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Sample records for methylmercury enhances developmental

  1. Co-exposure to an ortho-substituted PCB (PCB 153) and methylmercury enhances developmental neurotoxic effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, C.; Fredriksson, A.; Eriksson, P. [Dept. Environment. Toxicol., Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)

    2004-09-15

    In our environment there are innumerable hazardous contaminants. Many of these compounds are the well-known persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like PCB and DDT. Another persistent agent in our environment is methylmercury (MeHg). These agents are known to be neurotoxic in laboratory animals and humans. Fetuses and neonates are known to be high-risk groups for exposure to these agents. A naturally occurring circumstance is the exposure to a combination of different persistent compounds. The knowledge of interaction between different toxic agents during development is sparse. In several studies we have shown that low-dose exposure of environmental toxic agents such as PCBs, DDT, BFRs (brominated flame retardants) as well as well-known neurotoxic agents such as nicotine, organophosphorous compounds and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), during the ''BGS'', in neonatal mice can lead to disruption of the adult brain function, and to an increased susceptibility to toxic agents as adults. Our studies concerning developmental neurotoxic effects after neonatal exposure to single PCB congeners have shown that some orthosubstituted PCBs (such as PCB 28, PCB 52, PCB 153) and some co-planar PCBs (such as PCB 77, PCB 126, PCB 169) cause derangement of adult behaviour that can worsen with age. Furthermore, the cholinergic receptors in the brain were also found to be affected8. Just recently we have seen that neonatal co-exposure to an ortho-substituted PCB, 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 52), together with a brominated flame retardant, 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenylether (PBDE 99), can enhance developmental neurotoxic effects when the exposure occurs during a critical stage of neonatal brain development. The present study was carried out in order to see whether PCB and MeHg could interact to cause enhanced developmental neurotoxic effects on spontaneous behaviour and habituation capability when given to neonatal mice.

  2. Neurobehavioral effects of developmental methylmercury exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilbert, S.G.; Grant-Webster, K.S. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a global environmental problem and is listed by the International Program of Chemical Safety as one of the six most dangerous chemicals in the world`s environment. Human exposure to MeHg primarily occurs through the consumption of contaminated food such as fish, although catastrophic exposures due to industrial pollution have occurred. The fetus is particularly sensitive to MeHg exposure and adverse effects on infant development have been associated with levels of exposure that result in few, if any, signs of maternal clinical illness or toxicity. High levels of prenatal exposure in humans result in neurobehavioral effects such as cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. Prenatal exposure to MeHg in communities with chronic low-level exposure is related to decreased birthweight and early sensorimotor dysfunction such as delayed onset of walking. Neurobehavioral alterations have also been documented in studies with non human primates and rodents. Available information on the developmental neurotoxic effects of MeHg, particularly the neurobehavioral effects, indicates that the fetus and infant are more sensitive to adverse effects of MEHg. It is therefore recommended that pregnant women and women of childbearing age be strongly advised to limit their exposure to potential sources of MeHg. Based on results from human and animal studies on the developmental neurotoxic effects of methylmercury, the accepted reference dose should be lowered to 0.025 to 0.06 MeHg {mu}g/kg/day. Continued research on the neurotoxic effects associated with low level developmental exposure is needed. 107 refs., 3 tabs.

  3. Methylmercury and brain development: imprecision and underestimation of developmental neurotoxicity in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe; Herz, Katherine T

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury is now recognized as an important developmental neurotoxicant, though this insight developed slowly over many decades. Developmental neurotoxicity was first reported in a Swedish case report in 1952, and from a serious outbreak in Minamata, Japan, a few years later. Whereas the infant...

  4. Hippocampal developmental vulnerability to methylmercury extends into prepubescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryann eObiorah

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The developing brain is sensitive to environmental toxicants such as methylmercury (MeHg, to which humans are exposed via contaminated seafood. Prenatal exposure in children is associated with learning, memory and IQ deficits, which can result from hippocampal dysfunction. To explore underlying mechanisms, we have used the postnatal day (P7 rat to model the third trimester of human gestation. We previously showed that a single low exposure (0.6 µg/gbw that approaches human exposure reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG 24 hours later, including later proliferation and memory in adolescence. Yet, the vulnerable stem cell population and period of developmental vulnerability remain undefined. In this study, we find that P7 exposure of stem cells has long-term consequences for adolescent neurogenesis. It reduced the number of mitotic S-phase cells (BrdU, especially those in the highly proliferative Tbr2+ population, and immature neurons (Doublecortin in adolescence, suggesting partial depletion of the later stem cell pool. To define developmental vulnerability to MeHg in prepubescent (P14 and adolescent (P21 rats, we examined acute 24 h effects of MeHg exposure on mitosis and apoptosis. We found that low exposure did not adversely impact neurogenesis at either age, but that a higher exposure (5 µg/gbw at P14 reduced the total number of neural stem cells (Sox2+ by 23% and BrdU+ cells by 26% in the DG hilus, suggesting that vulnerability diminishes with age. To see if these effects may reflect changes in MeHg transfer across the blood brain barrier, we assessed Hg content in the hippocampus after peripheral injection and found that similar levels (~800 ng/gm were obtained at 24 h at both P14 and P21, declining in parallel, suggesting that changes in vulnerability depend more on local tissue and cellular mechanisms. Together, we show that MeHg vulnerability depends on age, and that early exposure impairs later neurogenesis in

  5. Children's white blood cell counts in relation to developmental exposures to methylmercury and persistent organic pollutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oulhote, Youssef; Shamim, Z; Kielsen, Katrine

    2017-01-01

    Background To explore possible markers of developmental immunotoxicity, we prospectively examined 56 children to determine associations between exposures to methylmercury and persistent organic pollutants since birth and the comprehensive differential counts of white blood cells (WBC) at age 5......), and total mercury (Hg) were measured in maternal (n = 56) and children's blood at 18 months (n = 42) and 5 years (n = 54). We constructed latent functions for exposures at three different ages using factor analyses and applied structural equation models adjusted for covariates. Results Prenatal mercury...

  6. The protein transportation pathway from Golgi to vacuoles via endosomes plays a role in enhancement of methylmercury toxicity

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    Hwang, Gi-Wook; Murai, Yasutaka; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Naganuma, Akira

    2014-07-01

    Methylmercury causes serious damage to the central nervous system, but the molecular mechanisms of methylmercury toxicity are only marginally understood. In this study, we used a gene-deletion mutant library of budding yeast to conduct genome-wide screening for gene knockouts affecting the sensitivity of methylmercury toxicity. We successfully identified 31 genes whose deletions confer resistance to methylmercury in yeast, and 18 genes whose deletions confer hypersensitivity to methylmercury. Yeast genes whose deletions conferred resistance to methylmercury included many gene encoding factors involved in protein transport to vacuoles. Detailed examination of the relationship between the factors involved in this transport system and methylmercury toxicity revealed that mutants with loss of the factors involved in the transportation pathway from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to the endosome, protein uptake into the endosome, and endosome-vacuole fusion showed higher methylmercury resistance than did wild-type yeast. The results of our genetic engineering study suggest that this vesicle transport system (proteins moving from the TGN to vacuole via endosome) is responsible for enhancing methylmercury toxicity due to the interrelationship between the pathways. There is a possibility that there may be proteins in the cell that enhance methylmercury toxicity through the protein transport system.

  7. Developmental immunotoxicity of methylmercury: The relative sensitivity of developmental and immune parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonk, E.C.M.; Groot, D.M.G. de; Penninks, A.H.; Waalkens - Berendsen, I.D.H.; Wolterbeek, A.P.M.; Slob, W.; Piersma, A.H.; Loveren, H. van

    2010-01-01

    Current developmental and reproductive toxicity protocols include only a limited set of parameters for effects on the developing immune system. In this study, a wide range of immunological parameters were included in a pre- and postnatal developmental toxicity study. Dose-response data were compared

  8. Developmental neurotoxicity: methylmercury and prenatal exposure protection in the context of the Minamata Convention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boischio, Ana

    2015-09-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant of public environmental health concern due to its long-range atmospheric distribution, environmental distribution, and neurotoxic effects. Following biological methylation, methylmercury (MeHg) can be un-evenly bioaccumulated within aquatic food chains. Fish consumption can be a significant route of human exposure to MeHg. MeHg exposure in the prenatal stage, at relatively low levels, has recently been established as harmful during neurological development, potentially leading to intellectual disability. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global agreement, currently under ratification, to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. The resolution regarding the role of the World Health Organization and ministries of health in the implementation of the Convention includes protection of human health from critical exposures to MeHg. Riverside populations living in areas with artisanal small-scale gold mining, and relying heavily on fish consumption, have been identified as the most vulnerable population in terms of MeHg exposure and developmental neurotoxicity. This article focuses on the proper design and dissemination of fish advisories within the context of implementation of the Convention.

  9. Sensitivity of continuous performance test (CPT) at age 14years to developmental methylmercury exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Julvez, Jordi; Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pal

    2010-01-01

    different time intervals after test initiation. A total of 878 adolescents (87% of birth cohort members) completed the CPT. The RT latencies were recorded for 10min, with visual targets presented at 1000ms intervals. After confounder adjustment, regression coefficients showed that CPT-RT outcomes differed...... in their associations with exposure biomarkers of prenatal methylmercury exposure: During the first 2min, the average HRT was weakly associated with methylmercury (beta (SE) for a ten-fold increase in exposure, (3.41 (2.06)), was strongly for the 3-to-6min interval (6.10 (2.18)), and the strongest during 7-10min after...

  10. Target organ specific activity of drosophila MRP (ABCC1) moderates developmental toxicity of methylmercury.

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    Prince, Lisa; Korbas, Malgorzata; Davidson, Philip; Broberg, Karin; Rand, Matthew Dearborn

    2014-08-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous and persistent neurotoxin that poses a risk to human health. Although the mechanisms of MeHg toxicity are not fully understood, factors that contribute to susceptibility are even less well known. Studies of human gene polymorphisms have identified a potential role for the multidrug resistance-like protein (MRP/ABCC) family, ATP-dependent transporters, in MeHg susceptibility. MRP transporters have been shown to be important for MeHg excretion in adult mouse models, but their role in moderating MeHg toxicity during development has not been explored. We therefore investigated effects of manipulating expression levels of MRP using a Drosophila development assay. Drosophila MRP (dMRP) is homologous to human MRP1-4 (ABCC1-4), sharing 50% identity and 67% similarity with MRP1. A greater susceptibility to MeHg is seen in dMRP mutant flies, demonstrated by reduced rates of eclosion on MeHg-containing food. Furthermore, targeted knockdown of dMRP expression using GAL4>UAS RNAi methods demonstrates a tissue-specific function for dMRP in gut, Malpighian tubules, and the nervous system in moderating developmental susceptibility to MeHg. Using X-ray synchrotron fluorescence imaging, these same tissues were also identified as the highest Hg-accumulating tissues in fly larvae. Moreover, higher levels of Hg are seen in dMRP mutant larvae compared with a control strain fed an equivalent dose of MeHg. In sum, these data demonstrate that dMRP expression, both globally and within Hg-targeted organs, has a profound effect on susceptibility to MeHg in developing flies. Our findings point to a potentially novel and specific role for dMRP in neurons in the protection against MeHg. Finally, this experimental system provides a tractable model to evaluate human polymorphic variants of MRP and other gene variants relevant to genetic studies of mercury-exposed populations.

  11. Early Developmental Low-Dose Methylmercury Exposure Alters Learning and Memory in Periadolescent but Not Young Adult Rats

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    Albores-Garcia, Damaris; Hernandez, Alberto J.; Loera, Miriam J.

    2016-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effects of developmental methylmercury (MeHg) exposure on learning and memory at different ages. The possibility of the amelioration or worsening of the effects has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aimed to assess whether low-dose MeHg exposure in utero and during suckling induces differential disturbances in learning and memory of periadolescent and young adult rats. Four experimental groups of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were orally exposed to MeHg or vehicle from gestational day 5 to weaning: (1) control (vehicle), (2) 250 μg/kg/day MeHg, (3) 500 μg/kg/day MeHg, and (4) vehicle, and treated on the test day with MK-801 (0.15 mg/kg i.p.), an antagonist of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor. The effects were evaluated in male offspring through the open field test, object recognition test, Morris water maze, and conditioned taste aversion. For each test and stage assessed, different groups of animals were used. MeHg exposure, in a dose-dependent manner, disrupted exploratory behaviour, recognition memory, spatial learning, and acquisition of aversive memories in periadolescent rats, but alterations were not observed in littermates tested in young adulthood. These results suggest that developmental low-dose exposure to MeHg induces age-dependent detrimental effects. The relevance of decreasing exposure to MeHg in humans remains to be determined. PMID:26885512

  12. Early Developmental Low-Dose Methylmercury Exposure Alters Learning and Memory in Periadolescent but Not Young Adult Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damaris Albores-Garcia

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have assessed the effects of developmental methylmercury (MeHg exposure on learning and memory at different ages. The possibility of the amelioration or worsening of the effects has not been sufficiently investigated. This study aimed to assess whether low-dose MeHg exposure in utero and during suckling induces differential disturbances in learning and memory of periadolescent and young adult rats. Four experimental groups of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were orally exposed to MeHg or vehicle from gestational day 5 to weaning: (1 control (vehicle, (2 250 μg/kg/day MeHg, (3 500 μg/kg/day MeHg, and (4 vehicle, and treated on the test day with MK-801 (0.15 mg/kg i.p., an antagonist of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor. The effects were evaluated in male offspring through the open field test, object recognition test, Morris water maze, and conditioned taste aversion. For each test and stage assessed, different groups of animals were used. MeHg exposure, in a dose-dependent manner, disrupted exploratory behaviour, recognition memory, spatial learning, and acquisition of aversive memories in periadolescent rats, but alterations were not observed in littermates tested in young adulthood. These results suggest that developmental low-dose exposure to MeHg induces age-dependent detrimental effects. The relevance of decreasing exposure to MeHg in humans remains to be determined.

  13. Developmental neurotoxicity of the hippocampus following in utero exposure to methylmercury: impairment in cell signaling.

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    Heimfarth, Luana; Delgado, Jeferson; Mignori, Moara Rodrigues; Gelain, Daniel Pens; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2017-08-18

    In this study, we assessed some hippocampal signaling cascades and behavioral impairments in 30-day-old rat pups prenatally exposed to methylmercury (MeHg). Pregnant rats were exposed to 1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg MeHg by gavage in alternated days from gestational day 5 until parturition. We found increased anxiety-like and decreased exploration behavior evaluated by open field test and deficit of both short- and long-term memories by novel object recognition task, respectively, in MeHg-treated pups. Downregulated PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and activated/hypophosphorylated (Ser9) GSK3β in MeHg-treated pups could be upstream of hyperphosphorylated Tau (Ser396) destabilizing microtubules and contributing to neural dysfunction in the hippocampus of these rats. Hyperphosphorylated/activated p38MAPK and downregulated phosphoErk1/2 support a role for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade on MeHg neurotoxicity. Decreased receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE) immunocontent supports the assumption that downregulated RAGE/Erk1/2 pathway could be involved in hypophosphorylated lysine/serine/proline (KSP) repeats on neurofilament subunits and disturbed axonal transport. Downregulated myelin basic protein (MBP), the major myelin protein, is compatible with dysmyelination and neurofilament hypophosphorylation. Increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels suggest reactive astrocytes, and active apoptotic pathways BAD/BCL-2, BAX/BCL-XL, and caspase 3 suggest cell death. Taken together, our findings get light on important signaling mechanisms that could underlie the behavioral deficits in 30-day-old pups prenatally exposed to MeHg.

  14. Methylmercury toxicity and functional programming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE: Adverse health effects of developmental toxicants may induce abnormal functional programming that leads to lasting functional deficits. This notion is considered from epidemiological evidence using developmental methylmercury neurotoxicity as an example. MOST IMPORTANT FINDINGS...... of certain brain functions, thereby causing confounding bias. The functional deficits caused by prenatal methylmercury exposure appear to be permanent, and their extent may depend on the joint effect of toxicants and nutrients. PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS: The lasting functional changes caused...... by neurodevelopmental methylmercury toxicity fit into the pattern of functional programming, with effects opposite to those linked to beneficial stimuli....

  15. Genome-wide association analysis of tolerance to methylmercury toxicity in Drosophila implicates myogenic and neuromuscular developmental pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara L Montgomery

    Full Text Available Methylmercury (MeHg is a persistent environmental toxin present in seafood that can compromise the developing nervous system in humans. The effects of MeHg toxicity varies among individuals, despite similar levels of exposure, indicating that genetic differences contribute to MeHg susceptibility. To examine how genetic variation impacts MeHg tolerance, we assessed developmental tolerance to MeHg using the sequenced, inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP. We found significant genetic variation in the effects of MeHg on development, measured by eclosion rate, giving a broad sense heritability of 0.86. To investigate the influence of dietary factors, we measured MeHg toxicity with caffeine supplementation in the DGRP lines. We found that caffeine counteracts the deleterious effects of MeHg in the majority of lines, and there is significant genetic variance in the magnitude of this effect, with a broad sense heritability of 0.80. We performed genome-wide association (GWA analysis for both traits, and identified candidate genes that fall into several gene ontology categories, with enrichment for genes involved in muscle and neuromuscular development. Overexpression of glutamate-cysteine ligase, a MeHg protective enzyme, in a muscle-specific manner leads to a robust rescue of eclosion of flies reared on MeHg food. Conversely, mutations in kirre, a pivotal myogenic gene identified in our GWA analyses, modulate tolerance to MeHg during development in accordance with kirre expression levels. Finally, we observe disruptions of indirect flight muscle morphogenesis in MeHg-exposed pupae. Since the pathways for muscle development are evolutionarily conserved, it is likely that the effects of MeHg observed in Drosophila can be generalized across phyla, implicating muscle as an additional hitherto unrecognized target for MeHg toxicity. Furthermore, our observations that caffeine can ameliorate the toxic effects of MeHg show

  16. Enhanced reproduction in mallards fed a low level of methylmercury: an apparent case of hormesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2010-03-01

    Breeding pairs of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 microg/g mercury (Hg) in the form of methylmercury chloride. There were no effects of Hg on adult weights and no overt signs of Hg poisoning in adults. The Hg-containing diet had no effect on fertility of eggs, but hatching success of eggs was significantly higher for females fed 0.5 microg/g Hg (71.8%) than for controls (57.5%). Survival of ducklings through 6 d of age was the same (97.8%) for controls and mallards fed 0.5 microg/g mercury. However, the mean number of ducklings produced per female was significantly higher for the pairs fed 0.5 microg/g Hg (21.4) than for controls (16.8). Although mercury in the parents' diet had no effect on mean duckling weights at hatching, ducklings from parents fed 0.5 microg/g Hg weighed significantly more (mean = 87.2 g) at 6 d of age than did control ducklings (81.0 g). The mean concentration of Hg in eggs laid by parents fed 0.5 microg/g mercury was 0.81 microg/g on a wet-weight basis. At this time, one cannot rule out the possibility that low concentrations of Hg in eggs may be beneficial, and this possibility should be considered when setting regulatory thresholds for methylmercury.

  17. Effects of protein-deficient nutrition during rat pregnancy and development on developmental hindlimb crossing due to methylmercury intoxication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chakrabarti, S.K.; Bai, Chengjiang [Montreal Univ., Quebec (Canada). Dept. de Medecine du Travail et Hygiene du Milieu

    2000-07-01

    Pregnant rats were fed either a control (20% protein) or low (3.5%) protein diet during gestation and lactation. The pups were separated from their mothers on postnatal day 21, and were given the same dient as their corresponding mothers. The groups of pups from each diet group were treated on either postnatal day 21 or postnatal day 60 with 7.5 mg methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) per kg b.w. once daily by gavage for 10 consecutive days, and the development of ataxia (hind-limb corossing) was monitored. The offspring from mothers on the protein-deficient diet were found to be more sensitive to MeHg-induced ataxia than those on the protein-sufficient diet. The former accumulated more mercury in different brain regions than the latter. The rates of protein synthesis in different brain regions of the offspring fed the protein-deficient diet were significantly reduced compared with the rates in those fed the protein-sufficient diet. However, MeHg treatment did not significantly modify the rates of such protein synthesis further in protein-deficient rats. Thus, a significantly much higher inhibition of the intrinsic rates of protein synthesis in different brain regions due to severe protein deficiency, as observed in this study, may be partly responsible for the increased susceptibility of developing rats fed a protein-deficient diet to MeHg-induced ataxia, or hindlimb crossing, although other factor(s) might also be involved. (orig.)

