m sections of the aqueductus revealed severe stenosis associated with marked edema and spongy changes of ependymal cells and surrounding neuropil. No inflammatory or gliotic reactions of the periaqueductal tissue was seen. These changes are very similar to those observed in congenital hydrocephalus in humans and suggest that toxic damage to developing ependymal cells due to prenatal exposures of agents such as MeHg may have etiological role in some of the human congenital hydrocephalus. The details of the scanning and transmission electron microscopy along with demonstration of mercury grains in tissues will be presented.

  19. Selenomethionine protects against neuronal degeneration by methylmercury in the developing rat cerebrum.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Yasutake, Akira; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Ryufuku, Masae; Chan, Hing Man; Yamamoto, Megumi; Oumi, Sanae; Kobayashi, Sayaka; Watanabe, Chiho

    2013-03-19

    Although many experimental studies have shown that selenium protects against methylmercury (MeHg) toxicity at different end points, the direct interactive effects of selenium and MeHg on neurons in the brain remain unknown. Our goal is to confirm the protective effects of selenium against neuronal degeneration induced by MeHg in the developing postnatal rat brain using a postnatal rat model that is suitable for extrapolating the effects of MeHg to the fetal brain of humans. As an exposure source of selenium, we used selenomethionine (SeMet), a food-originated selenium. Wistar rats of postnatal days 14 were orally administered with vehicle (control), MeHg (8 mg Hg/kg/day), SeMet (2 mg Se/kg/day), or MeHg plus SeMet coexposure for 10 consecutive days. Neuronal degeneration and reactive astrocytosis were observed in the cerebral cortex of the MeHg-group but the symptoms were prevented by coexposure to SeMet. These findings serve as a proof that dietary selenium can directly protect neurons against MeHg toxicity in the mammalian brain, especially in the developing cerebrum.

  20. Mercury in the blood and eggs of American kestrels fed methylmercury chloride.

    PubMed

    French, John B; Bennett, Richard S; Rossmann, Ronald

    2010-10-01

    American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed diets containing methylmercury chloride (MeHg) at 0, 0.6, 1.7, 2.8, 3.9, or 5.0 µg/g (dry wt) starting approximately eight weeks before the onset of egg laying. Dietary treatment was terminated after 12 to 14 weeks, and unhatched eggs were collected for Hg analysis. Blood samples were collected after four weeks of treatment and the termination of the study (i.e., 12-14 weeks of treatment). Clutch size decreased at dietary concentrations above 2.8 µg/g. The average total mercury concentration in clutches of eggs and in the second egg laid (i.e., egg B) increased linearly with dietary concentration. Mercury concentrations in egg B were approximately 25% lower than in the first egg laid and similar in concentration to the third egg laid. Mercury concentrations in whole blood and plasma also increased linearly with dietary concentration. Total Hg concentrations in June blood samples were lower than those in April, despite 8 to 10 weeks of additional dietary exposure to MeHg in the diet. This is likely because of excretion of Hg into growing flight feathers beginning shortly after the start of egg production. The strongest relationships between Hg concentrations in blood and eggs occurred when we used blood samples collected in April before egg laying and feather molt. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2206-2210. © 2010 SETAC.

  1. Mercury in the blood and eggs of American kestrels fed methylmercury chloride

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, J.B.; Bennett, R.S.; Rossmann, R.

    2010-01-01

    American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed diets containing methylmercury chloride (MeHg) at 0, 0.6, 1.7, 2.8, 3.9, or 5.0 ??g/g (dry wt) starting approximately eight weeks before the onset of egg laying. Dietary treatment was terminated after 12 to 14 weeks, and unhatched eggs were collected for Hg analysis. Blood samples were collected after four weeks of treatment and the termination of the study (i.e., 12-14 weeks of treatment). Clutch size decreased at dietary concentrations above 2.8 ??g/g. The average total mercury concentration in clutches of eggs and in the second egg laid (i.e., egg B) increased linearly with dietary concentration. Mercury concentrations in egg B were approximately 25% lower than in the first egg laid and similar in concentration to the third egg laid. Mercury concentrations in whole blood and plasma also increased linearly with dietary concentration. Total Hg concentrations in June blood samples were lower than those in April, despite 8 to 10 weeks of additional dietary exposure to MeHg in the diet. This is likely because of excretion of Hg into growing flight feathers beginning shortly after the start of egg production. The strongest relationships between Hg concentrations in blood and eggs occurred when we used blood samples collected in April before egg laying and feather molt. ?? 2010 SETAC.

