Abstract Title:

Identification and distribution of mercury species in rat tissues following administration of thimerosal or methylmercury.

Abstract Source:

Arch Toxicol. 2010 Nov ;84(11):891-6. Epub 2010 Apr 13. PMID: 20386881

Abstract Author(s):

Jairo L Rodrigues, Juliana M Serpeloni, Bruno L Batista, Samuel S Souza, Fernando Barbosa

Article Affiliation:

Jairo L Rodrigues


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.

Study Type : Animal Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.