  18. Many human accelerated regions are developmental enhancers.

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    Capra, John A; Erwin, Genevieve D; McKinsey, Gabriel; Rubenstein, John L R; Pollard, Katherine S

    2013-12-19

    The genetic changes underlying the dramatic differences in form and function between humans and other primates are largely unknown, although it is clear that gene regulatory changes play an important role. To identify regulatory sequences with potentially human-specific functions, we and others used comparative genomics to find non-coding regions conserved across mammals that have acquired many sequence changes in humans since divergence from chimpanzees. These regions are good candidates for performing human-specific regulatory functions. Here, we analysed the DNA sequence, evolutionary history, histone modifications, chromatin state and transcription factor (TF) binding sites of a combined set of 2649 non-coding human accelerated regions (ncHARs) and predicted that at least 30% of them function as developmental enhancers. We prioritized the predicted ncHAR enhancers using analysis of TF binding site gain and loss, along with the functional annotations and expression patterns of nearby genes. We then tested both the human and chimpanzee sequence for 29 ncHARs in transgenic mice, and found 24 novel developmental enhancers active in both species, 17 of which had very consistent patterns of activity in specific embryonic tissues. Of these ncHAR enhancers, five drove expression patterns suggestive of different activity for the human and chimpanzee sequence at embryonic day 11.5. The changes to human non-coding DNA in these ncHAR enhancers may modify the complex patterns of gene expression necessary for proper development in a human-specific manner and are thus promising candidates for understanding the genetic basis of human-specific biology.

  19. TrkB overexpression in mice buffers against memory deficits and depression-like behavior but not all anxiety- and stress-related symptoms induced by developmental exposure to methylmercury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina N Karpova

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Developmental exposure to low dose of methylmercury (MeHg has a long-lasting effect on memory and attention deficits in humans, as well as cognitive performance, depression-like behavior and the hippocampal levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnfin mice. The Bdnf receptor TrkB is a key player of Bdnf signaling. Using transgenic animals, here we analyzed the effect of the full-length TrkB overexpression (TK+ on behavior impairments induced by perinatal MeHg. TK overexpression in the MeHg-exposed mice enhanced generalized anxiety and cue memory in the fear conditioning test. Early exposure to MeHg induced deficits in reversal spatial memory in the Morris water maze test and depression-like behavior in the forced swim test in only wild-type mice but did not affect these parameters in TK+ mice. These changes were associated with TK+ effect on the increase in Bdnf 2, 3, 4 and 6 transcription in the hippocampus as well as with interaction of TK+ and MeHg factors for Bdnf 1, 9a and truncated TrkB.T1 transcripts in the prefrontal cortex. However, the MeHg-induced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze and open field tests was ameliorated by TK+ background only in the open field test. Moreover, TK overexpression in the MeHg mice did not prevent significant stress-induced weight loss during the period of adaptation to individual housing in metabolic cages. These TK genotype-independent changes were primarily accompanied by the MeHg-induced hippocampal deficits in the activity-dependent Bdnf 1, 4 and 9a variants, TrkB.T1, and transcripts for important antioxidant enzymes glyoxalases Glo1 and Glo2 and glutathione reductase Gsr. Our data suggest a role of full-length TrkB in buffering against memory deficits and depression-like behavior in the MeHg mice but propose the involvement of additional pathways, such as the antioxidant system or TrkB.T1 signaling, in stress- or anxiety-related responses induced by developmental MeHg exposure.

  20. Green synthesis of low-toxicity graphene-fulvic acid with an open band gap enhances demethylation of methylmercury.

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    Hu, Xiangang; Mu, Li; Lu, Kaicheng; Kang, Jia; Zhou, Qixing

    2014-06-25

    The demethylation of methylmercury has received substantial attention. Here, a novel chemical method for the demethylation of methylmercury is proposed. The low-toxicity graphene-fulvic acid (FA, a ubiquitous material in the environment) was synthesized without the use of a chemical reagent. The hybridized graphene-FA presented an indirect open band gap of 2.25-2.87 eV as well as adequate aqueous dispersion. More importantly, the hybridized graphene-FA exhibited 6- and 10-fold higher photocatalytic efficiencies for the demethylation of methylmercury than FA and free FA with graphene, respectively. This result implies that immobilized, rather than free, FA accelerated the catalysis. Furthermore, inorganic mercuric ion, elemental mercury, and mercuric oxide were identified as the primary demethylation products. For free FA with graphene, graphene quenches the excited-state FA, inhibiting the demethylation by electron transfer. In contrast, the graphene of the self-assembled graphene-FA serves as an electron reservoir, causing electron-hole pair separation. Graphene-FA showed a negligible toxicity toward microalgae compared to graphene. The above results reveal that the green synthesis of graphene and organic molecules is a convenient strategy for obtaining effective cocatalysts.

  1. Gender differential effects of developmental exposure to methyl-mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls 126 or 153, or its combinations on motor activity and coordination.

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    Cauli, Omar; Piedrafita, Blanca; Llansola, Marta; Felipo, Vicente

    2013-09-06

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury (MeHg) are persistent organic pollutants accumulating in the food chain. Pre- and neonatal exposure to these neurotoxicants may affect brain development and lead to long-lasting alterations in cerebral function, which can result in motor alterations in youth and/or adulthood. Some neurotoxicants induce gender specific effects. The aims of the present work were to: (1) assess the effects of developmental exposure to MeHg, PCB 153 or PCB 126 on spontaneous locomotor and vertical activity and motor coordination when the rats are 2-month old; (2) assess whether perinatal exposure to combinations of MeHg with PCB153 or PCB126 alter the effects of the individual neurotoxicants; (3) follow the progression of motor alterations when the rats are 3-, 5- and 7-month old; (4) assess if the effects are similar or different in males and females. Pregnant rats were treated with MeHg (0.5mg/kgday); PCB126 (100ng/kgday) or PCB153 (1mg/kgday) or with combinations of MeHg with each PCB, administered in food from gestational day 7 until weaning at post-natal day 21. PCB 126 impaired motor coordination at 2 months in males but not in females. PCB 153 impaired coordination both in males and females. Combinations of MeHg with PCB153 or PCB126 did not affect motor coordination, indicating that MeHg counteracts the effects of the PBCs. The combination of MeHg and PCB153 induces hypolocomotion at 2 months but hyperactivity at 7 months while the individual compounds did not induce any effect. PCB126 induced gender selective effects, reducing locomotor activity at 2 months in females but not in males. The combination of MeHg and PCB126 behaves as PCB126 alone. All compounds and combinations tested induce gender-selective alterations in vertical activity. The effects on locomotor and vertical activity change with age in the same rats. At 2 months all compounds and combinations reduce vertical activity in females but not in males. At 7 months

  2. Enhancing Resilience in Youth through a 10-Day Developmental Voyage

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    Hayhurst, Jill; Hunter, John A.; Kafka, Sarah; Boyes, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The present study sought to examine the potential for resilience to be enhanced in a group of youth participating in a developmental voyage, and to identify the factors that contribute to increased resilience following the voyage. Two studies are reported. Study 1 revealed that voyage participants experienced increased resilience over the course…

  3. Enhancing Resilience in Youth through a 10-Day Developmental Voyage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayhurst, Jill; Hunter, John A.; Kafka, Sarah; Boyes, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The present study sought to examine the potential for resilience to be enhanced in a group of youth participating in a developmental voyage, and to identify the factors that contribute to increased resilience following the voyage. Two studies are reported. Study 1 revealed that voyage participants experienced increased resilience over the course…

  4. Holistic face training enhances face processing in developmental prosopagnosia.

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    DeGutis, Joseph; Cohan, Sarah; Nakayama, Ken

    2014-06-01

    Prosopagnosia has largely been regarded as an untreatable disorder. However, recent case studies using cognitive training have shown that it is possible to enhance face recognition abilities in individuals with developmental prosopagnosia. Our goal was to determine if this approach could be effective in a larger population of developmental prosopagnosics. We trained 24 developmental prosopagnosics using a 3-week online face-training program targeting holistic face processing. Twelve subjects with developmental prosopagnosia were assessed before and after training, and the other 12 were assessed before and after a waiting period, they then performed the training, and were then assessed again. The assessments included measures of front-view face discrimination, face discrimination with view-point changes, measures of holistic face processing, and a 5-day diary to quantify potential real-world improvements. Compared with the waiting period, developmental prosopagnosics showed moderate but significant overall training-related improvements on measures of front-view face discrimination. Those who reached the more difficult levels of training ('better' trainees) showed the strongest improvements in front-view face discrimination and showed significantly increased holistic face processing to the point of being similar to that of unimpaired control subjects. Despite challenges in characterizing developmental prosopagnosics' everyday face recognition and potential biases in self-report, results also showed modest but consistent self-reported diary improvements. In summary, we demonstrate that by using cognitive training that targets holistic processing, it is possible to enhance face perception across a group of developmental prosopagnosics and further suggest that those who improved the most on the training task received the greatest benefits.

  5. Molecular composition of organic matter controls methylmercury formation in boreal lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Andrea G.; Bouchet, Sylvain; Tolu, Julie; Björn, Erik; Mateos-Rivera, Alejandro; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2017-02-01

    A detailed understanding of the formation of the potent neurotoxic methylmercury is needed to explain the large observed variability in methylmercury levels in aquatic systems. While it is known that organic matter interacts strongly with mercury, the role of organic matter composition in the formation of methylmercury in aquatic systems remains poorly understood. Here we show that phytoplankton-derived organic compounds enhance mercury methylation rates in boreal lake sediments through an overall increase of bacterial activity. Accordingly, in situ mercury methylation defines methylmercury levels in lake sediments strongly influenced by planktonic blooms. In contrast, sediments dominated by terrigenous organic matter inputs have far lower methylation rates but higher concentrations of methylmercury, suggesting that methylmercury was formed in the catchment and imported into lakes. Our findings demonstrate that the origin and molecular composition of organic matter are critical parameters to understand and predict methylmercury formation and accumulation in boreal lake sediments.

  6. Cyanobacteria enhance methylmercury production: a hypothesis tested in the periphyton of two lakes in the Pantanal floodplain, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázaro, Wilkinson L; Guimarães, Jean Remy D; Ignácio, Aurea R A; Da Silva, Carolina J; Díez, Sergi

    2013-07-01

    The toxic potential of mercury (Hg) in aquatic systems is due to the presence and production of methylmercury (MeHg). Recent studies in tropical floodplain environments showed that periphyton associated with the roots of aquatic macrophytes produce MeHg. Periphyton communities are the first link in the food chain and one of the main MeHg sources in aquatic environments. The aim of this work was to test the hypotheses that the algal community structure affects potential methylation, and ecologically distinct communities with different algal and bacterial densities directly affect the formation of MeHg in the roots of macrophytes. To evaluate these, net MeHg production in the roots of Eichhornia crassipes in relation to the taxonomic structure of associated periphytic algae was evaluated. Macrophyte root samples were collected in the dry and flood season from two floodplain lakes in the Pantanal (Brazil). These lakes have different ecological conditions as a function of their lateral hydrological connectivity with the Paraguay River that is different during times of drought. Results indicated that MeHg production was higher in the flood season than in the dry season. MeHg production rates were higher in the disconnected lake in comparison to the connected lake during the dry season. MeHg production exhibited a strong positive co-variation with cyanobacteria abundance (R(2)=0.78; p<0.0001 in dry; R(2)=0.40; p=0.029 in flood) and with total algal biomass (R(2)=0.86; p<0.0001), and a negative co-variation with Zygnemaphyceae (R(2)=0.50; p=0.0018) in the lake community in dry season. This indicates that ecological conditions that favour the establishment and development of cyanobacteria are associated with higher rates of methylation in aquatic systems. This suggests that cyanobacteria could be a proxy for sites of MeHg production in some natural aquatic environments.

  7. Shadow Enhancers Are Pervasive Features of Developmental Regulatory Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannavò, Enrico; Khoueiry, Pierre; Garfield, David A; Geeleher, Paul; Zichner, Thomas; Gustafson, E Hilary; Ciglar, Lucia; Korbel, Jan O; Furlong, Eileen E M

    2016-01-11

    Embryogenesis is remarkably robust to segregating mutations and environmental variation; under a range of conditions, embryos of a given species develop into stereotypically patterned organisms. Such robustness is thought to be conferred, in part, through elements within regulatory networks that perform similar, redundant tasks. Redundant enhancers (or "shadow" enhancers), for example, can confer precision and robustness to gene expression, at least at individual, well-studied loci. However, the extent to which enhancer redundancy exists and can thereby have a major impact on developmental robustness remains unknown. Here, we systematically assessed this, identifying over 1,000 predicted shadow enhancers during Drosophila mesoderm development. The activity of 23 elements, associated with five genes, was examined in transgenic embryos, while natural structural variation among individuals was used to assess their ability to buffer against genetic variation. Our results reveal three clear properties of enhancer redundancy within developmental systems. First, it is much more pervasive than previously anticipated, with 64% of loci examined having shadow enhancers. Their spatial redundancy is often partial in nature, while the non-overlapping function may explain why these enhancers are maintained within a population. Second, over 70% of loci do not follow the simple situation of having only two shadow enhancers-often there are three (rols), four (CadN and ade5), or five (Traf1), at least one of which can be deleted with no obvious phenotypic effects. Third, although shadow enhancers can buffer variation, patterns of segregating variation suggest that they play a more complex role in development than generally considered.

  8. A unique chromatin signature uncovers early developmental enhancers in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rada-Iglesias, Alvaro; Bajpai, Ruchi; Swigut, Tomek; Brugmann, Samantha A; Flynn, Ryan A; Wysocka, Joanna

    2011-02-10

    Cell-fate transitions involve the integration of genomic information encoded by regulatory elements, such as enhancers, with the cellular environment. However, identification of genomic sequences that control human embryonic development represents a formidable challenge. Here we show that in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), unique chromatin signatures identify two distinct classes of genomic elements, both of which are marked by the presence of chromatin regulators p300 and BRG1, monomethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me1), and low nucleosomal density. In addition, elements of the first class are distinguished by the acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27ac), overlap with previously characterized hESC enhancers, and are located proximally to genes expressed in hESCs and the epiblast. In contrast, elements of the second class, which we term 'poised enhancers', are distinguished by the absence of H3K27ac, enrichment of histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), and are linked to genes inactive in hESCs and instead are involved in orchestrating early steps in embryogenesis, such as gastrulation, mesoderm formation and neurulation. Consistent with the poised identity, during differentiation of hESCs to neuroepithelium, a neuroectoderm-specific subset of poised enhancers acquires a chromatin signature associated with active enhancers. When assayed in zebrafish embryos, poised enhancers are able to direct cell-type and stage-specific expression characteristic of their proximal developmental gene, even in the absence of sequence conservation in the fish genome. Our data demonstrate that early developmental enhancers are epigenetically pre-marked in hESCs and indicate an unappreciated role of H3K27me3 at distal regulatory elements. Moreover, the wealth of new regulatory sequences identified here provides an invaluable resource for studies and isolation of transient, rare cell populations representing early stages of human embryogenesis.

  9. Adverse effects of methylmercury: environmental health research implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe; Satoh, Hiroshi; Murata, Katsuyuki;

    2010-01-01

    the recognition of methylmercury as a cause of serious human poisonings in Minamata, Japan. Developmental neurotoxicity was first reported in 1952, but despite accumulating evidence, the vulnerability of the developing nervous system was not taken into account in risk assessment internationally until...

  10. Human developmental enhancers conserved between deuterostomes and protostomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoa L Clarke

    Full Text Available The identification of homologies, whether morphological, molecular, or genetic, is fundamental to our understanding of common biological principles. Homologies bridging the great divide between deuterostomes and protostomes have served as the basis for current models of animal evolution and development. It is now appreciated that these two clades share a common developmental toolkit consisting of conserved transcription factors and signaling pathways. These patterning genes sometimes show common expression patterns and genetic interactions, suggesting the existence of similar or even conserved regulatory apparatus. However, previous studies have found no regulatory sequence conserved between deuterostomes and protostomes. Here we describe the first such enhancers, which we call bilaterian conserved regulatory elements (Bicores. Bicores show conservation of sequence and gene synteny. Sequence conservation of Bicores reflects conserved patterns of transcription factor binding sites. We predict that Bicores act as response elements to signaling pathways, and we show that Bicores are developmental enhancers that drive expression of transcriptional repressors in the vertebrate central nervous system. Although the small number of identified Bicores suggests extensive rewiring of cis-regulation between the protostome and deuterostome clades, additional Bicores may be revealed as our understanding of cis-regulatory logic and sample of bilaterian genomes continue to grow.

  11. Effect of methylmercury on histamine release from rat mast cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graevskaya, Elizabeth E.; Rubin, Andrew B. [Moscow State University, Biological Faculty, Department of Biophysics, 119899, Vorobjovy Gory, Moscow (Russian Federation); Yasutake, Akira; Aramaki, Ryoji [National Institute for Minamata Disease, 4058-18 Hama, Minamata, Kumamoto 867-0008 (Japan)

    2003-01-01

    Methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) is well known as a significant environmental hazard, particularly as a modulator of the immune system. As it is acknowledged that the critical effector cells in the host response participating in various biological responses are mast cells, we tried to define the possible contribution of mast cells in the development of methylmercury-evoked effects. We investigated the effects of methylmercury on the rat mast cell degranulation induced by non-immunological stimuli (the selective liberator of histamine, compound 48/80, and calcium ionophore A23187) both in vivo and in vitro. Using the cells prepared from methylmercury-intoxicated rats through a 5-day treatment of MeHgCl (10 mg/kg/day), we observed the suppression of calcium ionophore A23187- and 48/80-induced histamine release, which was enhanced with time after treatment. Similar suppression was observed in the ionophore-stimulated release, when cells were prepared from rat with a single treatment of MeHgCl (20 mg/kg). It should be noted that when cells from the control rat were pre-incubated with methylmercury in vitro at a 10{sup -8} M concentration for 10 min, A23187 and compound 48/80-stimulated histamine release was significantly enhanced. However, when the pre-incubation period was prolonged to 30 min, the release was suppressed. An increase in the methylmercury concentration to 10{sup -6} M also suppressed the histamine release. These results show that methylmercury treatment can modify mast cell function depending on concentration and time, and might provide an insight into the role of mast cells in the development of methylmercury-stimulated effects. (orig.)

  12. Ultraconservation identifies a small subset of extremely constrained developmental enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pennacchio, Len A.; Visel, Axel; Prabhakar, Shyam; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Shoukry, Malak; Lewis, Keith D.; Holt, Amy; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Afzal, Veena; Rubin, Edward M.; Pennacchio, Len A.

    2007-10-01

    While experimental studies have suggested that non-coding ultraconserved DNA elements are central nodes in the regulatory circuitry that specifies mammalian embryonic development, the possible functional relevance of their>200bp of perfect sequence conservation between human-mouse-rat remains obscure 1,2. Here we have compared the in vivo enhancer activity of a genome-wide set of 231 non-exonic sequences with ultraconserved cores to that of 206 sequences that are under equivalently severe human-rodent constraint (ultra-like), but lack perfect sequence conservation. In transgenic mouse assays, 50percent of the ultraconserved and 50percent of the ultra-like conserved elements reproducibly functioned as tissue-specific enhancers at embryonic day 11.5. In this in vivo assay, we observed that ultraconserved enhancers and constrained non-ultraconserved enhancers targeted expression to a similar spectrum of tissues with a particular enrichment in the developing central nervous system. A human genome-wide comparative screen uncovered ~;;2,600 non-coding elements that evolved under ultra-like human-rodent constraint and are similarly enriched near transcriptional regulators and developmental genes as the much smaller number of ultraconserved elements. These data indicate that ultraconserved elements possessing absolute human-rodent sequence conservation are not distinct from other non-coding elements that are under comparable purifying selection in mammals and suggest they are principal constituents of the cis-regulatory framework of mammalian development.

  13. Prenatal methylmercury poisoning: clinical observations over five years

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amin-Zaki, L. (Univ. of Baghdad, Iraq); Majeed, M.A.; Elhassani, S.B.; Clarkson, T.W.; Greenwood, M.R.; Doherty, R.A.

    1979-02-01

    Thirty-two infants prenatally exposed to methylmercury and their mothers were examined over a five-year period after the Iraqi methylmercury epidemic. Severity of poisoning in mothers was related to the peak mercury concentration in their hair and in the infants to the maximum concentration in maternal hair during pregnancy. In nine cases of cerebral palsy, methylmercury exposure occurred only during the last trimester. All infants except three (two were orphaned soon after birth and one was bottle-fed) were exposed postnatally via suckling. Whereas the mother's symptoms usually improved, the damage to the fetal nervous system appears to be permanent. Milder cases previously not identified in other studies are reported. The syndrome consists of varying degrees of developmental retardation in addition to exaggerated tendon reflexes and the pathologic extensor plantar reflex (minimal brain damage syndrome).

  14. Enhancing classroom participation of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selanikyo, Efrat; Yalon-Chamovitz, Shira; Weintraub, Naomi

    2017-04-01

    Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have been found to participate less in school-based activities. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a combined in-service and collaborative consultation intervention model for enhancing classroom participation of students with IDD. The Collaborative Consultation for Participation of Students With IDD (Co-PID) program involved a multidisciplinary team (an occupational therapist and 17 teachers) as well as 35 students and was compared to an in-service program (20 teachers and 34 students). Students were 8 to 20 years old. The programs aimed to enhance three classroom participation components: communicating, choosing, and initiating. The Co-PID was found to significantly improve students' participation in all areas, whereas the participation of the students in the in-service group decreased. A school-based multidisciplinary intervention program for students with IDD, combining in-service and collaborative consultation (e.g., Co-PID), may assist in enhancing classroom participation among students with IDD.