  2. Periphyton biofilms influence net methylmercury production in an industrially contaminated system

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Todd Andrew; Brandt, Craig C.; Brooks, Scott C.

    2016-09-12

    Mercury (Hg) methylation and methylmercury (MMHg) demethylation activity of periphyton biofilms from East Fork Poplar Creek, Tennessee, USA (EFPC) were measured during 2014-2015 using stable Hg isotopic rate assays. 201HgII and MM202Hg were added to intact periphyton samples and the formation of MM201Hg and loss of MM202Hg were monitored over time and used to calculate first-order rate constants for methylation and demethylation, respectively. The influence of location, temperature/season, light exposure and biofilm structure on methylation and demethylation were examined. Between-site differences in net methylation for samples collected from an upstream versus downstream location were driven by differences in the demethylation rate constant (kd). In contrast, the within-site seasonal difference in net methylation was driven by changes in the methylation rate constant (km). Samples incubated in the dark had lower net methylation due to km values that were 60% less than those incubated in the light. Disrupting the biofilm structure decreased km by 50% and resulted in net demethylating conditions. Overall, the measured rates resulted in a net excess of MMHg generated which could account for 27-85% of the MMHg flux in EFPC and suggests intact, actively photosynthesizing periphyton biofilms harbor zones of MMHg production.

  3. Methylmercury Induced Neurotoxicity and the Influence of Selenium in the Brains of Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Rasinger, Josef Daniel; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine; Penglase, Samuel James; Ellingsen, Ståle; Amlund, Heidi

    2017-01-01

    The neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) is well characterised, and the ameliorating effects of selenium have been described. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this contaminant-nutrient interaction. We investigated the influence of selenium (as selenomethionine, SeMet) and MeHg on mercury accumulation and protein expression in the brain of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were fed diets containing elevated levels of MeHg and/or SeMet in a 2 × 2 full factorial design for eight weeks. Mercury concentrations were highest in the brain tissue of MeHg-exposed fish compared to the controls, whereas lower levels of mercury were found in the brain of zebrafish fed both MeHg and SeMet compared with the fish fed MeHg alone. The expression levels of proteins associated with gap junction signalling, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial dysfunction were significantly (p < 0.05) altered in the brain of zebrafish after exposure to MeHg and SeMet alone or in combination. Analysis of upstream regulators indicated that these changes were linked to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways, which were activated by MeHg and inhibited by SeMet, possibly through a reactive oxygen species mediated differential activation of RICTOR, the rapamycin-insensitive binding partner of mTOR. PMID:28353644

  4. Periphyton Biofilms Influence Net Methylmercury Production in an Industrially Contaminated System.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Todd A; Brandt, Craig C; Brooks, Scott C

    2016-10-18

    Mercury (Hg) methylation and methylmercury (MMHg) demethylation activity of periphyton biofilms from the industrially contaminated East Fork Poplar Creek, Tennessee (EFPC) were measured during 2014-2016 using stable Hg isotopic rate assays. (201)Hg(II) and MM(202)Hg were added to intact periphyton samples in ambient streamwater and the formation of MM(201)Hg and loss of MM(202)Hg were monitored over time and used to calculate first-order rate potentials for methylation and demethylation. The influences of location, temperature/season, light exposure and biofilm structure on methylation and demethylation potentials were examined. Between-site differences in net methylation for samples collected from an upstream versus downstream location were driven by differences in the demethylation rate potential (kd). In contrast, the within-site temperature-dependent difference in net methylation was driven by changes in the methylation rate potential (km). Samples incubated in the dark had lower net methylation due to lower km values than those incubated in the light. Disrupting the biofilm structure decreased km and resulted in lower net methylation. Overall, the measured rates resulted in a net excess of MMHg generated which could account for 3.71-7.88 mg d(-1) MMHg flux in EFPC and suggests intact, actively photosynthesizing periphyton biofilms harbor zones of MMHg production.

