Document Detail

Reappraisal of the historic 1959 cat experiment in Minamata by the Chisso Factory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11725835     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Autopsy specimens from the historic cat experiment were recently discovered in a storage area at the Kumamoto University School of Medicine. The specimens were from an experiment prompted by physicians in the Chisso Minamata Plant following the announcement made by the Study Group for Minamata disease. On July 14, 1959 the Group announced that the disease was most likely caused by a kind of organic mercury. In order to prove or disprove that industrial waste from the Chisso Factory was the culprit in Minamata disease, a total of ten cats were fed food mixed with industrial waste produced in the acetaldehyde-producing plant. One of the ten cats, No. 717, was subsequently autopsied but the autopsy findings have never been published or recorded in the literature despite their historic significance. The rediscovered specimens were studied pathologically and biochemically, and were analyzed chemically with currently available techniques. Characteristic lesions of methylmercury poisoning were observed in the central nervous system, and the mercury levels in the cerebrum, cerebellum, liver and kidney were found to be markedly elevated in this animal.
K Eto; A Yasutake; A Nakano; H Akagi; H Tokunaga; T Kojima
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine     Volume:  194     ISSN:  0040-8727     ISO Abbreviation:  Tohoku J. Exp. Med.     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-11-29     Completed Date:  2002-05-29     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0417355     Medline TA:  Tohoku J Exp Med     Country:  Japan    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  197-203     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Institute for Minamata Disease, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Brain / pathology
Brain Chemistry
Disease Models, Animal
History, 20th Century
Industrial Waste / adverse effects,  analysis
Mercury / analysis
Mercury Poisoning, Nervous System / etiology,  history*,  pathology
Methylmercury Compounds / analysis
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Industrial Waste; 0/Methylmercury Compounds; 7439-97-6/Mercury

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

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