  15. Identification of a mechanism by which the methylmercury antidotes N-acetylcysteine and dimercaptopropanesulfonate enhance urinary metal excretion: transport by the renal organic anion transporter-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Albert S; Simmons-Willis, Tracey A; Pritchard, John B; Grassl, Steven M; Ballatori, Nazzareno

    2002-10-01

    N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) and dimercaptopropanesulfonate (DMPS) are sulfhydryl-containing compounds that produce a dramatic acceleration of urinary methylmercury (MeHg) excretion in poisoned animals, but the molecular mechanism for this effect is unknown. NAC and DMPS are themselves excreted in urine in high concentrations. The present study tested the hypothesis that the complexes formed between MeHg and these anionic chelating agents are transported from blood into proximal tubule cells by the basolateral membrane organic anion transporters (Oat) 1 and Oat3. Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing rat Oat1 showed increased uptake of [(14)C]MeHg when complexed with either NAC or DMPS but not when complexed with L-cysteine, glutathione, dimercaptosuccinate, penicillamine, or gamma-glutamylcysteine. In contrast, none of these MeHg complexes were transported by Oat3-expressing oocytes. The apparent K(m) values for Oat1-mediated transport were 31 +/- 2 microM for MeHg-NAC and 9 +/- 2 microM for MeHg-DMPS, indicating that these are relatively high-affinity substrates. Oat1-mediated uptake of [(14)C]MeHg-NAC and [(14)C]MeHg-DMPS was inhibited by prototypical substrates for Oat1, including p-aminohippurate (PAH), and was trans-stimulated when oocytes were preloaded with 2 mM glutarate but not glutamate. Conversely, efflux of [(3)H]PAH from Oat1-expressing oocytes was trans-stimulated by glutarate, PAH, NAC, DMPS, MeHg-NAC, MeHg-DMPS, and a mercapturic acid, indicating that these are transported solutes. [(3)H]PAH uptake was competitively inhibited by NAC (K(i) of 2.0 +/- 0.3 mM) and DMPS (K(i) of 0.10 +/- 0.02 mM), providing further evidence that these chelating agents are substrates for Oat1. These results indicate that the MeHg antidotes NAC and DMPS and their mercaptide complexes are transported by Oat1 but are comparatively poor substrates for Oat3. This is the first molecular identification of a transport mechanism by which these antidotes may enhance urinary excretion of

  16. Methylmercury risk assessment issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipfert, F.W. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States); Saroff, L. [USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)

    1996-07-01

    This paper reviews the general background of health risks associated with mercury (Hg), primarily methylmercury (MeHg), with a view towards application to advanced technologies that could reduce any contributions from coal combustion. The need for accurate assessment of such risks is discussed, since Hg is now widely dispersed in the environment and cannot easily be eliminated. The primary pathway of MeHg intake is through eating contaminated fish. The issues of concern include identification of critical health outcomes (various neurological indices) and their confounding factors, accurate assessment of MeHg intake rates, and appropriate use of dose-response functions. Ultimately, such information will be used to evaluate alternative coal combustion systems.

  17. Enhancing the Learning Experience for Millennial Developmental Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Denise

    2011-01-01

    The values and needs of today's college students are different from the needs of students from past generations. It is important that developmental educators recognize the characteristics of these students in their classroom and develop strategies to address their needs. This article focuses on the characteristics of the Millennial student, as…

  18. An enhanced developmental staging table for the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta (Testudines: Emydidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Cordero, Gerardo; Janzen, Fredric J

    2014-04-01

    Normal developmental staging tables often undergo expansion and enhancement in response to advancing research paradigms and technologies. The Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta, has long been a preferred reference taxon for comparative embryology and recently became the first turtle species to feature a sequenced genome. However, modern descriptive studies on embryogenesis are lacking and an earlier developmental staging table has been ignored. To address these problems, we re-evaluated descriptions of developmental stages by studying embryos under standardized laboratory conditions. We created an enhanced normal developmental staging table that clarifies and validates previous descriptions of developmental processes in this species. Moreover, we emphasized description of turtle-specific developmental characters such as the carapacial ridge. We demonstrated that embryo growth rate, length of incubation period, and timing to developmental stages are predictable under controlled environmental conditions. The appearance of characters associated with eye, limb, and shell anatomy was congruent with observations made in other turtle species. To reduce experimental bias, we recommend the use of our enhanced staging table when describing embryogenesis in the Painted Turtle. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Origin and evolution of developmental enhancers in the mammalian neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emera, Deena; Yin, Jun; Reilly, Steven K; Gockley, Jake; Noonan, James P

    2016-05-10

    Morphological innovations such as the mammalian neocortex may involve the evolution of novel regulatory sequences. However, de novo birth of regulatory elements active during morphogenesis has not been extensively studied in mammals. Here, we use H3K27ac-defined regulatory elements active during human and mouse corticogenesis to identify enhancers that were likely active in the ancient mammalian forebrain. We infer the phylogenetic origins of these enhancers and find that ∼20% arose in the mammalian stem lineage, coincident with the emergence of the neocortex. Implementing a permutation strategy that controls for the nonrandom variation in the ages of background genomic sequences, we find that mammal-specific enhancers are overrepresented near genes involved in cell migration, cell signaling, and axon guidance. Mammal-specific enhancers are also overrepresented in modules of coexpressed genes in the cortex that are associated with these pathways, notably ephrin and semaphorin signaling. Our results also provide insight into the mechanisms of regulatory innovation in mammals. We find that most neocortical enhancers did not originate by en bloc exaptation of transposons. Young neocortical enhancers exhibit smaller H3K27ac footprints and weaker evolutionary constraint in eutherian mammals than older neocortical enhancers. Based on these observations, we present a model of the enhancer life cycle in which neocortical enhancers initially emerge from genomic background as short, weakly constrained "proto-enhancers." Many proto-enhancers are likely lost, but some may serve as nucleation points for complex enhancers to evolve.

  20. Developmental evaluation applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use

    CERN Document Server

    Patton, Michael Quinn

    2011-01-01

    Developmental evaluation (DE) offers a powerful approach to monitoring and supporting social innovations by working in partnership with program decision makers. In this book, eminent authority Michael Quinn Patton shows how to conduct evaluations within a DE framework. Patton draws on insights about complex dynamic systems, uncertainty, nonlinearity, and emergence. He illustrates how DE can be used for a range of purposes: ongoing program development, adapting effective principles of practice to local contexts, generating innovations and taking them to scale, and facilitating rapid response in crisis situations. Students and practicing evaluators will appreciate the book's extensive case examples and stories, cartoons, clear writing style, "closer look" sidebars, and summary tables. Provided is essential guidance for making evaluations useful, practical, and credible in support of social change.

  1. Chemical speciation of heavy metals by surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy: identification and quantification of inorganic- and methyl-mercury in water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrini, Luca; Rodriguez-Loureiro, Ignacio; Correa-Duarte, Miguel A.; Lee, Yih Hong; Ling, Xing Yi; García de Abajo, F. Javier; Alvarez-Puebla, Ramon A.

    2014-06-01

    Chemical speciation of heavy metals has become extremely important in environmental and analytical research because of the strong dependence that toxicity, environmental mobility, persistence and bioavailability of these pollutants have on their specific chemical forms. Novel nano-optical-based detection strategies, capable of overcoming the intrinsic limitations of well-established analytic methods for the quantification of total metal ion content, have been reported, but the speciation of different chemical forms has not yet been achieved. Here, we report the first example of a SERS-based sensor for chemical speciation of toxic metal ions in water at trace levels. Specifically, the inorganic Hg2+ and the more toxicologically relevant methylmercury (CH3Hg+) are selected as analytical targets. The sensing platform consists of a self-assembled monolayer of 4-mercaptopyridine (MPY) on highly SERS-active and robust hybrid plasmonic materials formed by a dense layer of interacting gold nanoparticles anchored onto polystyrene microbeads. The co-ordination of Hg2+ and CH3Hg+ to the nitrogen atom of the MPY ring yields characteristic changes in the vibrational SERS spectra of the organic chemoreceptor that can be qualitatively and quantitatively correlated to the presence of the two different mercury forms.Chemical speciation of heavy metals has become extremely important in environmental and analytical research because of the strong dependence that toxicity, environmental mobility, persistence and bioavailability of these pollutants have on their specific chemical forms. Novel nano-optical-based detection strategies, capable of overcoming the intrinsic limitations of well-established analytic methods for the quantification of total metal ion content, have been reported, but the speciation of different chemical forms has not yet been achieved. Here, we report the first example of a SERS-based sensor for chemical speciation of toxic metal ions in water at trace levels

  2. Leadership and Leader Developmental Self-Efficacy: Their Role in Enhancing Leader Development Efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Susan Elaine; Johnson, Stefanie K

    2016-01-01

    This chapter describes the role of two types of self-efficacy-leader self-efficacy and leader developmental efficacy-for enhancing leadership development. Practical implications for designing and developing leadership programs that take into account these two types of self-efficacy are discussed.

  3. Scientific Opinion on the risk for public health related to the presence of mercury and methylmercury in food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available EFSA was asked by the European Commission to consider new developments regarding inorganic mercury and methylmercury toxicity and evaluate whether the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA provisional tolerable weekly intakes for methylmercury of 1.6 µg/kg body weight (b.w. and of 4 µg/kg b.w. for inorganic mercury were still appropriate. In line with JECFA, the CONTAM Panel established a tolerable weekly intake (TWI for inorganic mercury of 4 µg/kg b.w., expressed as mercury. For methylmercury, new developments in epidemiological studies from the Seychelles Child Developmental Study Nutrition Cohort have indicated that n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish may counteract negative effects from methylmercury exposure. Together with the information that beneficial nutrients in fish may have confounded previous adverse outcomes in child cohort studies from the Faroe Islands, the Panel established a TWI for methylmercury of 1.3 µg/kg b.w., expressed as mercury. The mean dietary exposure across age groups does not exceed the TWI for methylmercury, with the exception of toddlers and other children in some surveys. The 95th percentile dietary exposure is close to or above the TWI for all age groups. High fish consumers, which might include pregnant women, may exceed the TWI by up to approximately six-fold. Unborn children constitute the most vulnerable group. Biomonitoring data from blood and hair indicate that methylmercury exposure is generally below the TWI in Europe, but higher levels are also observed. Exposure to methylmercury above the TWI is of concern. If measures to reduce methylmercury exposure are considered, the potential beneficial effects of fish consumption should also be taken into account. Dietary inorganic mercury exposure in Europe does not exceed the TWI, but inhalation exposure of elemental mercury from dental amalgam is likely to increase the internal inorganic mercury exposure; thus the TWI

  4. Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B

    2010-04-28

    Our long-term goal is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and sequester the toxic elemental pollutants, like the heavy metal mercury. Our current working hypothesis is that transgenic plants controlling the transport, chemical speciation, electrochemical state. volatilization, and aboveground binding of mercury will: a) tolerate mercury and grow rapidly in mercury contaminated environments; b) prevent methylmercury from entering the food chain; c) remove mercury from polluted soil and . water; and d) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Progress toward these specific aims is reported: to increase the transport of mercury into roots and to aboveground vegetative organs; to increase biochemical sinks and storage for mercury in leaves; to increase leaf cell vacuolar storage of mercury; and to demonstrate that several stacked transgenes, when functioning in concert, enhance mercury resistance and hyperaccumulation to high levels.

  5. Phytoremediation of ionic and methylmercury pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B

    2010-04-28

    Our long-term goal is to enable highly productive plant species to extract, resist, detoxify, and sequester the toxic elemental pollutants, like the heavy metal mercury. Our current working hypothesis is that transgenic plants controlling the transport, chemical speciation, electrochemical state. volatilization, and aboveground binding of mercury will: a) tolerate mercury and grow rapidly in mercury contaminated environments; b) prevent methylmercury from entering the food chain; c) remove mercury from polluted soil and . water; and d) hyperaccumulate mercury in aboveground tissues for later harvest. Progress toward these specific aims is reported: to increase the transport of mercury into roots and to aboveground vegetative organs; to increase biochemical sinks and storage for mercury in leaves; to increase leaf cell vacuolar storage of mercury; and to demonstrate that several stacked transgenes, when functioning in concert, enhance mercury resistance and hyperaccumulation to high levels.

  6. Low-level maternal methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion and potential implications for offspring health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rothenberg, Sarah E., E-mail: rothenberg.sarah@gmail.com [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Lu, Guiyang 550002 (China); Feng Xinbin, E-mail: fengxinbin@vip.skleg.cn [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Lu, Guiyang 550002 (China); Li Ping [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Lu, Guiyang 550002 (China)

    2011-04-15

    Fish consumption is considered the primary pathway for MeHg (MeHg) exposure; however, MeHg exposure also occurs through rice ingestion. Rice is grown in an aquatic environment and although documented MeHg concentrations in rice are lower compared to fish tissue, human exposures exceed international guidelines in some regions where rice is a staple food and rice MeHg levels are elevated. Studies concerning human health exposure to MeHg should also include populations where maternal MeHg exposure occurs through ingestion of rice. Rice does not contain long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are associated with confounding developmental outcomes in offspring. Rice is also a staple food for more than half the world's population; therefore, it is critical to investigate the potential health risks of maternal ingestion of rice to the developing fetus, the most susceptible population to the deleterious effects of MeHg. Data concerning MeHg in rice are reviewed and micronutrients in rice are discussed. - Research highlights: > Maternal methylmercury exposure through rice may be important. > Rice does not contain the same micronutrients as fish, but may contain methylmercury. > Effects to offspring from methylmercury without beneficial micronutrients are unknown. - Studies concerning maternal methylmercury exposure and cognitive outcomes for offspring should include populations where rice ingestion is the primary methylmercury exposure pathway.

  7. Chronic methylmercurialism in a horse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seawright, A.A.; Roberts, M.C.; Costigan, P.

    1978-02-01

    Chronic methylmercurialism was produced in a horse given 10 g methylmercury chloride over 10 weeks. Neurological signs, particularly proprioceptive disturbances, were apparent by the final week of dosing and became more severe thereafter. An exudative dermatitis, a reluctance to move, weight loss, reduced appetite and dullness were among the earlier clinical signs, and renal changes characterized by a steadily increasing BUN and glucosuria were detected later. Pathological lesions were confined to the kidneys and the nervous system. There was mild neuronal degeneration in the cerebral cortex and in the cerebellar cortex, axonal demyelination in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord and extensive degeneration of ganglion cells in the dorsal root ganglia. The blood organic mercury level, which had plateaued in the second month, increased rapidly in the last weeks of dosing with a sharp rise terminally. This pattern was repeated for the much lower inorganic mercury levels except for a terminal decrease. The proportion of inorganic mercury was five times greater in the dorsal root ganglia than elsewhere in the CNS, although total mercury levels were similar. Highest tissue mercury levels were found in the liver and kidneys, over 50% being in the form of inorganic mercury. As dealkylation of the methylmercury appeared to be more efficient in the dorsal root ganglia and the kidneys, inorganic mercury derived therefrom may have been responsible for some of the clinical and pathological features of this intoxication in the horse. 21 references, 6 figures, 2 tables.

  8. Congenital abnormalities in methylmercury poisoning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilani, S.H.

    1975-04-01

    This study was undertaken to determine the teratogenic potential of methylmercury on chick embryogenesis. Methylmercuric chloride was dissolved in sodium bicarbonate (0.2%) and administered to the chick embryos at doses ranging from 0.0009 to 0.010 mg per egg. The injections were made at days 2 and 3 on incubation (Groups A and B). All the embryos including controls were examined on the 7th day of incubation. Methylmercury poisoning was observed to be both embryolethal and teratogenic. Within the two groups, embryolethality was higher in Group A. The following congenital abnormalities were observed: exencephaly, shortened and twisted limbs, microphthalmia, shortened and twisted neck, beak abnormalities, everted viscera, reduced body size and hemorrhage all over the body. Exencephaly and limb abnormalities were very common. No differences in the incidence and types of gross abnormalities within both the groups (A and B) were noted. The incidence of malformations among the controls was low. The results of present investigation show that methylmercury poisoning is both embryolethal and teratogenic to early chick embryogenesis. (auth)

  9. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kockel, Lutz; Huq, Lutfi M.; Ayyar, Anika; Herold, Emma; MacAlpine, Elle; Logan, Madeline; Savvides, Christina; Kim, Grace E. S.; Chen, Jiapei; Clark, Theresa; Duong, Trang; Fazel-Rezai, Vahid; Havey, Deanna; Han, Samuel; Jagadeesan, Ravi; Kim, Eun Soo Jackie; Lee, Diane; Lombardo, Kaelina; Piyale, Ida; Shi, Hansen; Stahr, Lydia; Tung, Dana; Tayvah, Uriel; Wang, Flora; Wang, Ja-Hon; Xiao, Sarah; Topper, Sydni M.; Park, Sangbin; Rotondo, Cheryl; Rankin, Anne E.; Chisholm, Townley W.; Kim, Seung K.

    2016-01-01

    Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila. However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals. PMID:27527793

  10. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kockel, Lutz; Huq, Lutfi M; Ayyar, Anika; Herold, Emma; MacAlpine, Elle; Logan, Madeline; Savvides, Christina; Kim, Grace E S; Chen, Jiapei; Clark, Theresa; Duong, Trang; Fazel-Rezai, Vahid; Havey, Deanna; Han, Samuel; Jagadeesan, Ravi; Kim, Eun Soo Jackie; Lee, Diane; Lombardo, Kaelina; Piyale, Ida; Shi, Hansen; Stahr, Lydia; Tung, Dana; Tayvah, Uriel; Wang, Flora; Wang, Ja-Hon; Xiao, Sarah; Topper, Sydni M; Park, Sangbin; Rotondo, Cheryl; Rankin, Anne E; Chisholm, Townley W; Kim, Seung K

    2016-10-13

    Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals. Copyright © 2016 Kockel et al.

  11. Methylmercury production in the marine water column

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topping, G.; Davies, I. M.

    1981-03-01

    Although the biosynthesis of methylmercury in sediments is well established1, this is not necessarily the exclusive natural source of methylmercury entering the marine food chain, particularly commercial fish and shellfish species for human consumption. An examination of mercury levels in freshwater fish2, collected from a lake with a history of industrial mercury contamination, suggested that levels in fish are controlled in part by mercury in suspension and it followed that methylation should occur in the water column. Although methylmercury is present in seawater in coastal areas receiving discharges of waste containing either inorganic mercury3 or methylmercury4 there is no evidence that methylmercury is actually formed in the water column. We now present data which demonstrate that inorganic mercury can be methylated in the water column and we compare this production with that known to occur in marine sediments.

  12. Freshwater discharges drive high levels of methylmercury in Arctic marine biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schartup, Amina T; Balcom, Prentiss H; Soerensen, Anne L; Gosnell, Kathleen J; Calder, Ryan S D; Mason, Robert P; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2015-09-22

    Elevated levels of neurotoxic methylmercury in Arctic food-webs pose health risks for indigenous populations that consume large quantities of marine mammals and fish. Estuaries provide critical hunting and fishing territory for these populations, and, until recently, benthic sediment was thought to be the main methylmercury source for coastal fish. New hydroelectric developments are being proposed in many northern ecosystems, and the ecological impacts of this industry relative to accelerating climate changes are poorly characterized. Here we evaluate the competing impacts of climate-driven changes in northern ecosystems and reservoir flooding on methylmercury production and bioaccumulation through a case study of a stratified sub-Arctic estuarine fjord in Labrador, Canada. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in zooplankton is higher than in midlatitude ecosystems. Direct measurements and modeling show that currently the largest methylmercury source is production in oxic surface seawater. Water-column methylation is highest in stratified surface waters near the river mouth because of the stimulating effects of terrestrial organic matter on methylating microbes. We attribute enhanced biomagnification in plankton to a thin layer of marine snow widely observed in stratified systems that concentrates microbial methylation and multiple trophic levels of zooplankton in a vertically restricted zone. Large freshwater inputs and the extensive Arctic Ocean continental shelf mean these processes are likely widespread and will be enhanced by future increases in water-column stratification, exacerbating high biological methylmercury concentrations. Soil flooding experiments indicate that near-term changes expected from reservoir creation will increase methylmercury inputs to the estuary by 25-200%, overwhelming climate-driven changes over the next decade.

  13. The cumulation of methylmercury in fish (Poecilia reticulata)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stary, J.; Kratzer, K.; Havlik, B.; Prasilova, J.; Hanusova, J.

    1980-01-01

    Methylmercury labelled with mercury-203 was used for the investigation of the uptake and the release of methylmercury in fish. It has been found that methylmercury compounds adsorbed on fish food remain completely in fish and that they are released with the biological half-time of 110 days. The cumulation of methylmercury from water is very rapid. Equations for the calculation of the concentration of methylmercury in fish were derived and compared with the uptake of phenylmercury and inorganic mercury.

  14. Enhancement of developmental toxicity effects of chemicals by gestational stress. A review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hougaard, Karin S; Hansen, Åse Marie

    2007-01-01

    Risk assessment of developmental toxicants is almost exclusively based on single chemicals studied in animals under controlled experimental conditions, as to reduce stress. Although humans may be exposed simultaneously to numerous hazards, little is known about the interaction of prenatal chemica...... studies are recommended to investigate compounds, for which maternal stress was already proven as an enhancer, at lower dose levels. Interactive response seems to depend on stressor severity and timing of chemical exposure relative to maternal stress which should be further scrutinized....