  5. Methylmercury Induced Neurotoxicity and the Influence of Selenium in the Brains of Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Rasinger, Josef Daniel; Lundebye, Anne-Katrine; Penglase, Samuel James; Ellingsen, Ståle; Amlund, Heidi

    2017-03-29

    The neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) is well characterised, and the ameliorating effects of selenium have been described. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this contaminant-nutrient interaction. We investigated the influence of selenium (as selenomethionine, SeMet) and MeHg on mercury accumulation and protein expression in the brain of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were fed diets containing elevated levels of MeHg and/or SeMet in a 2 × 2 full factorial design for eight weeks. Mercury concentrations were highest in the brain tissue of MeHg-exposed fish compared to the controls, whereas lower levels of mercury were found in the brain of zebrafish fed both MeHg and SeMet compared with the fish fed MeHg alone. The expression levels of proteins associated with gap junction signalling, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial dysfunction were significantly (p < 0.05) altered in the brain of zebrafish after exposure to MeHg and SeMet alone or in combination. Analysis of upstream regulators indicated that these changes were linked to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways, which were activated by MeHg and inhibited by SeMet, possibly through a reactive oxygen species mediated differential activation of RICTOR, the rapamycin-insensitive binding partner of mTOR.

  6. Bioavailability of methylmercury to Sacramento blackfish (Orthodon microlepidotus): Dissolved organic carbon effects

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, M.H.; Cech, J.J. Jr.; Lagunas-Solar, M.C.

    1998-04-01

    The effect of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on methylmercury (MeHg) uptake across the gills of Sacramento blackfish (Orthodon microlepidotus) was investigated using the Hg-203 radioisotope. The efficiency of fish gills in extracting MeHg from water was measured using a McKim-type fish respirometer that separated exposure water from expired water. Blackfish gill ventilation and oxygen consumption rates remained constant, while Me{sup 203}Hg uptake was decreased significantly in the presence of DOC. Mean Me{sup 203}Hg extraction efficiency, uptake rate constant, and blood to inspired water ratio decreased 78%, 73%, and 63%, respectively, with 2 mg C/L of DOC, and 85%, 82%, and 70% with 5 mg C/L DOC, compared to the Me{sup 203}Hg reference treatment group. Because respiratory parameters remained unchanged, reductions in Me{sup 203}Hg uptake indicate strong interactions between DOC and Me{sup 203}Hg Methyl{sup 203}Hg levels in fish gills, kidney, and spleen from 2 and 5 mg C/L were significantly lower than those observed from the reference treatment group. These reductions in uptake (bioavailability) support the hypothesis that trans-gill transport of Me{sup 203}Hg is inhibited when it is complexed by DOC in the aqueous medium, decreasing Me{sup 203}Hg uptake and accumulation in fish organs.

  7. [Effect of methylmercury chloride on the primary photosynthetic activity of higher plants].

    PubMed

    Kukarskikh, G P; Graevskaia, E E; Lavrukhina, O G; Krendeleva, T E; Rubin, A B

    2004-01-01

    The effect of methylmercury chloride (MeHg) on the fluorescence characteristics of pea seedling leaves and thylakoids isolated from these leaves was studied by the pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM) fluorometric method. In 3-4 days after the addition of MeHg (20 microM) to the nutritious solution, the maximal (Fv/Fm) and real (under steady state actinic light illumination) (deltaF/F'm) quantum photochemical yield of PS II decreased. The nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching coefficient in control (qN) decreased after its maximum value has been reached. In MeHg-treated samples, this decrease was not observed, possibly due to the disturbance of delta pH energy transducing processes in ATP synthase. This was confirmed by the results of experiments on isolated thylakoids. After MeHg (5 microM) treatment of thylakoids, the photophosphorylation rate and light-triggered Mg2+-dependent H+-ATPase activity were suppressed by 20-40%, depending on the duration of MeHg exposure. However, in experiments with isolated thylakoids, no decrease either in the electron transport rate or in the Fv/Fm ratio was observed. In total, the results obtained allow one to assume that MeHg at concentrations and time duration used directly damages the coupling complex. The PS II inactivation in leaves and algae cells may be a result of the oxidative stress processes.

  8. Establishment and characterization of methylmercury-resistant PC12 cell line.

    PubMed Central

    Miura, K; Clarkson, T W; Ikeda, K; Naganuma, A; Imura, N

    1994-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg)-resistant sublines of rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells were isolated by repeated exposure to stepwise increased concentrations of MeHg. One of the sublines (PC12/TM) showed an 8- to 10-fold increase in resistance to MeHg compared with parent PC12 cells on the basis of the concentration required for 50% inhibition (IC50) of growth. PC12/TM cells accumulated smaller amounts of MeHg than parent PC12 cells. This reduction in MeHg accumulation in PC12/TM cells resulted from slow uptake and rapid efflux. The intracellular glutathione (GSH) level in PC12/TM cells was four times higher than that of PC12 cells. Pretreatment of PC12/TM cells with buthionine sulfoximine, which decreased the GSH level to that of the parent PC12 cells, increased the sensitivity of PC12/TM cells to MeHg. A close correlation between the MeHg accumulation and MeHg sensitivity was found among seven sublines of PC12 cells and parent PC12 cell line. The GSH level in PC12 sublines was also correlated with their sensitivity to MeHg. PMID:7843125

