Document Detail

Mercury intake by inflammatory phagocytes: in vivo cytology of mouse macrophages and neutrophils by X-ray elemental microanalysis coupled with scanning electron microscopy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15497820     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Phagocytes remove and store mercury (Hg) that enters the body. Macrophages and granulocytes respond in opposite ways to Hg: macrophages loose cell viability, and neutrophils become protected from apoptosis. We have investigated the cytology of early intake of Hg by macrophages and neutrophils after a short period (2-4 min) of in vivo exposure to HgCl2. The two types of phagocytes were attracted either to a subcutaneous air pouch or to the peritoneal cavity of BALB/c mice by in situ BSA injection. BSA caused, 72 hours later, inflammatory exudates where neutrophils (air-pouch cavity) or macrophages (peritoneal cavity) were the predominant cell type. A lethal dose of HgCl2 (25 mg) was then injected in the two inflammatory cavities. The mice died 2-4 min later and the cell exudates were harvested and studied by scanning electron microscopy coupled with X-ray elemental microanalysis (SEM-XRM). More than half of the phagocytes showed ingested Hg; a higher percentage of macrophages (around 70%) than neutrophils (around 50%) were positive for the metal. Intracellular particles of Hg were spheroid and presented a small diameter (less than 20 nm). They could be seen in large numbers inside phagocytes (up to 20-30 Hg dots per cell); they were scattered throughout the cytoplasm of the cells. The ability of phagocytes to ingest Hg increased as the BSA-induced inflammation progressed. We conclude that (i) Hg is quickly ingested as small particles by phagocytes; (ii) endocytosis of Hg increases with the degree of activation of phagocytes; and (iii) phagocytes internalize Hg by pinocytosis.
Elisabete M Cunha; Maria João R Oliveira; Paula G Ferreira; Artur P Aguas
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Human & experimental toxicology     Volume:  23     ISSN:  0960-3271     ISO Abbreviation:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Publication Date:  2004 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-10-22     Completed Date:  2005-03-15     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9004560     Medline TA:  Hum Exp Toxicol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  447-53     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anatomy, ICBAS (Abel Salazar Institute for Biomedical Sciences), University of Porto, 4099-003 Porto, Portugal.
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MeSH Terms
Electron Probe Microanalysis / methods
Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism*,  ultrastructure*
Mercuric Chloride / metabolism*
Mercury / analysis*
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods
Neutrophils / metabolism*,  ultrastructure*
Phagocytosis / physiology
Pinocytosis / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
7439-97-6/Mercury; 7487-94-7/Mercuric Chloride

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