  15. A family of transposable elements co-opted into developmental enhancers in the mouse neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notwell, James H; Chung, Tisha; Heavner, Whitney; Bejerano, Gill

    2015-03-25

    The neocortex is a mammalian-specific structure that is responsible for higher functions such as cognition, emotion and perception. To gain insight into its evolution and the gene regulatory codes that pattern it, we studied the overlap of its active developmental enhancers with transposable element (TE) families and compared this overlap to uniformly shuffled enhancers. Here we show a striking enrichment of the MER130 repeat family among active enhancers in the mouse dorsal cerebral wall, which gives rise to the neocortex, at embryonic day 14.5. We show that MER130 instances preserve a common code of transcriptional regulatory logic, function as enhancers and are adjacent to critical neocortical genes. MER130, a nonautonomous interspersed TE, originates in the tetrapod or possibly Sarcopterygii ancestor, which far predates the appearance of the neocortex. Our results show that MER130 elements were recruited, likely through their common regulatory logic, as neocortical enhancers.

  16. Transcriptional enhancers in protein-coding exons of vertebrate developmental genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah I Ritter

    Full Text Available Many conserved noncoding sequences function as transcriptional enhancers that regulate gene expression. Here, we report that protein-coding DNA also frequently contains enhancers functioning at the transcriptional level. We tested the enhancer activity of 31 protein-coding exons, which we chose based on strong sequence conservation between zebrafish and human, and occurrence in developmental genes, using a Tol2 transposable GFP reporter assay in zebrafish. For each exon we measured GFP expression in hundreds of embryos in 10 anatomies via a novel system that implements the voice-recognition capabilities of a cellular phone. We find that 24/31 (77% exons drive GFP expression compared to a minimal promoter control, and 14/24 are anatomy-specific (expression in four anatomies or less. GFP expression driven by these coding enhancers frequently overlaps the anatomies where the host gene is expressed (60%, suggesting self-regulation. Highly conserved coding sequences and highly conserved noncoding sequences do not significantly differ in enhancer activity (coding: 24/31 vs. noncoding: 105/147 or tissue-specificity (coding: 14/24 vs. noncoding: 50/105. Furthermore, coding and noncoding enhancers display similar levels of the enhancer-related histone modification H3K4me1 (coding: 9/24 vs noncoding: 34/81. Meanwhile, coding enhancers are over three times as likely to contain an H3K4me1 mark as other exons of the host gene. Our work suggests that developmental transcriptional enhancers do not discriminate between coding and noncoding DNA and reveals widespread dual functions in protein-coding DNA.

  17. Dampened hippocampal oscillations and enhanced spindle activity in an asymptomatic model of developmental cortical malformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cid, Elena; Gomez-Dominguez, Daniel; Martin-Lopez, David; Gal, Beatriz; Laurent, François; Ibarz, Jose M.; Francis, Fiona; Menendez de la Prida, Liset

    2014-01-01

    Developmental cortical malformations comprise a large spectrum of histopathological brain abnormalities and syndromes. Their genetic, developmental and clinical complexity suggests they should be better understood in terms of the complementary action of independently timed perturbations (i.e., the multiple-hit hypothesis). However, understanding the underlying biological processes remains puzzling. Here we induced developmental cortical malformations in offspring, after intraventricular injection of methylazoxymethanol (MAM) in utero in mice. We combined extensive histological and electrophysiological studies to characterize the model. We found that MAM injections at E14 and E15 induced a range of cortical and hippocampal malformations resembling histological alterations of specific genetic mutations and transplacental mitotoxic agent injections. However, in contrast to most of these models, intraventricularly MAM-injected mice remained asymptomatic and showed no clear epilepsy-related phenotype as tested in long-term chronic recordings and with pharmacological manipulations. Instead, they exhibited a non-specific reduction of hippocampal-related brain oscillations (mostly in CA1); including theta, gamma and HFOs; and enhanced thalamocortical spindle activity during non-REM sleep. These data suggest that developmental cortical malformations do not necessarily correlate with epileptiform activity. We propose that the intraventricular in utero MAM approach exhibiting a range of rhythmopathies is a suitable model for multiple-hit studies of associated neurological disorders. PMID:24782720

  18. Dampened hippocampal oscillations and enhanced spindle activity in an asymptomatic model of developmental cortical malformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eCid

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Developmental cortical malformations comprise a large spectrum of histopathological brain abnormalities and syndromes. Their genetic, developmental and clinical complexity suggests they should be better understood in terms of the complementary action of independently timed perturbations (i.e. the multiple-hit hypothesis. However, understanding the underlying biological processes remains puzzling. Here we induced developmental cortical malformations in offspring, after intraventricular injection of methylazoxymethanol (MAM in utero in mice. We combined extensive histological and electrophysiological studies to characterize the model. We found that MAM injections at E14 and E15 induced a range of cortical and hippocampal malformations resembling histological alterations of specific genetic mutations and transplacental mitotoxic agent injections. However, in contrast to most of these models, intraventricularly MAM-injected mice remained asymptomatic and showed no clear epilepsy-related phenotype as tested in long-term chronic recordings and with pharmacological manipulations. Instead, they exhibited a non-specific reduction of hippocampal-related brain oscillations (mostly in CA1; including theta, gamma and HFOs; and enhanced thalamocortical spindle activity during non-REM sleep. These data suggest that developmental cortical malformations do not necessarily correlate with epileptiform activity. We propose that the intraventricular in utero MAM approach exhibiting a range of rhythmopathies is a suitable model for multiple-hit studies of associated neurological disorders.

  19. Genome-scale functional characterization of Drosophila developmental enhancers in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvon, Evgeny Z; Kazmar, Tomas; Stampfel, Gerald; Yáñez-Cuna, J Omar; Pagani, Michaela; Schernhuber, Katharina; Dickson, Barry J; Stark, Alexander

    2014-08-01

    Transcriptional enhancers are crucial regulators of gene expression and animal development and the characterization of their genomic organization, spatiotemporal activities and sequence properties is a key goal in modern biology. Here we characterize the in vivo activity of 7,705 Drosophila melanogaster enhancer candidates covering 13.5% of the non-coding non-repetitive genome throughout embryogenesis. 3,557 (46%) candidates are active, suggesting a high density with 50,000 to 100,000 developmental enhancers genome-wide. The vast majority of enhancers display specific spatial patterns that are highly dynamic during development. Most appear to regulate their neighbouring genes, suggesting that the cis-regulatory genome is organized locally into domains, which are supported by chromosomal domains, insulator binding and genome evolution. However, 12 to 21 per cent of enhancers appear to skip non-expressed neighbours and regulate a more distal gene. Finally, we computationally identify cis-regulatory motifs that are predictive and required for enhancer activity, as we validate experimentally. This work provides global insights into the organization of an animal regulatory genome and the make-up of enhancer sequences and confirms and generalizes principles from previous studies. All enhancer patterns are annotated manually with a controlled vocabulary and all results are available through a web interface (http://enhancers.starklab.org), including the raw images of all microscopy slides for manual inspection at arbitrary zoom levels.

  20. Embryotoxicity of maternally transferred methylmercury to fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Kristin N; Soulen, Brianne K; Overturf, Carmen L; Drevnick, Paul E; Roberts, Aaron P

    2016-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and potent neurotoxin. In aquatic environments, Hg can be transformed into methylmercury (MeHg), which bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs, including fish. Methylmercury has been shown to transfer from female fish to developing eggs; however, relatively little is known regarding the effects of maternally transferred MeHg on fish embryos. The present study evaluated the effects of maternally transferred MeHg on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) embryos. Embryos were collected from adult fatheads exposed for 30 d to 1 of 3 diets spiked with MeHg: a control diet (0.02 ppm Hg dry wt), a low diet (0.87 ppm Hg dry wt), or a high diet (5.5 ppm Hg dry wt). No effects on spawning frequency, clutch size, or total egg output were observed. In embryos, Hg concentration was a function of female diet and the duration (number of days) of female exposure. Compared with controls, embryos from the low-diet treatment displayed altered embryonic movement patterns (hyperactivity) and decreased time to hatch. Embryos from the high-diet treatment had delayed hatching and increased mortality compared with the other treatments. Collectively, these results suggest that maternally transferred Hg may impact survival, behavior, and developmental milestones of the embryo-larval stages of fish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1436-1441. © 2015 SETAC.

  1. New tools for the identification of developmentally regulated enhancer regions in embryonic and adult zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levesque, Mitchell P; Krauss, Jana; Koehler, Carla; Boden, Cindy; Harris, Matthew P

    2013-03-01

    We have conducted a screen to identify developmentally regulated enhancers that drive tissue-specific Gal4 expression in zebrafish. We obtained 63 stable transgenic lines with expression patterns in embryonic or adult zebrafish. The use of a newly identified minimal promoter from the medaka edar locus resulted in a relatively unbiased set of expression patterns representing many tissue types derived from all germ layers. Subsequent detailed characterization of selected lines showed strong and reproducible Gal4-driven GFP expression in diverse tissues, including neurons from the central and peripheral nervous systems, pigment cells, erythrocytes, and peridermal cells. By screening adults for GFP expression, we also isolated lines expressed in tissues of the adult zebrafish, including scales, fin rays, and joints. The new and efficient minimal promoter and large number of transactivating driver-lines we identified will provide the zebrafish community with a useful resource for further enhancer trap screening, as well as precise investigation of tissue-specific processes in vivo.

  2. Involvement of transcriptional enhancers in the regulation of developmental expression of yellow gene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Upstream regulatory region and flanking DNA of yellow gene wereisolated and cloned from a Drosophila genomic library. A vector containing yellow gene and regulatory elements was constructed using the recombinant DNA technique. Then this vector was integrated into Drosophila genome by genetic transformation. Using both FLP/FRT and Cre/LoxP site-specific recombination systems, two new yellow alleles were created at the same position in the genome of transgenic flies. Results from genetic and molecular analysis indicated that transcriptional enhancers regulate the developmental expression of the transgene. Furthermore, interactions between new-created yellow alleles were observed. Such interactions can influence markedly the expression of yellow gene during development. This effect may also be a form of enhancer-mediated gene expression.

  3. The coupling between enhancer activity and hypomethylation of kappa immunoglobulin genes is developmentally regulated

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelley, D.E.; Pollok, B.A.; Atchison, M.L.; Perry, R.P.

    1988-02-01

    Previous studies have indicated that immunoglobulin enhancers are essential for establishing transcriptional competence but not for maintaining the activity of constitutively transcribed genes. To understand the basis for this developmental shift away from dependence on enhancer function, the authors investigated the relationship between transcriptional activity and methylation status of the immunoglobulin kappa-light-chain genes (kappa genes) in mouse cell lines representing different stages of B-cell maturation. Using pre-B-cell lines in which the level of a critical kappa enhancer-binding factor, NF-kappaB, was controlled by the administration of withdrawal of lipopolysaccharide and plasmacytoma lines that either contain or lack this factor, they studied the properties of endogenous kappa genes and of transfected kappa genes which were stably integrated into the genomes of these cells. In the pre-B cells, the exogenous (originally unmethylated) kappa genes, as well as the endogenous kappa genes, were fully methylated and persistently dependent on enhancer function, even after more than 30 generations in a transcriptionally active state. In plasmacytoma cells, the endogenous kappa genes were invariably hypomethylated, whereas exogenous kappa genes were hypomethylated only in cells that contain NF-kappaB and are thus permissive for kappa enhancer function. These results indicate that the linkage of hypomethylation to enhancer-dependent activation of kappa transcription occurs after the pre-B-cell stage of development. The change in methylation status, together with associated changes in chromatin structure, may suffice to eliminate or lessen the importance of the enhancer for the maintenance of the transcriptionally active state.

  4. Enhanced recognition memory after incidental encoding in children with developmental dyslexia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Hedenius

    Full Text Available Developmental dyslexia (DD has previously been associated with a number of cognitive deficits. Little attention has been directed to cognitive functions that remain intact in the disorder, though the investigation and identification of such strengths might be useful for developing new, and improving current, therapeutical interventions. In this study, an old/new recognition memory paradigm was used to examine previously untested aspects of declarative memory in children with DD and typically developing control children. The DD group was not only not impaired at the task, but actually showed superior recognition memory, as compared to the control children. These findings complement previous reports of enhanced cognition in other domains (e.g., visuo-spatial processing in DD. Possible underlying mechanisms for the observed DD advantage in declarative memory, and the possibility of compensation by this system for reading deficits in dyslexia, are discussed.

  5. Endochondral ossification for enhancing bone regeneration: converging native extracellular matrix biomaterials and developmental engineering in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, S Connor; Berkland, Cory J; Bonewald, Lynda F; Detamore, Michael S

    2015-06-01

    Autologous bone grafting (ABG) remains entrenched as the gold standard of treatment in bone regenerative surgery. Consequently, many marginally successful bone tissue engineering strategies have focused on mimicking portions of ABG's "ideal" osteoconductive, osteoinductive, and osteogenic composition resembling the late reparative stage extracellular matrix (ECM) in bone fracture repair, also known as the "hard" or "bony" callus. An alternative, less common approach that has emerged in the last decade harnesses endochondral (EC) ossification through developmental engineering principles, which acknowledges that the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in developmental skeletogenesis, specifically EC ossification, are closely paralleled during native bone healing. EC ossification naturally occurs during the majority of bone fractures and, thus, can potentially be utilized to enhance bone regeneration for nearly any orthopedic indication, especially in avascular critical-sized defects where hypoxic conditions favor initial chondrogenesis instead of direct intramembranous ossification. The body's native EC ossification response, however, is not capable of regenerating critical-sized defects without intervention. We propose that an underexplored potential exists to regenerate bone through the native EC ossification response by utilizing strategies which mimic the initial inflammatory or fibrocartilaginous ECM (i.e., "pro-" or "soft" callus) observed in the early reparative stage of bone fracture repair. To date, the majority of strategies utilizing this approach rely on clinically burdensome in vitro cell expansion protocols. This review will focus on the confluence of two evolving areas, (1) native ECM biomaterials and (2) developmental engineering, which will attempt to overcome the technical, business, and regulatory challenges that persist in the area of bone regeneration. Significant attention will be given to native "raw" materials and ECM-based designs that

  6. Somatosensory disturbance by methylmercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takaoka, Shigeru; Kawakami, Yoshinobu; Fujino, Tadashi; Oh-ishi, Fumihiro; Motokura, Fukuo; Kumagai, Yoshio; Miyaoka, Tetsu

    2008-05-01

    Minamata disease is methylmercury poisoning from consuming fish and shellfish contaminated by industrial waste. The polluted seafood was widely consumed in the area around Minamata, but many individuals were never examined for or classified as having Minamata disease. Following the determination of the Supreme Court of Japan in October 2004 that the Japanese Government was responsible for spreading Minamata disease, over 13,000 residents came forward to be examined for Minamata disease. We studied 197 residents from the Minamata area who had a history of fish consumption during the polluted period to determine the importance of sensory symptoms and findings in making a diagnosis of Minamata disease. We divided the exposed subjects into non-complicated (E) and complicated (E+N) groups based on the absence or presence of other neurological or neurologically related disorders and compared them to residents in control area (C) after matching for age and sex. We quantitatively measured four somatosensory modalities (minimal tactile sense by Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, vibration sense, position sense, and two-point discrimination) and did psychophysical tests of fine-surface-texture discrimination. Subjective complaints were higher in groups E and E+N than C. Over 90% of E+N and E subjects displayed a sensory disturbance on conventional neurological examination and 28% had visual constriction. About 50% of the E and E +N groups had upper and lower extremity ataxia and about 70% had truncal ataxia. The prevalence of these neurological findings was significantly higher in exposed subjects than controls. All sensory modalities were impaired in the E and E+N groups. All four quantitatively measured sensory modalities were correlated. The prevalence of complaints, neurological findings, and sensory impairment was similar or a little worse in group E+N than in group E. We conclude that sensory symptoms and findings are important in making the diagnosis of Minamata disease

  7. Mapping the Developmental Trajectory and Correlates of Enhanced Pitch Perception on Speech Processing in Adults with ASD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jennifer L.; Hannent, Ian; Heaton, Pamela F.

    2016-01-01

    Whilst enhanced perception has been widely reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), relatively little is known about the developmental trajectory and impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD. This paper presents data on perception of complex tones and…

  8. Preliminary evidence for performance enhancement following parietal lobe stimulation in Developmental Dyscalculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iuculano, Teresa; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 7% of the population exhibit difficulties in dealing with numbers and performing arithmetic, a condition named Developmental Dyscalculia (DD), which significantly affects the educational and professional outcomes of these individuals, as it often persists into adulthood. Research has mainly focused on behavioral rehabilitation, while little is known about performance changes and neuroplasticity induced by the concurrent application of brain-behavioral approaches. It has been shown that numerical proficiency can be enhanced by applying a small-yet constant-current through the brain, a non-invasive technique named transcranial electrical stimulation (tES). Here we combined a numerical learning paradigm with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in two adults with DD to assess the potential benefits of this methodology to remediate their numerical difficulties. Subjects learned to associate artificial symbols to numerical quantities within the context of a trial and error paradigm, while tDCS was applied to the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). The first subject (DD1) received anodal stimulation to the right PPC and cathodal stimulation to the left PPC, which has been associated with numerical performance's improvements in healthy subjects. The second subject (DD2) received anodal stimulation to the left PPC and cathodal stimulation to the right PPC, which has been shown to impair numerical performance in healthy subjects. We examined two indices of numerical proficiency: (i) automaticity of number processing; and (ii) mapping of numbers onto space. Our results are opposite to previous findings with non-dyscalculic subjects. Only anodal stimulation to the left PPC improved both indices of numerical proficiency. These initial results represent an important step to inform the rehabilitation of developmental learning disabilities, and have relevant applications for basic and applied research in cognitive neuroscience, rehabilitation, and education.

  9. Preliminary evidence for performance enhancement following parietal lobe stimulation in Developmental Dyscalculia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa eIuculano

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nearly 7% of the population exhibit difficulties in dealing with numbers and performing arithmetic, a condition named Developmental Dyscalculia (DD, which significantly affects the educational and professional outcomes of these individuals, as it often persists into adulthood. Research has mainly focused on behavioral rehabilitation, while little is known about performance changes and neuroplasticity induced by the concurrent application of brain-behavioral approaches. It has been shown that numerical proficiency can be enhanced by applying a small – yet constant – current through the brain, a non-invasive technique named transcranial electrical stimulation (tES. Here we combined a numerical learning paradigm with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS in two adults with DD to assess the potential benefits of this methodology to remediate their numerical difficulties. Subjects learned to associate artificial symbols to numerical quantities within the context of a trial and error paradigm, while tDCS was applied to the posterior parietal cortex (PPC. The first subject (DD1 received anodal stimulation to the right PPC and cathodal stimulation to the left PPC, which has been associated with numerical performance’s improvements in healthy subjects. The second subject (DD2 received anodal stimulation to the left PPC and cathodal stimulation to the right PPC, which has been shown to impair numerical performance in healthy subjects. We examined two indices of numerical proficiency: (i automaticity of number processing; and (ii mapping of numbers onto space. Our results are opposite to previous findings with non-dyscalculic subjects. Only anodal stimulation to the left PPC improved both indices of numerical proficiency. These initial results represent an important step to inform the rehabilitation of developmental learning disabilities, and have relevant applications for basic and applied research in cognitive neuroscience, rehabilitation

  10. A comparison of the teratogenicity of methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into bird eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2012-04-01

    Methylmercury chloride and seleno-L-methionine were injected separately or in combinations into the fertile eggs of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), chickens (Gallus gallus), and double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and the incidence and types of teratogenic effects were recorded. For all three species, selenomethionine alone caused more deformities than did methylmercury alone. When mallard eggs were injected with the lowest dose of selenium (Se) alone (0.1 μg/g), 28 of 44 embryos and hatchlings were deformed, whereas when eggs were injected with the lowest dose of mercury (Hg) alone (0.2 μg/g), only 1 of 56 embryos or hatchlings was deformed. Mallard embryos seemed to be more sensitive to the teratogenic effects of Se than chicken embryos: 0 of 15 chicken embryos or hatchlings from eggs injected with 0.1 μg/g Se exhibited deformities. Sample sizes were small with double-crested cormorant eggs, but they also seemed to be less sensitive to the teratogenic effects of Se than mallard eggs. There were no obvious differences among species regarding Hg-induced deformities. Overall, few interactions were apparent between methylmercury and selenomethionine with respect to the types of deformities observed. However, the deformities spina bifida and craniorachischisis were observed only when Hg and Se were injected in combination. One paradoxical finding was that some doses of methylmercury seemed to counteract the negative effect selenomethionine had on hatching of eggs while at the same time enhancing the negative effect selenomethionine had on creating deformities. When either methylmercury or selenomethionine is injected into avian eggs, deformities start to occur at much lower concentrations than when the Hg or Se is deposited naturally in the egg by the mother.