  9. Superoxide anion generation and oxidative stress in methylmercury-induced endothelial toxicity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ghizoni, Heloisa; de Souza, Viviane; Straliotto, Marcos Raniel; de Bem, Andreza Fabro; Farina, Marcelo; Hort, Mariana Appel

    2017-02-01

    Emerging evidence has pointed to mercury exposure as a risk factor for hypertension, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. This study investigated potential toxic effects of low concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg) in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) and the possible involvement of reactive species, particularly superoxide anion, in mediating such toxicity. MeHg treatment increased the oxidation of 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (a general probe for reactive species) and dihydroethidium, a specific probe for superoxide anion. MeHg-induced 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and dihydroethidium oxidations were significantly decreased by apocynin, an inhibitor of the enzyme NADPH oxidase, which represents a main source of superoxide anion in endothelial cells. MeHg treatment significantly disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential and this event was also reversed by apocynin. MeHg treatment also decreased glutathione levels and this event preceded glutathione peroxidase inhibition, which was observed only at 24h after treatment. These results indicate that MeHg induces oxidative stress in cultured BAECs and that this event is related to the production of superoxide anion. Moreover, the observed protective effects of apocynin in BAECs suggest the potential involvement of NADPH-oxidase in MeHg-induced endothelial dysfunction, which represents a pivotal event in most cardiovascular diseases.

  10. Maternal transfer of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in aquatic and terrestrial arthropods.

    PubMed

    Saxton, Heidi J; Goodman, James R; Collins, Jeffrey N; Black, Frank J

    2013-11-01

    The transfer of mercury from females to their offspring plays an important role in mercury accumulation and toxicity during early development. To quantify the transfer of inorganic mercury and methylmercury from female arthropods to their eggs, the authors collected and analyzed brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana), wolf spiders (Alopecosa spp.), and their attached eggs from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. Essentially all of the mercury in both the female brine shrimp and their eggs was methylmercury (94 ± 17% and 90 ± 21%, respectively). The brine shrimp eggs had methylmercury concentrations that were 84 ± 2% lower than in the females, reflecting the fact that females transferred 45 ± 4% of their total body mass but only 11 ± 3% of their methylmercury burden to their eggs. As a result of this sequestration, the concentration of methylmercury in the female brine shrimp increased by 62 ± 8% during egg formation. The percentage of the total mercury that was methylmercury in female wolf spiders (77 ± 21%) was similar to that in their egg masses (81 ± 19%), indicating similar maternal transfer efficiencies for inorganic mercury and methylmercury in these invertebrates. The concentration of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in the female spiders was the same as in their eggs. These arachnids transferred 48 ± 9% of their total body mass, 55 ± 13% of their inorganic mercury, and 50 ± 9% of their methylmercury to their egg masses. Thus, female wolf spiders do not have the ability to reduce the transfer of methylmercury to their eggs, nor does this process represent an important pathway for the depuration of mercury. The present study demonstrates that although some arthropods have mechanisms to minimize the transfer of methylmercury to their eggs and reduce the potential for mercury toxicity during early development, other arthropods do not.

  11. Isotope dilution SPME GC/MS for the determination of methylmercury in tuna fish samples.

    PubMed

    Centineo, Giuseppe; Blanco González, Elisa; García Alonso, J Ignacio; Sanz-Medel, Alfredo

    2006-01-01

    The development of a rapid, precise and accurate analytical method for the determination of methylmercury in tuna fish samples is described. The method is based on the use of isotope dilution GC/MS with electron impact ionization, a widespread technique in routine testing laboratories. A certified spike containing (202)Hg-enriched methylmercury was used for the isotope dilution of the samples. After extraction of the methylmercury from the sample, methylmercury was propylated using sodium tetrapropyl borate in SPME vials and the analytes were sampled from the headspace for 15 min. For isotope measurements, the molecular ion (MePrHg(+)) was used in the SIM mode. Five molecular ions were monitored, corresponding to the (198)Hg, (199)Hg, (200)Hg, (201)Hg and (202)Hg isotopes. The detection at masses corresponding to (198)Hg was used to correct for m + 1 contributions of (13)C from the organic groups attached to the mercury atom on the (199)Hg, (200)Hg, (201)Hg and (202)Hg masses with simple mathematical equations, and the concentration of methylmercury was calculated on the basis of the corrected (200)Hg/(202)Hg isotope ratio. The (202)Hg-enriched methylmercury spike was applied, with satisfactory results, to the determination of methylmercury in the certified reference material BCR 464. The method was successfully applied to the determination of methylmercury in tuna fish samples, and the obtained results were included in the CCQM-P39 interlaboratory exercise, organized by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM, Geel, Belgium) with excellent agreement between our results and the average obtained by the other participants.

