Mercury and mink. I. The use of mercury contaminated fish as a food for ranch mink.
Adult female and juvenile ranch mink were fed rations containing 50 and 75% of fish containing 0.44 ppm total mercury over a 145 day period. There was no clinical or pathological evidence of intoxication in these animals and mercury concentrations in tissue appeared to be at a level below that associated with toxicity. (+info)
Mercury and Mink. II. Experimental methyl mercury intoxication.
Adult female mink were fed rations containing 1.1, 1.8, 4.8, 8.3 and 15.0 ppm mercury as methyl mercury chloride over a 93 day period. Histopathological evidence of injury was present in all groups. Mink fed rations containing 1.8 to 15.0 ppm mercury developed clinical intoxication within the experimental period. The rapidity of onset of clinical intoxication was directly related to the mercury content of the ration. Mercury concentration in tissue of mink which died were similar, despite differences in mercury content of the diets and time of death. The average mercury concentration in the brain of mink which died was 11.9 ppm. The lesions of methyl mercury poisoning are described and criteria for diagnosis are discussed. (+info)
Lead and mercury residues in kidney and liver of Canadian slaughter animals.
Liver and kidney samples were collected from Canadian slaughter animals during the winter of 1973-1974. A total of 256 samples were analyzed for lead. Mean lead levels of 1.02 ppm in poultry liver, 1.04 ppm in bovine liver, 1.02 ppm in bovine kidney, 0.73 ppm in pork liver and 0.85 ppm in pork kidney were found. A total of 265 samples were analyzed for mercury. Mean mercury levels of 0.003 ppm in poultry liver, 0.007 ppm in bovine liver, 0.008 ppm in bovine kidney, 0.001 ppm in pork liver and 0.013 ppm in pork kidney were found. All levels detected were below the Canadian official tolerance of 2 ppm for lead and administrative tolerance of 0.5 ppm for mercury. (+info)
Acute renal failure caused by nephrotoxins.
Renal micropuncture studies have greatly changed our views on the pathophysiology of acute renal failure caused by nephrotoxins. Formerly, this type of renal insufficiency was attributed to a direct effect of the nephrotoxins on tubule epithelial permeability. According to that theory, glomerular filtration was not greatly diminished, the filtrate formed being absorbed almost quantitatively and nonselectively across damaged tubule epithelium. Studies in a wide variety of rat models have now shown glomerular filtration to be reduced to a level which will inevitably cause renal failure in and of itself. Passive backflow of filtrate across tubular epithelium is either of minor degree or nonexistent even in models where frank tubular necrosis has occurred. This failure of filtration cannot be attributed to tubular obstruction since proximal tubule pressure is distinctly subnormal in most models studied. Instead, filtration failure appears best attributed to intrarenal hemodynamic alterations. While certain facts tend to incriminate the renin-angiotensin system as the cause of the hemodynamic aberrations, others argue to the contrary. The issue is underactive investigation. (+info)
Mercury toxicity due to the smelting of placer gold recovered by mercury amalgam.
A 19-year-old man developed tremor in both hands and fatigue after starting work at a placer gold mine where he was exposed to mercury-gold amalgam. Examination revealed an intention tremor, dysdiadochokinesis and mild rigidity. The 24-h urinary mercury concentration reached a peak of 715 nmol/l (143 ug/l) shortly before the clinical examination, after which he was removed from working in the gold room [Mercury No. Adverse Effect Level: 250 nmol/l (50 ug/l)]. On review 7 weeks later his tremor had almost resolved and the dysdiadochokinesis and rigidity had gone. The 24-h urinary mercury concentration had fallen to 160 nmol/l (32 ug/l). The principal exposure to mercury was considered to be the smelting of retorted gold with previously unrecognized residual mercury in it. The peak air concentration of mercury vapour during gold smelting was 0.533 mg/m3 (Mercury Vapour ACGIH TLV: 0.05 mg/m3 TWA). Several engineering and procedural controls were instituted. This episode occurred at another mine site, unrelated to Mount Isa Mines Limited. (+info)
Regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in beta cells by environmental factors: heavy metals.
The expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in pancreatic islet beta cells modulates endocrine cell functions and, at very high levels of NO production causes beta-cell death. We tested the hypothesis that environmental factors such as heavy-metal salts modulate iNOS expression in beta cells. A rat beta-cell line (insulinoma RINm5F) was cultured in the presence of low-dose interleukin (IL)-1beta for suboptimal induction of iNOS. PbCl2 (0. 1-10 microM) dose-dependently increased NO (measured as nitrite) formation (P<0.001). In contrast, HgCl2 suppressed nitrite production (0.1-10 microM, P<0.05). Measurements of iNOS activity by determining citrulline levels confirmed the potentiating effect of PbCl2 (P<0.05). There was a narrow time window of heavy-metal actions, ranging from -24 h (Hg2+) or -3 h (Pb2+) to +2 h, relative to the addition of IL-1beta. By semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR, enhanced levels of iNOS mRNA were found in the presence of Pb2+ (P<0.05) and decreased levels in the presence of Hg2+. The amount of iNOS protein as determined by Western blotting was increased in the presence of Pb2+. We conclude that Pb2+ upregulates and Hg2+ suppresses iNOS gene expression at the level of transcription, probably by acting on the signalling pathway. These observations may have important implications for understanding pathological effects of environmental factors on endocrine organ functions. (+info)
Regeneration of renal proximal tubules after mercuric chloride injury is accompanied by increased binding of aminoacyl-transfer ribonucleic acid.
Homogenates of rat kidney cortex obtained 1,3 or 14 days after a single injection of HgCl2 were used to prepare the post-microsomal pH5 supernatant fraction. The activity of this fraction for peptide synthesis from [14C]phenylalanyl-tRNA was significantly increased at 1 and 3 days, at which time the proximal tubules are regenerating [Cuppage & Tate (1967) Am. J. Pathol. 51, 405-429]. This increased activity could not be attributed to a decreased inhibitory activity, but was due to an increased aminoacyl-tRNA binding, i.e. elongation-factor-1 activity, in the supernatant fraction. (+info)
Biotransformation of methylmercury in vitro.
Inorganic mercury formation from methylmercury by the mouse liver and kidney was studied in vitro. With chopped liver or kidney, inorganic mercury was formed from added methylmercury, but when the tissue was homogenized, the activity was diminished. Equimolar addition of selenium had no effect on the reaction. (+info)