  11. Maternal PUFA Status but Not Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure Is Associated with Children’s Language Functions at Age Five Years in the Seychelles12

    OpenAIRE

    Strain, J.J.; Davidson, Philip W; Thurston, Sally W.; Harrington, Donald; Mulhern, Maria S.; McAfee, Alison J.; van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Shamlaye, Conrad F.; Henderson, Juliette; Watson, Gene E.; Zareba, Grazyna; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A.; Lynch, Miranda; Wallace, Julie M.W.; McSorley, Emeir M.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence from the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study suggests that maternal nutritional status can modulate the relationship between prenatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure and developmental outcomes in children. The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal PUFA status was a confounding factor in any possible associations between prenatal MeHg exposure and developmental outcomes at 5 y of age in the Republic of Seychelles. Maternal status of (n-3) and (n-6) PUFA were mea...

  12. Biochar amendment reduced methylmercury accumulation in rice plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shu, Rui; Wang, Yongjie [School of Environment, Nanjing University, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China (China); Zhong, Huan, E-mail: zhonghuan@nju.edu.cn [School of Environment, Nanjing University, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China (China); Environmental and Life Sciences Program (EnLS), Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario (Canada)

    2016-08-05

    Highlights: • Biochar amendment could evidently reduce methylmercury (MeHg) levels in rice grain. • Biochar could enhance microbial production of MeHg, probably by providing sulfate. • Biochar could immobilize MeHg in soil, and reduce MeHg availability to rice plants. • Biochar amendment increased grain biomass, leading to biodilution of MeHg in grain. - Abstract: There is growing concern about methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in rice grains and thus enhanced dietary exposure to MeHg in Asian countries. Here, we explored the possibility of reducing grain MeHg levels by biochar amendment, and the underlying mechanisms. Pot (i.e., rice cultivation in biochar amended soils) and batch experiments (i.e., incubation of amended soils under laboratory conditions) were carried out, to investigate MeHg dynamics (i.e., MeHg production, partitioning and phytoavailability in paddy soils, and MeHg uptake by rice) under biochar amendment (1–4% of soil mass). We demonstrate for the first time that biochar amendment could evidently reduce grain MeHg levels (49–92%). The declines could be attributed to the combined effects of: (1) increased soil MeHg concentrations, probably explained by the release of sulfate from biochar and thus enhanced microbial production of MeHg (e.g., by sulfate-reducing bacteria), (2) MeHg immobilization in soils, facilitated by the large surface areas and high organosulfur content of biochar, and (3) biodilution of MeHg in rice grains, due to the increased grain biomass under biochar amendment (35–79%). These observations together with mechanistic explanations improve understanding of MeHg dynamics in soil-rice systems, and support the possibility of reducing MeHg phytoaccumulation under biochar amendment.

  13. Enhancing the applicability and predictability of the embryonic stem cell test for developmental toxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, E.

    2012-01-01

    Within the full risk assessment of a chemical, developmental toxicity testing is one of the endpoints that require the highest percentage of experimental animals. With the high number of experimental animals, cost and time involved in in vivo developmental toxicity testing there is an urgent need

  14. What has methylmercury in umbilical cords told us? - Minamata disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kashima, Saori; Tsuda, Toshihide; Harada, Masazumi

    2009-12-20

    Severe methylmercury poisoning occurred in Minamata and neighboring communities in the 1950s and 1960s. The exposed patients manifested neurological signs, and some patients exposed in utero were born with so-called congenital Minamata disease. In a previous report, Nishigaki and Harada evaluated the methylmercury concentrations in the umbilical cords of inhabitants and demonstrated that methylmercury actually passed through the placenta (Nishigaki and Harada, 1975). However, the report involved a limited number of cases (only 35) and did not quantitatively evaluate the regional differences in the transition of methylmercury exposure. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the temporal and spatial distributions of methylmercury concentrations in umbilical cords, with an increased number of participants and additional descriptive analyses. Then, we examined whether the methylmercury concentrations corresponded with the history of the Minamata disease incident. A total of 278 umbilical cord specimens collected after birth were obtained from babies born between 1925 and 1980 in four study areas exposed to methylmercury. Then, we conducted descriptive analyses, and drew scatterplots of the methylmercury concentrations of all the participants and separated by the areas. In the Minamata area, where the first patient was identified in 1956, the methylmercury concentration reached a peak around 1955. Subsequently, about 5 years later, the concentrations peaked in other exposed areas with the expected exposure distribution corresponding with acetaldehyde production (the origin of methylmercury). This historical incident several decades ago in Minamata and neighboring communities clearly shows that regional pollution affected the environment in utero. Furthermore, the temporal and spatial distributions of the methylmercury concentrations in the umbilical cords tell us the history of the Minamata disease incident.

  15. Rice methylmercury exposure and mitigation: a comprehensive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberg, Sarah E; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Creswell, Joel E

    2014-08-01

    Rice cultivation practices from field preparation to post-harvest transform rice paddies into hot spots for microbial mercury methylation, converting less-toxic inorganic mercury to more-toxic methylmercury, which is likely translocated to rice grain. This review includes 51 studies reporting rice total mercury and/or methylmercury concentrations, based on rice (Orzya sativa) cultivated or purchased in 15 countries. Not surprisingly, both rice total mercury and methylmercury levels were significantly higher in polluted sites compared to non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p<0.001). However, rice percent methylmercury (of total mercury) did not differ statistically between polluted and non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p=0.35), suggesting comparable mercury methylation rates in paddy soil across these sites and/or similar accumulation of mercury species for these rice cultivars. Studies characterizing the effects of rice cultivation under more aerobic conditions were reviewed to determine the mitigation potential of this practice. Rice management practices utilizing alternating wetting and drying (instead of continuous flooding) caused soil methylmercury levels to spike, resulting in a strong methylmercury pulse after fields were dried and reflooded; however, it is uncertain whether this led to increased translocation of methylmercury from paddy soil to rice grain. Due to the potential health risks, it is advisable to investigate this issue further, and to develop separate water management strategies for mercury polluted and non-polluted sites, in order to minimize methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion.

  16. Rice methylmercury exposure and mitigation: a comprehensive review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Creswell, Joel E.

    2014-01-01

    Rice cultivation practices from field preparation to post-harvest transform rice paddies into hot spots for microbial mercury methylation, converting less-toxic inorganic mercury to more-toxic methylmercury, which is likely translocated to rice grain. This review includes 51 studies reporting rice total mercury and/or methylmercury concentrations, based on rice (Orzya sativa) cultivated or purchased in 15 countries. Not surprisingly, both rice total mercury and methylmercury levels were significantly higher in polluted sites compared to non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, price percent methylmercury (of total mercury) did not differ statistically between polluted and non-polluted sites (Wilcoxon rank sum, p=0.35), suggesting comparable mercury methylation rates in paddy soil across these sites and/or similar accumulation of mercury species for these rice cultivars. Studies characterizing the effects of rice cultivation under more aerobic conditions were reviewed to determine the mitigation potential of this practice. Rice management practices utilizing alternating wetting and drying (instead of continuous flooding) caused soil methylmercury levels to spike, resulting in a strong methylmercury pulse after fields were dried and reflooded; however, it is uncertain whether this led to increased translocation of methylmercury from paddy soil to rice grain. Due to the potential health risks, it is advisable to investigate this issue further, and to develop separate water management strategies for mercury polluted and non-polluted sites, in order to minimize methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion.

  17. Maternal methylmercury exposure through rice ingestion and offspring neurodevelopment: A prospective cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberg, Sarah E; Yu, Xiaodan; Liu, Jihong; Biasini, Fred J; Hong, Chuan; Jiang, Xu; Nong, Yanfen; Cheng, Yue; Korrick, Susan A

    2016-11-01

    Dietary methylmercury intake can occur not only through fish ingestion but also through rice ingestion; however, rice does not contain the same beneficial micronutrients as fish. In rural China, where rice is a staple food, associations between prenatal methylmercury exposure (assessed using maternal hair mercury) and impacts on offspring neurodevelopment were investigated. A total of 398 mothers were recruited at parturition at which time a sample of scalp hair was collected. Offspring (n=270, 68%) were assessed at 12 months using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, yielding age-adjusted scores for the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI). Among 270 mothers, 85% ingested rice daily, 41% never or rarely ingested fish/shellfish and 11% ingested fish/shellfish at least twice/weekly. Maternal hair mercury averaged 0.41μg/g (median: 0.39μg/g, range: 0.079-1.7μg/g). In unadjusted models, offspring neurodevelopment (both MDI and PDI) was inversely correlated with hair mercury. Associations were strengthened after adjustment for fish/shellfish ingestion, rice ingestion, total energy intake (kcal), and maternal/offspring characteristics for both the MDI [Beta: -4.9, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): -9.7, -0.12] and the PDI (Beta: -2.7, 95% CI: -8.3, 2.9), although confidence intervals remained wide for the latter. For 12-month old offspring living in rural China, prenatal methylmercury exposure was associated with statistically significant decrements in offspring cognition, but not psychomotor development. Results expose potential new vulnerabilities for communities depending on rice as a staple food. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Methylmercury levels in predatory fish species marketed in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, Don S; Casey, V; Dabeka, R W; McKenzie, A

    2004-09-01

    Mercury was detected in all analysed samples of swordfish, marlin, shark and tuna purchased from major supermarket outlets and fish retailers in three cities across Canada. Total mercury and methylmercury levels ranged up to 3845 and 2346 ng g(-1), respectively. Swordfish contained the highest levels, followed by shark, fresh/frozen tuna and marlin. Levels in canned tuna were considerably less than the other examined samples. Methylmercury was extracted with toluene from enzymatically hydrolysed samples after the addition of sulphuric acid and potassium bromide. An L-cysteine back-extraction was used to separate the methylmercury from most organic co-extractives. Analysis of methylmercury (as methylmercury bromide) was by gas chromatography with pulsed discharge detection.

  19. Methylmercury chloride and selenomethionine interactions on health and reproduction in mallards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1998-01-01

    Adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed a control diet or diets containing 10 ppm mercury as methylmercury chloride, 10 ppm selenium as seleno-DL-methionine, or 10 ppm mercury plus 10 ppm selenium. One of 12 adult males fed 10 ppm mercury died and 8 others suffered from paralysis of their legs by the time the study was terminated. However, when the diet contained 10 ppm selenium in addition to the 10 ppm mercury, none of 12 males became sick. In contrast to the protective effect of selenium against mercury poisoning in males, selenium plus mercury was worse than selenium or mercury alone for some measurements of reproductive success. Both selenium and mercury lowered duckling production through reductions in hatching success and survival of ducklings, but the combination of mercury plus selenium was worse than either mercury or selenium alone. Controls produced an average of 7.6 young per female, females fed 10 ppm selenium produced an average of 2.8 young, females fed 10 ppm mercury produced 1.1 young, and females fed both mercury and selenium produced 0.2 young. Teratogenic effects also were worse for the combined mercury plus selenium treatment; deformities were recorded in 6.1% of the embryos of controls, 16.4% for methylmercury chloride, 36.2% for selenomethionine, and 73.4% for the combination of methylmercury chloride and selenomethionine. The presence of methylmercury in the diet greatly enhanced the storage of selenium in tissues. The livers of males fed 10 ppm selenium contained a mean of 9.6 ppm selenium, whereas the livers of males fed 10 ppm selenium plus 10 ppm mercury contained a mean of 114 ppm selenium. However, selenium did not enhance the storage of mercury. The results show that mercury and selenium may be antagonistic to each other for adults and synergistic to young, even within the same experiment.

  20. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe; Landrigan, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental...... neurotoxicants-manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested...... chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new...

  1. Expansion of methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata: An epidemiological study on chronic methylmercury poisoning outside of Minamata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ninomiya, Tadashi [Yoron Hospital, Kagoshima (Japan); Ohmori, Hiroyuki; Hashimoto, Kiyomi [Kumamoto Univ. Medical School (Japan)] [and others

    1995-07-01

    The first methylmercury poisoning by consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. Methylmercury dispersed from Minamata to the to the Shiranui Sea until 1968. Mercury concentration in the hair of residents on the coast of the Shiranui Sea was 10 to 20 times higher than in nonpolluted people in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1960. People on the coast of the Shiranui Sea have consumed fish containing low-dose methylmercury without a ban over decades until 1968. We studied the effect of long-term consumption of methylmercury on those people 10 years later after the end of methylmercury dispersion. Our epidemiological study clarified that people in a fishing village (Ooura) on the coast of the Shiranui Sea showed a significantly higher frequency of neurological signs characteristics of methylmercury poisoning (hypoesthesia, ataxia, impairment of hearing, visual change, and dysarthria) in comparison with people in a nonpolluted fishing village (Ichiburi). The neurological disorders were still detected 10 years later in Ooura after the end of methylmercury dispersion from Minamata: hypoesthesia showed the highest frequency in Ooura. These results suggest that people on the coast of the Shiranui Sea were affected by long-term dietary exposure to methylmercury. 14 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  2. Promotion of glucose utilization by insulin enhances granulosa cell proliferation and developmental competence of porcine oocyte grown in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itami, Nobuhiko; Munakata, Yasuhisa; Shirasuna, Koumei; Kuwayama, Takehito; Iwata, Hisataka

    2017-02-01

    In vitro culture of the oocyte granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) from early antral follicles (EAFs) shows granulosa cell (GC) proliferation, but to a lesser extent than that observed in vivo during follicle development. As the number of GCs closely relates to energy sufficiency of the oocytes, enhancement of GC proliferation influences oocyte development. GC proliferation depends on glycolysis and insulin-mediated AKT/mTOR signaling pathway; therefore, addition of culture medium containing insulin and glucose may potentially promote GC proliferation and hence improve oocyte development. In the present study, we assessed the effect of exogenous insulin and glucose concentration on GC proliferation and oocyte energy status as well as developmental abilities of porcine oocytes grown in vitro. In the presence of 5.5 mM of glucose (Low), a comparison of 10 versus 20 μg/ml insulin showed that high insulin enhanced GC proliferation but exhausted glucose from the medium, which resulted in low energy status including lipid and adenosine triphosphate of the oocyte. Whereas, in the presence of 20 μg/ml insulin, medium with 11 mM glucose (High) enhanced GC proliferation and oocyte energy status as well as developmental ability up to the blastocyst stage. Considering that there was no difference in OGCs development observed with medium (10 μg/ml insulin) containing 5.5 versus 11 mM glucose, we concluded that the combination of high insulin and glucose enhanced GC proliferation and energy status of oocytes as well as the developmental ability of the oocytes grown in vitro.

  3. Embryotoxicity hazard assessment of methylmercury and chromium using embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stummann, T C; Hareng, L; Bremer, S

    2007-12-05

    The embryonic stem cell test (EST) has been scientifically validated (2001) as an in vitro embryotoxicity test, showing a good overall test accuracy of 78%. Methylmercury (MeHg) was the most significant outlayer identified, as the metal was the only strong in vivo embryotoxicant falsely predicted to be non-embryotoxic. The EST misclassification of MeHg, and the potential environmental exposure and developmental toxic hazards of heavy metals gave us the rationale to investigate whether the EST can correctly predict the embryotoxic potential of two heavy metals different from MeHg. The EST correctly classified trivalent chromium to be non-embryotoxic and hexavalent chromium to be embryotoxic, while we confirmed the misclassification of MeHg. MeHg causes developmental abnormalities in the brain. We therefore aimed to improve the in vitro prediction of MeHg embryotoxicity by including a neuronal ES cell differentiation assay. Differentiation of neuronal-like cells was demonstrated by real-time PCR experiments, showing up-regulation of several neuronal marker genes, and immunohistochemistry, demonstrating the appearance of nestin, neurofilament medium polypeptide, beta-tubulin III and microtubule-associated protein 2 (Mtap2) positive cells. We identified Mtap2 mRNA expression as a sensitive toxicological endpoint for MeHg-induced neuronal embryotoxicity, as Mtap2 mRNA was down-regulated in the presence of non-cytotoxic concentrations of MeHg. Noticeably, several other neuronal marker genes were unaffected by MeHg and Mtap2 expression was not affected until day 14 of differentiation. This implies that the total neuronal-like cell number was unchanged and that the down-regulation of Mtap2 expression reflects neuron-specific toxicity, i.e. instability of the neuron-specific microtubules, and arrest of the neuronal maturation. The fact, that most marker genes were unaffected by MeHg, stresses the importance of including an array of marker genes. In conclusion, our results

  4. Enhancing Employment Outcomes for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Developmental Work Personality Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keim, Jeanmarie; Strauser, David R.; Olguin, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) are high. Many survivors elect to leave abusive relationships and seek treatment to address the abusive cycle and psychiatric symptoms that may result. Programs to assist survivors often include an employment component. This article discusses the use of the Developmental Work Personality Scale (D. R.…

  5. Toxicity of methylmercury in neonatal cats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khera, K.S.; Iverson, F.; Hierlihy, L.; Tanner, R.; Trivett, G.

    1974-08-01

    Four to nine day old kittens from untreated mothers were given oral daily doses of 0.25-1 mg/kg mercury (as Ch3HgCl) for various periods. Typical signs of methylmercury poisoning appeared in all kittens after a mean of 63 days of 0.75 mg/kg and 48 days of 1 mg/kg treatment. The t1/ 2 of mercury in blood following oral doses of CH/sub 3/Hg203Cl was 32

  6. Interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine injected into mallard eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimstra, Jon D; Yee, Julie L; Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2012-03-01

    Methylmercury chloride and seleno-L-methionine were injected separately or in combinations into mallard eggs (Anas platyrhynchos), and embryo mortality and teratogenic effects (deformities) were modeled using a logistic regression model. Methylmercury was injected at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.6 µg/g Hg in the egg on a wet weight basis and selenomethionine at doses that resulted in concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 µg/g Se in the egg, also on a wet weight basis. When selenomethionine and methylmercury were injected separately, hatching probability decreased in both cases. However, when methylmercury was injected at 1.6 µg/g in combination with selenomethionine at 0.2 µg/g, the presence of the methylmercury resulted in less embryo mortality than had been seen with 0.2 µg/g Se by itself, but it increased the number of deformed embryos and hatchlings. Selenomethionine appeared to be more embryotoxic than equivalent doses of methylmercury when injected into eggs, and both injected methylmercury and selenomethionine were more toxic to mallard embryos than when deposited naturally in the egg by the mother. The underlying mechanisms behind the interactions between methylmercury and selenomethionine and why methylmercury appeared to improve hatching probability of Se-dosed eggs yet increased deformities when the two compounds were combined are unclear. These findings warrant further studies to understand these mechanisms in both laboratory and field settings. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  7. Enhancing Research Ethics Review Systems in Egypt: The Focus of an International Training Program Informed by an Ecological Developmental Approach to Enhancing Research Ethics Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Hillary Anne; Hifnawy, Tamer; Silverman, Henry

    2015-12-01

    Recently, training programs in research ethics have been established to enhance individual and institutional capacity in research ethics in the developing world. However, commentators have expressed concern that the efforts of these training programs have placed 'too great an emphasis on guidelines and research ethics review', which will have limited effect on ensuring ethical conduct in research. What is needed instead is a culture of ethical conduct supported by national and institutional commitment to ethical practices that are reinforced by upstream enabling conditions (strong civil society, public accountability, and trust in basic transactional processes), which are in turn influenced by developmental conditions (basic freedoms of political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security). Examining this more inclusive understanding of the determinants of ethical conduct enhances at once both an appreciation of the limitations of current efforts of training programs in research ethics and an understanding of what additional training elements are needed to enable trainees to facilitate national and institutional policy changes that enhance research practices. We apply this developmental model to a training program focused in Egypt to describe examples of such additional training activities.

  8. Behavioral teratology of methylmercury in fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weis, P.; Weis, J.S. [Rutgers Univ., Newark, NJ (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Embryos of the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, were exposed to 2, 5, or 10 ug/l methylmercury throughout development. These are concentrations below those that can cause teratological effects. After hatching, larvae were maintained in clean sea water and tested for prey capture ability, using Artemia nauplii as prey. Individual fish larvae were provided with five brine shrimp and their capture times recorded. In all experiments, larvae that had been exposed to 10 ug/l methylmercury initially exhibited slower prey capture ability than the other groups. This is an indication of a subtle functional impairment due to the toxicant (``behavioral teratology``). However, the effect was transitory, and by about one week after hatching the prey capture of these larvae equaled that of the controls and the other treated groups. Growth of these larvae also equaled that of controls and the other groups. The embryonic exposure may have caused retardation of neurological development, which was subsequently compensated for, and therefore no permanent effects were produced. In the field, however, embryos exposed to such toxicants would probably continue to be exposed as larvae, and would not have the opportunity to recover from the effects, but rather might have them reinforced.

  9. Syntax compensates for poor binding sites to encode tissue specificity of developmental enhancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Emma K; Olson, Katrina M; Zhang, Wei; Rokhsar, Daniel S; Levine, Michael S

    2016-06-07

    Transcriptional enhancers are short segments of DNA that switch genes on and off in response to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic signals. Despite the discovery of the first enhancer more than 30 y ago, the relationship between primary DNA sequence and enhancer activity remains obscure. In particular, the importance of "syntax" (the order, orientation, and spacing of binding sites) is unclear. A high-throughput screen identified synthetic notochord enhancers that are activated by the combination of ZicL and ETS transcription factors in Ciona embryos. Manipulation of these enhancers elucidated a "regulatory code" of sequence and syntax features for notochord-specific expression. This code enabled in silico discovery of bona fide notochord enhancers, including those containing low-affinity binding sites that would be excluded by standard motif identification methods. One of the newly identified enhancers maps upstream of the known enhancer that regulates Brachyury (Ci-Bra), a key determinant of notochord specification. This newly identified Ci-Bra shadow enhancer contains binding sites with very low affinity, but optimal syntax, and therefore mediates surprisingly strong expression in the notochord. Weak binding sites are compensated by optimal syntax, whereas enhancers containing high-affinity binding affinities possess suboptimal syntax. We suggest this balance has obscured the importance of regulatory syntax, as noncanonical binding motifs are typically disregarded by enhancer detection methods. As a result, enhancers with low binding affinities but optimal syntax may be a vastly underappreciated feature of the regulatory genome.