  12. Actively Shaken In Situ Passive Sampler Platform for Methylmercury and Organics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-02-01

    FINAL REPORT Actively Shaken In-Situ Passive Sampler Platform for Methylmercury and Organics SERDP Project ER-2540 FEBRUARY 2016 Upal Ghosh...dioxins and furans. 4) Field testing of the sampler platform along with traditional deployment of passive samplers. 4 This research also laid...passive equilibrium samplers for methylmercury. The ultimate goal is to develop an in situ, actively shaken deployment platform that can accommodate

  13. Mercury exposure in children: a review.

    PubMed

    Counter, S Allen; Buchanan, Leo H

    2004-07-15

    Exposure to toxic mercury (Hg) is a growing health hazard throughout the world today. Recent studies show that mercury exposure may occur in the environment, and increasingly in occupational and domestic settings. Children are particularly vulnerable to Hg intoxication, which may lead to impairment of the developing central nervous system, as well as pulmonary and nephrotic damage. Several sources of toxic Hg exposure in children have been reported in biomedical literature: (1) methylmercury, the most widespread source of Hg exposure, is most commonly the result of consumption of contaminated foods, primarily fish; (2) ethylmercury, which has been the subject of recent scientific inquiry in relation to the controversial pediatric vaccine preservative thimerosal; (3) elemental Hg vapor exposure through accidents and occupational and ritualistic practices; (4) inorganic Hg through the use of topical Hg-based skin creams and in infant teething powders; (5) metallic Hg in dental amalgams, which release Hg vapors, and Hg2+ in tissues. This review examines recent epidemiological studies of methylmercury exposure in children. Reports of elemental Hg vapor exposure in children through accidents and occupational practices, and the more recent observations of the increasing use of elemental Hg for magico-religious purposes in urban communities are also discussed. Studies of inorganic Hg exposure from the widespread use of topical beauty creams and teething powders, and fetal/neonatal Hg exposure from maternal dental amalgam fillings are reviewed. Considerable attention was given in this review to pediatric methylmercury exposure and neurodevelopment because it is the most thoroughly investigated Hg species. Each source of Hg exposure is reviewed in relation to specific pediatric health effects, particularly subtle neurodevelopmental disorders.

  14. Optimizing conditions for methylmercury extraction from fish samples for GC analysis using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Hajeb, P; Jinap, S; Abu Bakar, F; Bakar, J

    2009-06-01

    Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to determine the optimum experimental conditions to extract methylmercury from fish samples for GC analysis. The influence of four variables - acid concentration (3-12 M), cysteine concentration (0.5-2% w/v), solvent volume (3-9 ml) and extraction time (10-30 min) - on recovery of methylmercury was evaluated. The detection limit for methylmercury analysis using a microelectron capture detector was 7 ng g(-1) in fish samples. The mean recovery under optimum conditions was 94%. Experimental data were adequately fitted into a second-order polynomial model with multiple regression coefficients (r(2)) of 0.977. The four variables had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on the recovery of methylmercury from a reference material (BCR-463). Optimum conditions for methylmercury extraction were found using an acid concentration of 12.2 M, cysteine concentration of 2.4%, solvent volume of 1.5 ml and extraction time of 35 min. The validation of the developed method to analyze methylmercury in fish samples exhibited good agreement with mercury content in the samples.

  15. Photolytic degradation of methylmercury enhanced by binding to natural organic ligands

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tong; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2010-01-01

