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Modification of methylmercury toxicity and metabolism by selenium and vitamin E: possible mechanisms.
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MedLine Citation:
PMID:  720304     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Selenium and vitamin E exert powerful effects in reducing acute or chronic methylmercury toxicity. Levels of selenium normally found in foods (below 1 ppm) delay the onset of toxic signs caused by much higher levels of methylmercury. Tissue levels of mercury in selenium-supplemented animals equal or exceed those found in animals given methylmercury alone. Selenium does not appear to act by simply modifying intake, absorption, excretion, or distribution of methylmercury, and direct effects of both selenium and vitamin E have been observed in vitro when methylmercury was added to cultured nervous tissue cells. The only established functions for selenium and vitamin E in animals are related to the prevention of oxidative damage in tissues. To encompass the protective effects of selenium and vitamin E and to explain other toxicological aspects of methylmercury and other alkylmetals, a new hypothesis is proposed: The toxicity of the alkylmetals is not caused soley by the intact molecule, but also involves free radicals formed by homolytic fission of the carbon-metal bond.
H E Ganther
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental health perspectives     Volume:  25     ISSN:  0091-6765     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Health Perspect.     Publication Date:  1978 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1979-02-23     Completed Date:  1979-02-23     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330411     Medline TA:  Environ Health Perspect     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  71-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Free Radicals
Methylmercury Compounds / antagonists & inhibitors,  toxicity*
Selenium / pharmacology*
Vitamin E / pharmacology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Free Radicals; 0/Methylmercury Compounds; 1406-18-4/Vitamin E; 7782-49-2/Selenium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Environ Health Perspect
ISSN: 0091-6765
Article Information
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Print publication date: Month: 8 Year: 1978
Volume: 25First Page: 71 Last Page: 76
ID: 1637175
PubMed Id: 720304

Modification of methylmercury toxicity and metabolism by selenium and vitamin E: possible mechanisms.
H E Ganther

Article Categories:
  • Research Article

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