  10. Methylmercury Bioaccumulation in Rice and Wetland Biota: employing integrated indices of processes that drive methylmercury risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, C.; Ackerman, J.; Windham-Myers, L.; Fleck, J.

    2013-12-01

    Wetlands often are associated with elevated methylmercury (MeHg) production and food web bioaccumulation, making them potentially important sources of Hg to surrounding waters and to wetland-dependent fish and wildlife. However, the cycling of MeHg through wetlands can vary markedly with wetland type. Agricultural wetlands such as rice fields can exhibit particularly pronounced MeHg concentrations and bioaccumulation because their biogeochemical, hydrological, and ecological characteristics facilitate the conversion of inorganic mercury (Hg) to MeHg. Rice fields are characterized by a series of seasonal extreme wetting and drying cycles, sulfate-containing fertilizers, and high levels of labile organic carbon, all of which are key processes in the Hg cycle. Rice fields comprise approximately 20% of freshwater habitats and 11% of cultivated land area globally, providing critical wildlife habitat while offering substantial economic, human health, and ecosystem benefits. Thus, there is strong impetus to better understand the drivers of Hg cycling in rice fields and to develop useful management approaches for minimizing Hg risk associated with rice agriculture without compromising rice production. We examined the role of rice wetlands on MeHg bioaccumulation through foodwebs by employing biosentinel caged fish as integrators of MeHg cycling processes. With experimental field studies in California's Central Valley, we placed biosentinel fishes into nine rice wetlands that were subjected to three different harvest strategies, and into nine managed wetlands that encompassed three different hydrological regimes. We simultaneously measured a suite of biogeochemical processes in surface water, sediment, and pore water in order to link the response in fish Hg bioaccumulation with within-field processes that regulate MeHg cycling. Our preliminary results indicate that fish Hg concentrations were 1.6 times higher in rice wetlands than in managed wetlands. Additionally, fish Hg

  11. Intrauterine Exposure to Methylmercury and Neurocognitive Functions: Minamata Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kato, Tsuguhiko; Kado, Yoko; Tokinobu, Akiko; Yamakawa, Michiyo; Tsuda, Toshihide; Sanada, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    A large-scale food poisoning caused by methylmercury was identified in Minamata, Japan, in the 1950s. The severe intrauterine exposure cases are well known, although the possible impact of low-to-moderate methylmercury exposure in utero are rarely investigated. We examined neurocognitive functions among 22 participants in Minamata, mainly using an intelligence quotient test (Wechsler Adults Intelligent Scale III), in 2012/2013. The participants tended to score low on the Index score of processing speed (PS) relative to full-scale IQ, and discrepancies between PS and other scores within each participant were observed. The lower score on PS was due to deficits in digit symbol-coding and symbol search and was associated with methylmercury concentration in umbilical cords. The residents who experienced low-to-moderate methylmercury exposure including prenatal one in Minamata manifested deficits in their cognitive functions, processing speed in particular.

  12. Developmental and genetic components explain enhanced pulmonary volumes of female Peruvian Quechua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyamu, Melisa; Bigham, Abigail; Parra, Esteban; León-Velarde, Fabiola; Rivera-Chira, María; Brutsaert, Tom D

    2012-08-01

    High altitude natives have enlarged vital capacities and residual volumes (RV). Because pulmonary volumes are an indication of functionally relevant traits, such as diffusion capacity, the understanding of the factors (genetic/developmental) that influence lung volumes provides insight into the adaptive responses of highlanders. In order to test for the effect of growth and development at high altitude on lung volumes, we obtained forced vital capacities (FVC), RV, and total lung capacities (TLC) for a sample of 65 Peruvian females of mostly Quechua origins (18-34 years) who were sub-divided into two well-matched groups: 1) sea-level born and raised females (BSL, n = 34) from Lima, Peru (150 m), and 2) high-altitude born and raised females (BHA, n = 31) from Cerro de Pasco, Peru (4,338 m). To determine Quechua origins, Native American ancestry proportion (NAAP) for each individual was assessed using a panel of 70 ancestry informative markers. NAAP was similar between groups (BSL = 91.71%; BHA = 89.93%; P = 0.240), and the analysis confirmed predominantly Quechua origins. After adjusting for body size and NAAP, BHA females had significantly higher FVC (3.79 ± 0.06 l; P < 0.001), RV (0.98 ± 0.03 l; P < 0.001) and TLC (4.80 ± 0.07 l; P < 0.001) compared to BSL females (FVC = 3.33 ± 0.05 l; RV = 0.69 ± 0.03 l; TLC = 4.02 ± 0.06 l). NAAP was not associated with FVC (P = 0.352) or TLC (P = 0.506). However, NAAP was positively associated with RV (P = 0.004). In summary, results indicate that developmental exposure to high altitude in females constitutes an important factor for all lung volumes, whereas both genetic and developmental factors seem to be important for RV.

  13. Tissue-specific RNA expression marks distant-acting developmental enhancers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Wu

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Short non-coding transcripts can be transcribed from distant-acting transcriptional enhancer loci, but the prevalence of such enhancer RNAs (eRNAs within the transcriptome, and the association of eRNA expression with tissue-specific enhancer activity in vivo remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the expression dynamics of tissue-specific non-coding RNAs in embryonic mouse tissues via deep RNA sequencing. Overall, approximately 80% of validated in vivo enhancers show tissue-specific RNA expression that correlates with tissue-specific enhancer activity. Globally, we identified thousands of tissue-specifically transcribed non-coding regions (TSTRs displaying various genomic hallmarks of bona fide enhancers. In transgenic mouse reporter assays, over half of tested TSTRs functioned as enhancers with reproducible activity in the predicted tissue. Together, our results demonstrate that tissue-specific eRNA expression is a common feature of in vivo enhancers, as well as a major source of extragenic transcription, and that eRNA expression signatures can be used to predict tissue-specific enhancers independent of known epigenomic enhancer marks.

  14. Machine learning classification of cell-specific cardiac enhancers uncovers developmental subnetworks regulating progenitor cell division and cell fate specification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Shaad M; Busser, Brian W; Huang, Di; Cozart, Elizabeth J; Michaud, Sébastien; Zhu, Xianmin; Jeffries, Neal; Aboukhalil, Anton; Bulyk, Martha L; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Michelson, Alan M

    2014-02-01

    The Drosophila heart is composed of two distinct cell types, the contractile cardial cells (CCs) and the surrounding non-muscle pericardial cells (PCs), development of which is regulated by a network of conserved signaling molecules and transcription factors (TFs). Here, we used machine learning with array-based chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) data and TF sequence motifs to computationally classify cell type-specific cardiac enhancers. Extensive testing of predicted enhancers at single-cell resolution revealed the added value of ChIP data for modeling cell type-specific activities. Furthermore, clustering the top-scoring classifier sequence features identified novel cardiac and cell type-specific regulatory motifs. For example, we found that the Myb motif learned by the classifier is crucial for CC activity, and the Myb TF acts in concert with two forkhead domain TFs and Polo kinase to regulate cardiac progenitor cell divisions. In addition, differential motif enrichment and cis-trans genetic studies revealed that the Notch signaling pathway TF Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)] discriminates PC from CC enhancer activities. Collectively, these studies elucidate molecular pathways used in the regulatory decisions for proliferation and differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells, implicate Su(H) in regulating cell fate decisions of these progenitors, and document the utility of enhancer modeling in uncovering developmental regulatory subnetworks.

  15. Speciation of methylmercury in rice grown from a mercury mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Lu [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing100085 (China); Wang Feiyue, E-mail: wangf@ms.umanitoba.c [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Meng Bo [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Lemes, Marcos [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Feng Xinbin [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Jiang Guibin [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing100085 (China)

    2010-10-15

    Monomethylmercury (CH{sub 3}Hg{sup +} and its complexes; MeHg hereafter) is a known developmental neurotoxin. Recent studies have shown that rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain grown from mercury (Hg) mining areas may contain elevated MeHg concentrations, raising concerns over the health of local residents who consume rice on a daily basis. An analytical method employing high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) - inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) following enzymatic hydrolysis was developed to analyze the speciation of MeHg in uncooked and cooked white rice grain grown from the vicinity of a Hg mine in China. The results revealed that the MeHg in the uncooked rice is present almost exclusively as CH{sub 3}Hg-L-cysteinate (CH{sub 3}HgCys), a complex that is thought to be responsible for the transfer of MeHg across the blood-brain and placental barriers. Although cooking does not change the total Hg or total MeHg concentration in rice, no CH{sub 3}HgCys is measurable after cooking, suggesting that most, if not all, of the CH{sub 3}HgCys is converted to other forms of MeHg, the identity and toxicity of which remain elusive. - Methylmercury in uncooked rice occurs predominantly as methylmercury-L-cysteinate, which is effectively removed during the cooking process.

  16. Enhancing the Developmental Appropriateness of Treatment for Depression in Youth: Integrating the Family in Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompson, Martha C.; Boger, Kathryn Dingman; Asarnow, Joan R.

    2016-01-01

    Youth depression is an impairing and frequently recurrent and persistent disorder that impacts current and later development, resulting in high social and economic costs. Depression and interpersonal stress are frequently transactional, with depression powerfully negatively impacting relationships and relationship stress negatively impacting the course and outcome of depression. In this context, treatment models for youth depression that emphasize interpersonal functioning, particularly family relationships, may be particularly promising. This article has three objectives. It first reviews the current state of knowledge on the efficacy of psychosocial treatments for depression in youth, with an emphasis on the role of family involvement in treatment. Second, it discusses developmental factors that may impact the applicability and structure of family-focused treatment models for preadolescent and adolescent youth. Third, two family-based treatment models that are currently being evaluated in randomized clinical trials are described: one focusing on preadolescent depressed youth and the other on adolescents who have made a recent suicide attempt. PMID:22537731

  17. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) enhances sympathetic neurite growth in rat hearts at early developmental stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miwa, Keiko; Lee, Jong-Kook; Takagishi, Yoshiko; Opthof, Tobias; Fu, Xianming; Kodama, Itsuo

    2010-12-01

    Molecular signaling of sympathetic innervation of myocardium is an unresolved issue. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of neurotrophic factors on sympathetic neurite growth towards cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes (CMs) and sympathetic neurons (SNs) were isolated from neonatal rat hearts and superior cervical ganglia, and were co-cultured, either in a random or localized way. Neurite growth from SNs toward CMs was assessed by immunohistochemistry for neurofilament M and α-actinin in response to neurotrophic factors-nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and a chemical repellent, semaphorin 3A. As a result, GDNF as well as NGF and BDNF stimulated neurite growth. GDNF enhanced neurite outgrowth even under the NGF-depleted culture condition, excluding an indirect effect of GDNF via NGF. Quantification of mRNA and protein by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry at different developmental stages revealed that GDNF is abundantly expressed in the hearts of embryos and neonates, but not in adult hearts. GDNF plays an important role in inducing cardiac sympathetic innervation at the early developmental stages. A possible role in (re)innervation of injured or transplanted or cultured and transplanted myocardium may deserve investigation.

  18. A conserved enhancer element differentially regulates developmental expression of CD5 in B and T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berland, Robert; Fiering, Steven; Wortis, Henry H

    2010-12-15

    We previously identified an enhancer element upstream of the mouse cd5 gene that was required in reporter assays for the induction of cd5 promoter activity by BCR cross-linking. This element is highly conserved in placental mammals. To determine its physiological role, we have now generated mice with a targeted deletion of the enhancer. The result is the loss of CD5 expression in peritoneal and splenic B-1a cells of adult mice and an inability to induce CD5 by cross-linking of the BCR on splenic B-2 cells. Surprisingly, CD5 expression on B-1a cells of neonatal mice was only minimally compromised. Cd5 enhancer deletion also had only a modest effect on CD5 expression in the T lineage. Thus, this enhancer provides age- and tissue-specific regulation of CD5 expression and is an example of the utilization of different modes of regulation of expression in T and B cells.

  19. Iron status as a covariate in methylmercury-associated neurotoxicity risk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fonseca, Márlon de Freitas; De Souza Hacon, Sandra; Grandjean, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Intrauterine methylmercury exposure and prenatal iron deficiency negatively affect offspring's brain development. Since fish is a major source of both methylmercury and iron, occurrence of negative confounding may affect the interpretation of studies concerning cognition. We assessed relationship...

  20. Effect of methylmercury on the rat mast cell degranulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graevskaya, E. E.; Yasutake, A.; Aramai, R.; Rubin, A. B.

    2003-05-01

    Methylmercury is the well-known neurotoxicant as weil as a modulator of the immune system. We investigated the effects of MeHg on the rat mast cell degranulation induced by nonimmunological stimuli (the selective liberator of histamine, compound 48/80, and calcium ionophore A23187) both in vivo and in vitro. In 8, 12 and 15 days afterthe final administration of MeHg we observed the suppression of calcium ionophore A23187-and 48/80-induced histamine release, which enhanced with time. In experiments in vitro incubation of peritoneal mast cells with MeHg alone in the dose range 10^{-8} to 10^{-6} did not induce mast cell degranulation, however modified the activation of mast cells by compound 48/80, and calcium ionophore A23187. We observed activation of stimulated secretion by preliminary incubation with low dose of MeHg 10^{-8} M and inhibition by dose of MeHg 10^{-6} M. These results show that MeHg treatment can modify mast cell function in vivo and in vitro and provide insight into the understanding what role this cell has in the pathogenesis of Minamata disease-comlected disorders.

  1. Flood hydrology and methylmercury availability in coastal plain rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Paul M; Journey, Celeste A; Chapelle, Francis H; Lowery, Mark A; Conrads, Paul A

    2010-12-15

    Mercury (Hg) burdens in top-predator fish differ substantially between adjacent South Carolina Coastal Plain river basins with similar wetlands coverage. In the Congaree River, floodwaters frequently originate in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions, where wetlands coverage and surface water dissolved methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations are low. Piedmont-driven flood events can lead to downward hydraulic gradients in the Coastal Plain riparian wetland margins, inhibiting MeHg transport from wetland sediments, and decreasing MeHg availability in the Congaree River habitat. In the adjacent Edisto River basin, floodwaters originate only within Coastal Plain sediments, maintaining upward hydraulic gradients even during flood events, promoting MeHg transport to the water column, and enhancing MeHg availability in the Edisto River habitat. These results indicate that flood hydrodynamics contribute to the variability in Hg vulnerability between Coastal Plain rivers and that comprehensive regional assessment of the relationship between flood hydrodynamics and Hg risk in Coastal Plain streams is warranted.

  2. Flood hydrology and methylmercury availability in Coastal Plain rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Paul M.; Journey, Celeste A.; Chapelle, Francis H.; Lowery, Mark A.; Conrads, Paul A.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) burdens in top-predator fish differ substantially between adjacent South Carolina Coastal Plain river basins with similar wetlands coverage. In the Congaree River, floodwaters frequently originate in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions, where wetlands coverage and surface water dissolved methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations are low. Piedmont-driven flood events can lead to downward hydraulic gradients in the Coastal Plain riparian wetland margins, inhibiting MeHg transport from wetland sediments, and decreasing MeHg availability in the Congaree River habitat. In the adjacent Edisto River basin, floodwaters originate only within Coastal Plain sediments, maintaining upward hydraulic gradients even during flood events, promoting MeHg transport to the water column, and enhancing MeHg availability in the Edisto River habitat. These results indicate that flood hydrodynamics contribute to the variability in Hg vulnerability between Coastal Plain rivers and that comprehensive regional assessment of the relationship between flood hydrodynamics and Hg risk in Coastal Plain streams is warranted.

  3. Light finger contact concurrently reduces postural sway and enhances signal detection performance in children with developmental coordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fu-Chen; Tsai, Chia-Liang

    2016-03-01

    The current study examined the effects of light finger touch on postural sway and signal detection performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Children with DCD (n=30; 18 boys, 12 girls; age=11.87 ± 0.48 years) and typically developing children (n=30; 14 boys, 16 girls; age=11.73 ± 0.52 years) were recruited from schools in Pintung County, Taiwan. Participants completed a signal detection task under no finger touch (NT) and light finger touch (LT) conditions, while postural sway in both anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) axes was recorded. In both conditions, children with DCD exhibited significantly higher levels of postural sway (ppostural sway (ppostural sway was greater among TDC relative to children with DCD (ppostural sway and enhancing signal detection in both groups.

  4. Methionine stimulates motor impairment and cerebellar mercury deposition in methylmercury-exposed mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Luciana T; dos Santos, Danúbia B; Colle, Dirleise; dos Santos, Alessandra A; Hort, Mariana A; Garcia, Solange C; Bressan, Lucas Paines; Bohrer, Denise; Farina, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly toxic environmental contaminant that produces neurological and developmental impairments in animals and humans. Although its neurotoxic properties have been widely reported, the molecular mechanisms by which MeHg enters the cells and exerts toxicity are not yet completely understood. Taking into account that MeHg is found mostly bound to sulfhydryl-containing molecules such as cysteine in the environment and based on the fact that the MeHg-cysteine complex (MeHg-S-Cys) can be transported via the L-type neutral amino acid carrier transport (LAT) system, the potential beneficial effects of L-methionine (L-Met, a well known LAT substrate) against MeHg (administrated as MeHg-S-Cys)-induced neurotoxicity in mice were investigated. Mice were exposed to MeHg (daily subcutaneous injections of MeHg-S-Cys, 10 mg Hg/kg) and/or L-Met (daily intraperitoneal injections, 250 mg/kg) for 10 consecutive days. After treatments, the measured hallmarks of toxicity were mostly based on behavioral parameters related to motor performance, as well as biochemical parameters related to the cerebellar antioxidant glutathione (GSH) system. MeHg significantly decreased motor activity (open-field test) and impaired motor performance (rota-rod task) compared with controls, as well as producing disturbances in the cerebellar antioxidant GSH system. Interestingly, L-Met administration did not protect against MeHg-induced behavioral and cerebellar changes, but rather increased motor impairments in animals exposed to MeHg. In agreement with this observation, cerebellar levels of mercury (Hg) were higher in animals exposed to MeHg plus L-Met compared to those only exposed to MeHg. However, this event was not observed in kidney and liver. These results are the first to demonstrate that L-Met enhances cerebellar deposition of Hg in mice exposed to MeHg and that this higher deposition may be responsible for the greater motor impairment observed in mice simultaneously

  5. Musicians' Enhanced Neural Differentiation of Speech Sounds Arises Early in Life: Developmental Evidence from Ages 3 to 30

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L.; O'Connell, Samantha; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The perception and neural representation of acoustically similar speech sounds underlie language development. Music training hones the perception of minute acoustic differences that distinguish sounds; this training may generalize to speech processing given that adult musicians have enhanced neural differentiation of similar speech syllables compared with nonmusicians. Here, we asked whether this neural advantage in musicians is present early in life by assessing musically trained and untrained children as young as age 3. We assessed auditory brainstem responses to the speech syllables /ba/ and /ga/ as well as auditory and visual cognitive abilities in musicians and nonmusicians across 3 developmental time-points: preschoolers, school-aged children, and adults. Cross-phase analyses objectively measured the degree to which subcortical responses differed to these speech syllables in musicians and nonmusicians for each age group. Results reveal that musicians exhibit enhanced neural differentiation of stop consonants early in life and with as little as a few years of training. Furthermore, the extent of subcortical stop consonant distinction correlates with auditory-specific cognitive abilities (i.e., auditory working memory and attention). Results are interpreted according to a corticofugal framework for auditory learning in which subcortical processing enhancements are engendered by strengthened cognitive control over auditory function in musicians. PMID:23599166

  6. A Conserved Enhancer Element Differentially Regulates Developmental Expression of CD5 in B and T Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Berland, Robert; Fiering, Steven; Wortis, Henry H.

    2010-01-01

    We previously identified an enhancer element upstream of the mouse cd5 gene that was required in reporter assays for the induction of cd5 promoter activity by BCR cross-linking. This element is highly conserved in placental mammals. To determine its physiological role, we have now generated mice with a targeted deletion of the enhancer. The result is the loss of CD5 expression in peritoneal and splenic B-1a cells of adult mice and an inability to induce CD5 by cross-linking of the BCR on sple...

  7. Estimation of health effects of prenatal methylmercury exposure using structural equation models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Keiding, Niels; Grandjean, Philippe

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Observational studies in epidemiology always involve concerns regarding validity, especially measurement error, confounding, missing data, and other problems that may affect the study outcomes. Widely used standard statistical techniques, such as multiple regression analysis, may...... to some extent adjust for these shortcomings. However, structural equations may incorporate most of these considerations, thereby providing overall adjusted estimations of associations. This approach was used in a large epidemiological data set from a prospective study of developmental methyl......-mercury toxicity. RESULTS: Structural equation models were developed for assessment of the association between biomarkers of prenatal mercury exposure and neuropsychological test scores in 7 year old children. Eleven neurobehavioral outcomes were grouped into motor function and verbally mediated function...