    Monomethylmercury is a neurotoxin that poses significant risks to human health1 due to its bioaccumulation in food webs. Sunlight degradation to inorganic mercury is an important component of the mercury cycle that maintains methylmercury at low concentrations in natural waters. Rates of photodecomposition, however, can vary drastically between surface waters2–5 for reasons that are largely unknown. Here, we show that photodegradation occurs through singlet oxygen, a highly reactive form of dissolved oxygen generated by sunlight irradiation of dissolved natural organic matter. The kinetics of degradation, however, depended on water constituents that bind methylmercury cations. Relatively fast degradation rates (similar to observations in freshwater lakes) applied only to methylmercury species bound to organic sulfur-containing thiol ligands such as glutathione, mercaptoacetate, and humics. In contrast, methylmercury-chloride complexes, which are dominant in marine systems, were unreactive. Binding by thiols lowered the excitation energy of the carbon-mercury bond on the methylmercury molecule6–7 and subsequently increased reactivity towards bond breakage and decomposition. Our results explain methylmercury photodecomposition rates that are relatively rapid in freshwater lakes2–4 and slow in marine waters5. PMID:20634995

  16. Measurements of dissolved methylmercury in natural waters using diffusive gradients in thin film (DGT).

    PubMed

    Clarisse, Olivier; Hintelmann, Holger

    2006-12-01

    A diffusive gradient in thin films (DGT) technique for measuring methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in natural waters was developed using 3-mercaptopropyl-functionalized silica gel to preconcentrate the methylmercury. The new resin was characterized and calibrated. Methylmercury is efficiently accumulated at a pH range of 3-9. Basic performance tests of the new DGT device confirmed the applicability of Fick's first law for such DGT measurements. The diffusion coefficient of methylmercury in polyacrylamide gel was 5 x 10(-6) cm(2) s(-1). Methylmercury concentrations determined by DGT deployed for different time periods in the field are statistically not different from results obtained through direct measurements. The DGT technique represents therefore an alternative in situ sampling method for methylmercury. The detection limit of the overall method is 1 pg of MeHg, which correspond to approximately 30 pg L(-1) of MeHg in a water sample, when deploying a typical DGT device for 24 hours. Lower MeHg concentrations are measurable using longer deployment times or thinner diffusive gel layers.

  17. Effect of Lycium bararum polysaccharides on methylmercury-induced abnormal differentiation of hippocampal stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Jian-Ying; Chen, Wei-Wei; Cui, Jing; Wang, Hao; Chao, Ci; Lu, Zhi-Yan; Bi, Yong-Yi

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to observe the effects of a general extract of Lycium bararum polysaccharides (LBPs) on methylmercury (MeHg)-induced damage in hippocampus neural stem cells (hNSCs). The hippocampal tissues of embryonic day 16 Sprague-Dawley rats were extracted for the isolation, purification and cloning of hNSCs. Following passage and proliferation for 10 days, the cells were allocated at random into the following groups: Control, LBPs, MeHg and MeHg + LBPs. MTT and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2)/glial fibrillary acidic protein/Hoechst immunofluorescence tests were performed to detect the differentiation and growth of hNSCs in the various groups. The differentiation rate of MeHg-treated hNSCs and the perimeter of MAP-2-positive neurons were 3.632±0.63% and 62.36±5.58 µm, respectively, significantly lower compared with the control group values of 6.500±0.81% and 166±8.16 µm (P<0.05). Furthermore, the differentiation rate and the perimeter of MAP-2-positive neurons in LBPs groups cells was 7.75±0.59% and 253.3±11.21 µm, respectively, significantly higher compared with the control group (P<0.05). The same parameters in the MeHg + LBPs group were 5.92±0.98% and 111.9±6.07 µm, respectively, significantly higher than the MeHg group (P<0.05). The astrocyte differentiation rates in the MeHg and MeHg + LBPs group were 41.19±2.14 and 34.58±1.70, respectively (P<0.05). These results suggest that LBPs may promote the generation and development of new neurons and inhibit the MeHg-induced abnormal differentiation of astrocytes. Thus, LBPs may be considered to be a potential new treatment for MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in hNSCs. PMID:27446261

  18. A novel protocol of whole mount electro-immunofluorescence staining.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongshan; Kao, Winston W Y

    2009-01-01

    into deep tissue and preferentially binds to F-actin. After the whole mount electrofluorescent staining of phalloidin-rhodamine in the mouse cornea, the results were the same as conventional whole mount staining during the healing of epithelial debridement. The cytoplasmic protrusion formed by lamellipodia and filopodia can be clearly demonstrated. These results indicate that the whole mount electro-immunofluorescent staining allows the detection of antigens in all layers of cornea, i.e., epithelium, stroma, and endothelium.

  19. Reproduction in mallards exposed to dietary concentrations of methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2010-06-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to use mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) tested under controlled conditions to determine how much harm to reproduction resulted from various concentrations of mercury in eggs. Breeding pairs of mallards were fed a control diet or diets containing 1, 2, 4, or 8 microg/g mercury, as methylmercury