  8. Early developmental gene enhancers affect subcortical volumes in the adult human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Martin; Guadalupe, Tulio; Franke, Barbara; Hibar, Derrek P; Renteria, Miguel E; Stein, Jason L; Thompson, Paul M; Francks, Clyde; Vernes, Sonja C; Fisher, Simon E

    2016-05-01

    Genome-wide association screens aim to identify common genetic variants contributing to the phenotypic variability of complex traits, such as human height or brain morphology. The identified genetic variants are mostly within noncoding genomic regions and the biology of the genotype-phenotype association typically remains unclear. In this article, we propose a complementary targeted strategy to reveal the genetic underpinnings of variability in subcortical brain volumes, by specifically selecting genomic loci that are experimentally validated forebrain enhancers, active in early embryonic development. We hypothesized that genetic variation within these enhancers may affect the development and ultimately the structure of subcortical brain regions in adults. We tested whether variants in forebrain enhancer regions showed an overall enrichment of association with volumetric variation in subcortical structures of >13,000 healthy adults. We observed significant enrichment of genomic loci that affect the volume of the hippocampus within forebrain enhancers (empirical P = 0.0015), a finding which robustly passed the adjusted threshold for testing of multiple brain phenotypes (cutoff of P Brain Mapp 37:1788-1800, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Ancient Pbx-Hox signatures define hundreds of vertebrate developmental enhancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parker Hugo J

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene regulation through cis-regulatory elements plays a crucial role in development and disease. A major aim of the post-genomic era is to be able to read the function of cis-regulatory elements through scrutiny of their DNA sequence. Whilst comparative genomics approaches have identified thousands of putative regulatory elements, our knowledge of their mechanism of action is poor and very little progress has been made in systematically de-coding them. Results Here, we identify ancient functional signatures within vertebrate conserved non-coding elements (CNEs through a combination of phylogenetic footprinting and functional assay, using genomic sequence from the sea lamprey as a reference. We uncover a striking enrichment within vertebrate CNEs for conserved binding-site motifs of the Pbx-Hox hetero-dimer. We further show that these predict reporter gene expression in a segment specific manner in the hindbrain and pharyngeal arches during zebrafish development. Conclusions These findings evoke an evolutionary scenario in which many CNEs evolved early in the vertebrate lineage to co-ordinate Hox-dependent gene-regulatory interactions that pattern the vertebrate head. In a broader context, our evolutionary analyses reveal that CNEs are composed of tightly linked transcription-factor binding-sites (TFBSs, which can be systematically identified through phylogenetic footprinting approaches. By placing a large number of ancient vertebrate CNEs into a developmental context, our findings promise to have a significant impact on efforts toward de-coding gene-regulatory elements that underlie vertebrate development, and will facilitate building general models of regulatory element evolution.

  10. Neurodevelopmental effects of maternal nutritional status and exposure to methylmercury from eating fish during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Philip W; Strain, J J; Myers, Gary J; Thurston, Sally W; Bonham, Maxine P; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Stokes-Riner, Abbie; Wallace, Julie M W; Robson, Paula J; Duffy, Emeir M; Georger, Lesley A; Sloane-Reeves, Jean; Cernichiari, Elsa; Canfield, Richard L; Cox, Christopher; Huang, Li Shan; Janciuras, Joanne; Clarkson, Thomas W

    2008-09-01

    Fish contain nutrients that promote optimal brain growth and development but also contain methylmercury (MeHg) that can have toxic effects. The present study tested the hypothesis that the intake of selected nutrients in fish or measures of maternal nutritional status may represent important confounders when estimating the effects of prenatal methylmercury exposure on child development. The study took place in the Republic of Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago where fish consumption is high. A longitudinal cohort study design was used. A total of 300 mothers were enrolled early in pregnancy. Nutrients considered to be important for brain development were measured during pregnancy along with prenatal MeHg exposure. The children were evaluated periodically to age 30 months. There were 229 children with complete outcome and covariate data for analysis. The primary endpoint was the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II (BSID-II), administered at 9 and 30 months of age. Combinations of four secondary measures of infant cognition and memory were also given at 5, 9 and 25 months. Cohort mothers consumed an average of 537 g of fish (nine meals containing fish) per week. The average prenatal MeHg exposure was 5.9 ppm in maternal hair. The primary analysis examined the associations between MeHg, maternal nutritional measures and children's scores on the BSID-II and showed an adverse association between MeHg and the mean Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) score at 30 months. Secondary analyses of the association between the PDI and only MeHg alone or nutritional factors alone showed only a borderline significant association between MeHg and the PDI at 30 months and no associations with nutritional factors. One experimental measure at 5 months of age was positively associated with iodine status, but not prenatal MeHg exposure. These findings suggest a possible confounding role of maternal nutrition in studies examining associations between prenatal MeHg exposures and

  11. Mapping the Developmental Trajectory and Correlates of Enhanced Pitch Perception on Speech Processing in Adults with ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jennifer L; Hannent, Ian; Heaton, Pamela F

    2016-05-01

    Whilst enhanced perception has been widely reported in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), relatively little is known about the developmental trajectory and impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD. This paper presents data on perception of complex tones and speech pitch in adult participants with high-functioning ASD and typical development, and compares these with pre-existing data using the same paradigm with groups of children and adolescents with and without ASD. As perceptual processing abnormalities are likely to influence behavioural performance, regression analyses were carried out on the adult data set. The findings revealed markedly different pitch discrimination trajectories and language correlates across diagnostic groups. While pitch discrimination increased with age and correlated with receptive vocabulary in groups without ASD, it was enhanced in childhood and stable across development in ASD. Pitch discrimination scores did not correlate with receptive vocabulary scores in the ASD group and for adults with ASD superior pitch perception was associated with sensory atypicalities and diagnostic measures of symptom severity. We conclude that the development of pitch discrimination, and its associated mechanisms markedly distinguish those with and without ASD.

  12. Educational outreach and collaborative care enhances physician's perceived knowledge about Developmental Coordination Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaines, Robin; Missiuna, Cheryl; Egan, Mary; McLean, Jennifer

    2008-01-24

    Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that affects 5-6% of children. When not recognized and properly managed during the child's development, DCD can lead to academic failure, mental health problems and poor physical fitness. Physicians, working in collaboration with rehabilitation professionals, are in an excellent position to recognize and manage DCD. This study was designed to determine the feasibility and impact of an educational outreach and collaborative care model to improve chronic disease management of children with DCD. The intervention included educational outreach and collaborative care for children with suspected DCD. Physicians were educated by and worked with rehabilitation professionals from February 2005 to April 2006. Mixed methods evaluation approach documented the process and impact of the intervention. Physicians: 750 primary care physicians from one major urban area and outlying regions were invited to participate; 147 physicians enrolled in the project. Children: 125 children were identified and referred with suspected DCD. The main outcome was improvement in knowledge and perceived skill of physicians concerning their ability to screen, diagnose and manage DCD. At baseline 91.1% of physicians were unaware of the diagnosis of DCD, and only 1.6% could diagnose condition. Post-intervention, 91% of participating physicians reported greater knowledge about DCD and 29.2% were able to diagnose DCD compared to 0.5% of non-participating physicians. 100% of physicians who participated in collaborative care indicated they would continue to use the project materials and resources and 59.4% reported they would recommend or share the materials with medical colleagues. In addition, 17.6% of physicians not formally enrolled in the project reported an increase in knowledge of DCD. Physicians receiving educational outreach visits significantly improved their knowledge about DCD and their ability to identify and

  13. Educational outreach and collaborative care enhances physician's perceived knowledge about Developmental Coordination Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Missiuna Cheryl

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD is a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that affects 5–6% of children. When not recognized and properly managed during the child's development, DCD can lead to academic failure, mental health problems and poor physical fitness. Physicians, working in collaboration with rehabilitation professionals, are in an excellent position to recognize and manage DCD. This study was designed to determine the feasibility and impact of an educational outreach and collaborative care model to improve chronic disease management of children with DCD. Methods The intervention included educational outreach and collaborative care for children with suspected DCD. Physicians were educated by and worked with rehabilitation professionals from February 2005 to April 2006. Mixed methods evaluation approach documented the process and impact of the intervention. Results Physicians: 750 primary care physicians from one major urban area and outlying regions were invited to participate; 147 physicians enrolled in the project. Children: 125 children were identified and referred with suspected DCD. The main outcome was improvement in knowledge and perceived skill of physicians concerning their ability to screen, diagnose and manage DCD. At baseline 91.1% of physicians were unaware of the diagnosis of DCD, and only 1.6% could diagnose condition. Post-intervention, 91% of participating physicians reported greater knowledge about DCD and 29.2% were able to diagnose DCD compared to 0.5% of non-participating physicians. 100% of physicians who participated in collaborative care indicated they would continue to use the project materials and resources and 59.4% reported they would recommend or share the materials with medical colleagues. In addition, 17.6% of physicians not formally enrolled in the project reported an increase in knowledge of DCD. Conclusion Physicians receiving educational outreach visits significantly

  14. Mercury and methylmercury in reservoirs in Indiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risch, Martin R.; Fredericksen, Amanda L.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an element that occurs naturally, but evidence suggests that human activities have resulted in increased amounts being released to the atmosphere and land surface. When Hg is converted to methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic ecosystems, MeHg accumulates and increases in the food web so that some fish contain levels which pose a health risk to humans and wildlife that consume these fish. Reservoirs unlike natural lakes, are a part of river systems that are managed for flood control. Data compiled and interpreted for six flood-control reservoirs in Indiana showed a relation between Hg transport, MeHg formation in water, and MeHg in fish that was influenced by physical, chemical, and biological differences among the reservoirs. Existing information precludes a uniform comparison of Hg and MeHg in all reservoirs in the State, but factors and conditions were identified that can indicate where and when Hg and MeHg levels in reservoirs could be highest.

  15. Potential sources of methylmercury in tree foliage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatchnick, Melissa D; Nogaro, Géraldine; Hammerschmidt, Chad R

    2012-01-01

    Litterfall is a major source of mercury (Hg) and toxic methylmercury (MeHg) to forest soils and influences exposures of wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, the origin of MeHg associated with tree foliage is largely unknown. We tested the hypothesis that leaf MeHg is influenced by root uptake and thereby related to MeHg levels in soils. Concentrations of MeHg and total Hg in deciduous and coniferous foliage were unrelated to those in soil at 30 urban and rural forested locations in southwest Ohio. In contrast, tree genera and trunk diameter were significant variables influencing Hg in leaves. The fraction of total Hg as MeHg averaged 0.4% and did not differ among tree genera. Given that uptake of atmospheric Hg(0) appears to be the dominant source of total Hg in foliage, we infer that MeHg is formed by in vivo transformation of Hg in proportion to the amount accumulated. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Neurological and neurocognitive functions from intrauterine methylmercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Kado, Yoko; Diez, Midory Higa; Kishikawa, Toshihiro; Sanada, Satoshi

    2016-05-03

    In the 1950s, large-scale food poisoning caused by methylmercury was identified in Minamata, Japan. Although severe intrauterine exposure cases (ie, congenital Minamata disease patients) are well known, possible impacts of methylmercury exposure in utero among residents, which is likely at lower levels than in congenital Minamata disease patients, are rarely explored. In 2014, the authors examined neurological and neurocognitive functions among 18 exposed participants in Minamata, focusing on fine motor, visuospatial construction, and executive functions. More than half of the participants had some fine motor and coordination difficulties. In addition, several participants had lower performance for neurocognitive function tests (the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test and Keio version of the Wisconsin card sorting test). These deficits imply diffuse brain damage. This study suggests possible neurological and neurocognitive impacts of prenatal exposure to methylmercury among exposed residents of Minamata.

  17. Negative confounding by essential fatty acids in methylmercury neurotoxicity associations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Anna L; Mogensen, Ulla Brasch; Bjerve, Kristian S

    2014-01-01

    acid concentrations in the analysis (-22.0, 95% confidence interval [CI]=-39.4, -4.62). In structural equation models, poorer memory function (corresponding to a lower score in the learning trials and short delay recall in CVLT) was associated with a doubling of prenatal exposure to methylmercury after...... concentrations of fatty acids were determined in cord serum phospholipids. Neuropsychological performance in verbal, motor, attention, spatial, and memory functions was assessed at 7 years of age. Multiple regression and structural equation models (SEMs) were carried out to determine the confounder......-adjusted associations with methylmercury exposure. RESULTS: A short delay recall (in percent change) in the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was associated with a doubling of cord blood methylmercury (-18.9, 95% confidence interval [CI]=-36.3, -1.51). The association became stronger after the inclusion of fatty...

  18. Estimation of the Biological Half-Life of Methylmercury Using a Population Toxicokinetic Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seongil Jo

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Methylmercury is well known for causing adverse health effects in the brain and nervous system. Estimating the elimination constant derived from the biological half-life of methylmercury in the blood or hair is an important part of calculating guidelines for methylmercury intake. Thus, this study was conducted to estimate the biological half-life of methylmercury in Korean adults. We used a one-compartment model with a direct relationship between methylmercury concentrations in the blood and daily dietary intake of methylmercury. We quantified the between-person variability of the methylmercury half-life in the population, and informative priors were used to estimate the parameters in the model. The population half-life of methylmercury was estimated to be 80.2 ± 8.6 days. The population mean of the methylmercury half-life was 81.6 ± 8.4 days for men and 78.9 ± 8.6 days for women. The standard deviation of the half-life was estimated at 25.0 ± 8.6 days. Using the direct relationship between methylmercury concentrations in blood and methylmercury intake, the biological half-life in this study was estimated to be longer than indicated by the earlier studies that have been used to set guideline values.

  19. The response of the early developmental stages of Laminaria japonica to enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    The responses of the early development of Laminaria japonica collected from Kiaochow Bay in China to enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280—320 nm) were studied in the laboratory. The low UV-B ra-diations (11.7—23.4 J·m-2·d-1) had no significant effects on zoospores attachment, but when the UV-B dose > 35.1 J·m-2·d-1 the attachment decreased significantly compared with the control. Germination of embryospores was >93% under the low (11.7—35.1 J·m-2·d-1) doses, and in the range of 78.5%—88.5% under the high (46.8—70.2 J·m-2·d-1) UV-B doses, indicating a significant radiation effect. Under the higher UV-B exposure (35.1—70.2 J·m-2·d-1), all of the few gametophytes formed from embryospores died 120 h post-release. After exposure to the low UV-B radiation (11.7—23.4 J·m-2·d-1), the formation of sporophytes decreased and the female gametophyte clones increased compared with the control. However, the sex ratio and the relative growth of female gametophytes/sporophytes had not signifi-cantly changed. According to the results, enhanced UV-B radiation has a significant effect on the early development of L. japonica under laboratory conditions, suggesting that the UV-B radiation could not be overlooked as one of the important environmental factors influencing the ontogeny of macroalgae living in marine ecosystems.

  20. The response of the early developmental stages of Laminaria japonica to enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Su; ZHANG QuanSheng; WANG You; JU Qing; TANG XueXi

    2008-01-01

    The responses of the early development of Laminaria japonica collected from Kiaochow Bay in China to enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280-320 nm) were studied in the laboratory. The low UV-B radiations (11.7-23.4 J·m-2·d-) had no significant effects on zoospores attachment, but when the UV-B dose > 35.1 J·m-2·d-1 the attachment decreased significantly compared with the control. Germination of embryosperes was >93% under the low (11.7-35.1 J·m-2·d-1) doses, and in the range of 78.5%-88.5% under the high (46.8-70.2 J·m-2·d-1) UV-B doses, indicating a significant radiation effect. Under the higher UV-B exposure (35.1-70.2 J·m-2·d-1), all of the few gametophytes formed from embryospores died 120 h post-release. After exposure to the low UV-B radiation (11.7-23.4 J·m-2·d-1), the formation of sporophytes decreased and the female gametophyte clones increased compared with the control. However, the sex ratio and the relative growth of female gametophytes/sporophytes had not significantly changed. According to the results, enhanced UV-B radiation has a significant effect on the early development of L. japonica under laboratory conditions, suggesting that the UV-B radiation could not be overlooked as one of the important environmental factors influencing the ontogeny of macroalgae living in marine ecosystems.

  1. Luminescent bacteria-based sensing method for methylmercury specific determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rantala, Anne; Utriainen, Mikko; Kaushik, Nitesh; Karp, Matti [Tampere University of Technology, Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere (Finland); Virta, Marko [University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, Helsinki (Finland); Vaelimaa, Anna-Liisa [MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Biotechnology and Food Research, Ruukki (Finland)

    2011-05-15

    A bacterial biosensor method for the selective determination of a bioavailable organomercurial compound, methylmercury, is presented. A recombinant luminescent whole-cell bacterial strain responding to total mercury content in samples was used. The bacterial cells were freeze-dried and used as robust, reagent-like compounds, without batch-to-batch variations. In this bacteria-based sensing method, luciferase is used as a reporter, which requires no substrate additions, therefore allowing homogenous, real-time monitoring of the reporter gene expression. A noninducible, constitutively light-producing control bacterial strain was included in parallel for determining the overall cytotoxicity of the samples. The specificity of the total mercury sensor Escherichia coli MC1061 (pmerRBlux) bacterial resistance system toward methylmercury is due to a coexpressed specific enzyme, organomercurial lyase. This enzyme mediates the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury to yield mercury ions, which induce the reporter genes and produce a self-luminescent cell. The selective analysis of methylmercury with the total mercury strain is achieved by specifically chelating the inorganic mercury species from the sample using an optimized concentration of EDTA as a chelating agent. After the treatment with the chelating agent, a cross-reactivity of 0.2% with ionic mercury was observed at nonphysiological ionic mercury concentrations (100 nM). The assay was optimized to be performed in 3 h but results can already be read after 1 h incubation. Total mercury strain E. coli MC1061 (pmerRBlux) has been shown to be highly sensitive and capable of determining methylmercury at a subnanomolar level in optimized assay conditions with a very high dynamic range of two decades. The limit of detection of 75 ng/l (300 pM) allows measurement of methylmercury even from natural samples. (orig.)

  2. Visual evoked potentials in children prenatally exposed to methylmercury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Bjerve, Kristian S

    2013-01-01

    the effect of prenatal methylmercury exposure on visual evoked potential (VEP) latencies in Faroese children with elevated prenatal methylmercury exposure. A cohort of 182 singleton term births was assembled in the Faroe Islands during 1994-1995. At age 7 years, VEP tracings were obtained from 139 cohort...... subjects after exclusion of subjects with abnormal vision conditions. We used multiple regression analysis to evaluate the association of mercury concentrations in cord blood and maternal hair at parturition with VEP latencies after adjustment for potential confounders that included the cord...

  3. Involvement of transcriptional enhancers in the regulation of developmental expression of yellow gene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Jilong

    2001-01-01

    [1]Geyer, P. K., Green, M. M., Corces, V. G., Tissue-specific transcriptional enhancers may act on the gene located in the homologous chromosome, EMBO J., 1990, 9(7): 2247.[2]Chen, J. L., Liu, J., Chen, Z. W. et al., Molecular analysis of gene transvection by using Drosophila yellow gene model, Devel. Reprod. Biol., 1998, 7(2): 43.[3]Goldsborough, A. S., Kornberg, T. B., Reduction of transcription by homologue asynapsis in Drosophila imaginal discs, Nature, 1996, 381: 807.[4]Wu, C.- T., Morris, J. R., Transvection and other homology effects, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 1999, 9: 237.[5]Pal-Bhadra, M., Bhadra, U., Birchler, J. A., Cosuppression in Drosophila: gene silencing of alcohol dehydrogenase by white-Adh transgenes is polycomb dependent, Cell, 1997, 90: 479.[6]Matzke, M. A., Matzke, A. J. M., Homology-dependent gene silencing in transgenic plants: what does it really tell us? Trends Genet., 1995, 11: 1..[7]Aramayo, R., Metzenberg, R. L., Meiotic transvection in fungi, Cell, 1996, 86: 103.[8]Leiserson, W. M., Bonini, N. M., Benzer, S., Transvection at the eyes absent gene of Drosophila, Genetics, 1994, 138: 1171.[9]Sun, F. L., Dean, W. L., Kelsey, G. et al., Transactivation of Igf2 in a mouse model of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, Nature, 1997, 389: 809.[10] Morris, J. R., Chen, J. L., Geyer, P. K. et al., Two modes of transvection: enhancer action in trans and by pass of a chromatin insulator in cis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 1998, 95: 10740.[11] Morris, J. R., Chen, J. L., Filandrinos, S. T. et al., An analysis of transvection at the yellow locus of Drosophila melanogaster, Genetics, 1999, 151: 633.[12] Chen, J. L., Longo, F. J., Expression and localization of DNA topo II during spermatogenesis, Mol. Reprod. Devel., 1996, 45: 61.[13] Rubin, G. M., Spradling, A. C., Genetic transformation of Drosophila with transposable element vectors, Science, 1982, 218: 348.[14] Johnson

  4. Intra- and inter-specific variability in total and methylmercury bioaccumulation by eight marine fish species from the Azores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhães, Maria C; Costa, Valentina; Menezes, Gui M; Pinho, Mário R; Santos, Ricardo S; Monteiro, Luís R

    2007-10-01

    We relate fish biological and ecological characteristics to total and organic mercury concentrations to determine whether accumulation is influenced by trophic level, Hg concentration in the diet, and vertical distribution. Levels of total mercury and methylmercury were determined in the muscle tissue of eight species of fish: Pagellus acarne, Trachurus picturatus, Phycis phycis, P. blennoides, Polyprion americanus, Conger conger, Lepidopus caudatus and Mora moro, caught in the Azores. All such fishes are commercially valuable and were selected to include species from a wide range of vertical distributions from epipelagic (300 m) environments. Methylmercury was the major form accumulated in all species, comprising an average of 88.1% of total mercury. Concentrations of mercury (total and methylmercury) increased with age, length and weight. Based on data from other studies, mercury concentrations in fish diet were estimated. Mercury levels in food ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 ppm, dry weight. Hg concentrations in the food and in muscle tissue from different species were positively correlated. Total Hg levels in the muscles were approximately nine times those estimated in food. Total mercury concentrations in muscle were positively correlated with both trophic level and median depth. Such enhanced mercury bioaccumulation in relation to depth appears to be determined primarily by concentrations in food and ultimately by water chemistry, which controls mercury speciation and uptake at the base of the food chain.

  5. Toxicity of ethylmercury (and Thimerosal): a comparison with methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dórea, José G; Farina, Marcelo; Rocha, João B T

    2013-08-01

    Ethylmercury (etHg) is derived from the metabolism of thimerosal (o-carboxyphenyl-thio-ethyl-sodium salt), which is the most widely used form of organic mercury. Because of its application as a vaccine preservative, almost every human and animal (domestic and farmed) that has been immunized with thimerosal-containing vaccines has been exposed to etHg. Although methylmercury (meHg) is considered a hazardous substance that is to be avoided even at small levels when consumed in foods such as seafood and rice (in Asia), the World Health Organization considers small doses of thimerosal safe regardless of multiple/repetitive exposures to vaccines that are predominantly taken during pregnancy or infancy. We have reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies that compare the toxicological parameters among etHg and other forms of mercury (predominantly meHg) to assess their relative toxicities and potential to cause cumulative insults. In vitro studies comparing etHg with meHg demonstrate equivalent measured outcomes for cardiovascular, neural and immune cells. However, under in vivo conditions, evidence indicates a distinct toxicokinetic profile between meHg and etHg, favoring a shorter blood half-life, attendant compartment distribution and the elimination of etHg compared with meHg. EtHg's toxicity profile is different from that of meHg, leading to different exposure and toxicity risks. Therefore, in real-life scenarios, a simultaneous exposure to both etHg and meHg might result in enhanced neurotoxic effects in developing mammals. However, our knowledge on this subject is still incomplete, and studies are required to address the predictability of the additive or synergic toxicological effects of etHg and meHg (or other neurotoxicants).

  6. Sulfate threshold target to control methylmercury levels in wetland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrales, J.; Naja, G.M.; Dziuba, C.; Rivero, R.G.; Orem, W.

    2011-01-01

    Sulfate contamination has a significant environmental implication through the stimulation of toxic hydrogen sulfide and methylmercury (MeHg) production. High levels of MeHg are a serious problem in many wetland ecosystems worldwide. In the Florida Everglades, it has been demonstrated that increasing MeHg occurrence is due to a sulfate contamination problem. A promising strategy of lowering the MeHg occurrence is to reduce the amount of sulfate entering the ecosystem. High surface water sulfate concentrations in the Everglades are mainly due to discharges from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) canals. Water and total sulfur mass balances indicated that total sulfur released by soil oxidation, Lake Okeechobee and agricultural application were the major sources contributing 49,169, 35,217 and 11,775mtonsyear-1, respectively. Total sulfur loads from groundwater, levees, and atmospheric deposition contributed to a lesser extent: 4055; 5858 and 4229mtonsyear-1, respectively. Total sulfur leaving the EAA into Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) through canal discharge was estimated at 116,360mtonsyear-1, and total sulfur removed by sugarcane harvest accounted for 23,182mtonsyear-1. Furthermore, a rise in the mineral content and pH of the EAA soil over time, suggested that the current rates of sulfur application would increase as the buffer capacity of the soil increases. Therefore, a site specific numeric criterion for sulfate of 1mgL-1 was recommended for the protection of the Everglades; above this level, mercury methylation is enhanced. In parallel, sulfide concentrations in the EAA exceeded the 2??gL-1 criterion for surface water already established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  7. Sulfate threshold target to control methylmercury levels in wetland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrales, Juliana; Naja, Ghinwa M; Dziuba, Catherine; Rivero, Rosanna G; Orem, William

    2011-05-01

    Sulfate contamination has a significant environmental implication through the stimulation of toxic hydrogen sulfide and methylmercury (MeHg) production. High levels of MeHg are a serious problem in many wetland ecosystems worldwide. In the Florida Everglades, it has been demonstrated that increasing MeHg occurrence is due to a sulfate contamination problem. A promising strategy of lowering the MeHg occurrence is to reduce the amount of sulfate entering the ecosystem. High surface water sulfate concentrations in the Everglades are mainly due to discharges from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) canals. Water and total sulfur mass balances indicated that total sulfur released by soil oxidation, Lake Okeechobee and agricultural application were the major sources contributing 49,169, 35,217 and 11,775mtonsyear(-1), respectively. Total sulfur loads from groundwater, levees, and atmospheric deposition contributed to a lesser extent: 4055; 5858 and 4229mtonsyear(-1), respectively. Total sulfur leaving the EAA into Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) through canal discharge was estimated at 116,360mtonsyear(-1), and total sulfur removed by sugarcane harvest accounted for 23,182mtonsyear(-1). Furthermore, a rise in the mineral content and pH of the EAA soil over time, suggested that the current rates of sulfur application would increase as the buffer capacity of the soil increases. Therefore, a site specific numeric criterion for sulfate of 1mgL(-1) was recommended for the protection of the Everglades; above this level, mercury methylation is enhanced. In parallel, sulfide concentrations in the EAA exceeded the 2μgL(-1) criterion for surface water already established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  8. The Engineered Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methylmercury Pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Meagher; Sarah Marshburn; Andrew Heaton; Anne Marie Zimer; Raoufa Rahman

    2003-06-24

    Our current specific objectives are to use transgenic plants to control the chemical species, electrochemical state, and above ground binding of mercury to (a) prevent methylmercury from entering the food-chain, (b) remove mercury from polluted sites, and (c) hyperaccumulate mercury in above ground tissues for later harvest.

  9. Methylmercury Cycling and Tidal Exchange in a Chesapeake Bay Salt Marsh (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, C. P.; Jordan, T. E.; Heyes, A.; Gilmour, C. C.

    2010-12-01

    The importance of salt marshes to methylmercury budgets in coastal regions is poorly understood. Given that salt marshes are important coastal features around Chesapeake Bay and in many other coastal areas, and that methylmercury is a bioaccumulated neurotoxin to aquatic biota and the humans that consume them, fully understanding methylmercury sources is an important step in mitigating detrimental health and ecosystem effects. In this research, we highlight the important biogeochemical controls on methylmercury production in a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh and link this production with tidal exchange using hydrological measurements and sampling over a 12-month period. Our findings point to an important linkage between iron cycling and methylmercury production. Net tidal exchange of total mercury and methylmercury showed marked seasonal variation, especially for methylmercury. Overall, we estimate the salt marsh was a large net sink for total mercury (~60 μg m-2 yr-1) and a net source of methylmercury (~0.25 μg m-2 yr-1). In addition to significant in situ methylmercury exposure risk to biota that utilize salt marshes as habitat or breeding grounds, the contribution of methylmercury to the estuarine zone as a result of salt marsh tidal exchange is not negligible.

  10. Two-staged nuclear transfer can enhance the developmental ability of goat-sheep interspecies nuclear transfer embryos in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Li-Bing; Cai, Lu; Li, Jia-Jia; Chen, Xiu-Li; Ji, Feng-Yu

    2011-02-01

    The technique of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer, in which interspecies cloned embryos can be reconstructed by using domestic animal oocytes as nuclear recipients and endangered animal or human somatic cells as nuclear donors, can afford more opportunities in endangered animal rescue and human tissue transplantation, but the application of this technique is limited by extremely low efficiency which may be attributed to donor nucleus not fully reprogrammed by xenogenic cytoplasm. In this study, goat fetal fibroblasts (GFFs) were used as nuclear donors, in vitro-matured sheep oocytes were used as nuclear recipients, and a two-stage nuclear transfer procedure was performed to improve the developmental ability of goat-sheep interspecies clone embryos. In the first stage nuclear transfer (FSNT), GFFs were injected into the ooplasm of enucleated sheep metaphase-II oocytes, then non-activated reconstructed embryos were cultured in vitro, so that the donor nucleus could be exposed to the ooplasm for a period of time. Subsequently, in the second stage nuclear transfer, FSNT-derived non-activated reconstructed embryo was centrifuged, and the donor nucleus was then transferred into another freshly enucleated sheep oocyte. Compared with the one-stage nuclear transfer, two-stage nuclear transfer could significantly enhance the blastocyst rate of goat-sheep interspecies clone embryos, and this result indicated that longtime exposure to xenogenic ooplasm benefits the donor nucleus to be reprogrammed. The two-stage nuclear transfer procedure has two advantages, one is that the donor nucleus can be exposed to the ooplasm for a long time, the other is that the problem of oocyte aging can be solved.

  11. Differentiated Technology-based Interventions for Enhancing Understanding, Flow and Self-efficacy by Learners with Developmental and Attention Deficits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the potential of digital technologies for strengthening the participation and inclusion of learners with developmental and attention Deficits (focus learners) into the mainstream classroom. The paper describes the authors’ approach to the challenge of researching the exten...

  12. Species differences in the sensitivity of avian embryos to methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Klimstra, J.D.; Stebbins, K.R.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2009-01-01

    We injected doses of methylmercury into the air cells of eggs of 26 species of birds and examined the dose-response curves of embryo survival. For 23 species we had adequate data to calculate the median lethal concentration (LC50). Based on the dose-response curves and LC50s, we ranked species according to their sensitivity to injected methylmercury. Although the previously published embryotoxic threshold of mercury in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) has been used as a default value to protect wild species of birds, we found that, relative to other species, mallard embryos are not very sensitive to injected methylmercury; their LC50 was 1.79 ug/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. Other species we categorized as also exhibiting relatively low sensitivity to injected methylmercury (their LC50s were 1 ug/g mercury or higher) were the hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), and laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Species we categorized as having medium sensitivity (their LC50s were greater than 0.25 ug/g mercury but less than 1 ug/g mercury) were the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), chicken (Gallus gallus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), herring gull (Larus argentatus), common tern (S terna hirundo), royal tern (Sterna maxima), Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), great egret (Ardea alba), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), and anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Species we categorized as exhibiting high sensitivity (their LC50s were less than 0.25 ug/g mercury) were the American kestrel (Falco sparverius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), and tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). For mallards, chickens, and ring-necked pheasants (all species for which we could compare the toxicity of our

  13. Mercury accumulation in mallards fed methylmercury with or without added DDE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.

    1987-01-01

    Adult female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed a control diet or diets containing 1 ppm methylmercury chloride, 5 ppm methylmercury chloride, 1 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE, or 5 ppm methylmercury chloride plus 5 ppm DDE. The presence of DDE in the diet did not affect retention of mercury in breast muscle or eggs. There was a good correlation between the levels of mercury in the breast muscle of females and their eggs, and this correlation was unaffected by the presence of DDE in the diet. This correlation suggests that one could predict mercury levels in female mallards in the field when only eggs have been collected and vice versa.

  14. Scriptaid and 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine enhanced expression of pluripotent genes and in vitro developmental competence in interspecies Black-footed cat cloned embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, M. C.; Biancardi, M.N.; Jenkins, J.A.; Dumas, C.; Galiguis, J.; Wang, G.; Earle Pope, C.

    2012-01-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer offers the possibility of preserving endangered species including the black-footed cat, which is threatened with extinction. The effectiveness and efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) depends on a variety of factors, but 'inappropriate epigenetic reprogramming of the transplanted nucleus is the primary cause of the developmental failure of cloned embryos. Abnormal epigenetic events such as DNA methylation and histone modifications during SCNT perturb the expression of imprinted and pluripotent-related genes that, consequently, may result in foetal and neonatal abnormalities. We have demonstrated that pregnancies can be established after transfer of black-footed cat cloned embryos into domestic cat recipients, but none of the implanted embryos developed to term and the foetal failure has been associated to aberrant reprogramming in cloned embryos. There is growing evidence that modifying the epigenetic pattern of the chromatin template of both donor cells and reconstructed embryos with a combination of inhibitors of histone deacetylases and DNA methyltransferases results in enhanced gene reactivation and improved in vitro and in vivo developmental competence. Epigenetic modifications of the chromatin template of black-footed cat donor cells and reconstructed embryos with epigenetic-modifying compounds enhanced in vitro development, and regulated the expression of pluripotent genes, but these epigenetic modifications did not improve in vivo developmental competence.

  15. FISH CONSUMPTION, METHYLMERCURY, AND HUMAN HEART DISEASE.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LIPFERT, F.W.; SULLIVAN, T.M.

    2005-09-21

    Environmental mercury continues to be of concern to public health advocates, both in the U.S. and abroad, and new research continues to be published. A recent analysis of potential health benefits of reduced mercury emissions has opened a new area of public health concern: adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, which could account for the bulk of the potential economic benefits. The authors were careful to include caveats about the uncertainties of such impacts, but they cited only a fraction of the applicable health effects literature. That literature includes studies of the potentially harmful ingredient (methylmercury, MeHg) in fish, as well as of a beneficial ingredient, omega-3 fatty acids or ''fish oils''. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently certified that some of these fat compounds that are primarily found in fish ''may be beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease''. This paper briefly summarizes and categorizes the extensive literature on both adverse and beneficial links between fish consumption and cardiovascular health, which are typically based on studies of selected groups of individuals (cohorts). Such studies tend to comprise the ''gold standard'' of epidemiology, but cohorts tend to exhibit a great deal of variability, in part because of the limited numbers of individuals involved and in part because of interactions with other dietary and lifestyle considerations. Note that eating fish will involve exposure to both the beneficial effects of fatty acids and the potentially harmful effects of contaminants like Hg or PCBs, all of which depend on the type of fish but tend to be correlated within a population. As a group, the cohort studies show that eating fish tends to reduce mortality, especially due to heart disease, for consumption rates up to about twice weekly, above which the benefits tend to level off. A Finnish cohort study showed increased mortality risks

  16. Evaluation of methylmercury biotransformation using rat liver slices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yasutake, A. [Biochemistry Section, National Inst. for Minamata Disease, Minamata, Kumamoto (Japan); Hirayama, K. [Kumamoto University College of Medical Science, Kuhonji (Japan)

    2001-09-01

    To examine the demethylation reaction of methylmercury (MeHg) in rat liver, slices prepared from MeHg-treated rats were incubated in L-15 medium under 95% O{sub 2}/5% CO{sub 2} atmosphere. During the incubation, the amount of inorganic Hg in the slices markedly increased in a time-dependent manner, although the concentration of total Hg remained unchanged. Since the C-Hg bond in MeHg was demonstrated to be cleaved by the action of some reactive oxygen species, the effects on MeHg demethylation of several reagents that could modify reactive oxygen production were examined in the present system. Methylviologen was found to be an effective enhancer of the demethylation reaction with only a minor effect on lipid peroxidation. On the other hand, ferrous ion added to the medium showed no effect on demethylation in the presence or absence of methylviologen, although lipid peroxide levels were increased significantly by ferrous ion. Similarly, deferoxamine mesylate, which effectively suppressed the increase in lipid peroxide levels, also had no effect on demethylation. Furthermore, hydroxy radical scavengers, such as mannitol and dimethylsulfoxide, had no effect on inorganic Hg production. Rotenone, an inhibitor of complex I in the mitochondrial electron transport system, increased levels of both inorganic Hg and lipid peroxide. However, other inhibitors, such as antimycin A, myxothiazole and NaCN, significantly suppressed the demethylation reaction. Cell fractionation of the MeHg-treated rat liver revealed that the ratio of inorganic Hg to total Hg was highest in the mitochondrial fraction. Furthermore, superoxide anion could degrade MeHg in an organic solvent but not in water. These results suggested that the demethylation of MeHg by the liver slice would proceed with the aid of superoxide anion produced in the electron transfer system at the hydrophobic mitochondrial inner membrane. Furthermore, the involvement of hydroxy radicals, which have been demonstrated to be

  17. Assessment of neurotoxic effects and brain region distribution in rat offspring prenatally co-exposed to low doses of BDE-99 and methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenchang; Cheng, Jinping; Gu, Jinmin; Liu, Yuanyuan; Fujimura, Masatake; Wang, Wenhua

    2014-10-01

    Exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PDBE) and methylmercury (MeHg) can occur simultaneously as both contaminants are found in the same food sources, especially fish, seafood, marine mammals and milk. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of exposure to low levels of MeHg (2.0 μg mL(-1) in drinking water) and BDE-99 (0.2 mg kg(-1) d(-1)) from gestational day 6 to postnatal day (PND) 21, alone and in combination, on neurobehavioral development and redox responses in offspring. The present study demonstrated an interaction due to co-exposure with low doses of MeHg and BDE-99 enhanced developmental neurotoxic effects. These effects were manifested as the delayed appearance of negative geotaxis reflexes, impaired motor coordination, and induction of oxidative stress in the cerebellum. In particular, the cerebellum may be a sensitive target for combined MeHg and BDE-99 toxicity. The neurotoxicity of low dose MeHg was exacerbated by the presence of low dose of BDE-99. It is concluded that prenatal co-exposure to MeHg and BDE-99 causes oxidative stress in the cerebellum of offspring by altering the activity of different antioxidant enzymes and producing free radicals. Hg retention was not affected by co-exposure to BDE-99. However, MeHg co-exposure seemed to increase BDE-99 concentrations in selected brain regions in pups compared to pups exposed to BDE-99 only. These results showed that the adverse effects following prenatal co-exposure to MeHg and BDE-99 were associated with tissue concentrations very close to the current human body burden of this persistent bioaccumulative compound.

  18. Mercury and Methylmercury in Southern Baltic Sea Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miotk M.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Surficial sediment samples were collected in several areas of the southern Baltic Sea during cruises of R/V Oceania in spring 2009 and 2010 for all stations and in autumn 2009 for Gdansk Deep and Gotland Deep. Samples were collected with a gravity corer. The top five centimeters of sediment were sampled by cutting it away with a plastic spatula, mixed and stored frozen (-20°C in polyethylene bags until analyses in the laboratory. Sediment cores were analysed for total mercury [HgTOT]and methylmercury [MeHg]. Total Hg concentrations in sediments were between 5,81 ng·g-1 in Odra Eustary and 225 ng·g-1 in Gdansk Deep. Lowest concentration of methylmercury were recorded in Odra Estuary; 61,29 pg·g-1. Highest concentration of MeHg were found in Vistula Estuary, 940,07 pg·g-1.

  19. Hepatobiliary transport and metabolism of the methylmercury-glutathione complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dutczak, W.J.

    1994-12-31

    Biliary excretion, followed by fecal elimination, is a major route for the elimination of metals, including methylmercury; however, the mechanisms for the hepatobiliary transport and metabolism of these compounds have not been identified. The goal of this research was to characterize the mechanism by which methylmercury, a highly neurotoxic environmental contaminant, is transported across the canalicular membrane into bile and to investigate the fate of this metal within the biliary tree. Methylmercury is eliminated predominately through biliary excretion and undergoes extensive enterohepatic cycling. Because methylmercury is believed to be transported across the canalicular membrane into bile as a glutathione complex (CH{sub 3}Hg-SG), its fate may be similar to that of glutathione (GSH). GSH is transported into bile by an electrogenic, carrier mediated transport system, where it is catabolized by the luminal enzymes {gamma}-glutamyltransferase ({gamma}-GT) and dipeptidases yielding glutamate, cysteine, and glycine, and these products are then partially reabsorbed from the biliary tree. To investigate the mechanism by which CH{sub 3}Hg-SG is transported into bile, CH{sub 3}{sup 203}Hg-SG transport was characterized using liver plasma membrane vesicles derived from the canalicular domain of rat hepatocytes. CH{sub 3}Hg-SG uptake was independent of either ATP or a Na{sup +} gradient; however, uptake was stimulated by an induced electrical potential. CH{sub 3}Hg-SG transport was saturable with both high (K{sub m} = 11.9 {+-} 1.6 {mu}M) and low (K{sub m} = 1.47 {+-} 0.22 mM) affinity components. Uptake of this complex was inhibited by GSH and various GSH conjugates but not by GSSG, bile acids, amino acids, or p-glycoprotein substrates. Furthermore, GSH competitively inhibited and trans-stimulated CH{sub 3}Hg-SG uptake.

  20. Teratogenic efects of injected methylmercury on avian embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H.; Hoffman, David J.; Klimstra, Jon D.; Stebbins, Katherine R.; Kondrad, Shannon L.; Erwin, Carol A.

    2011-01-01

    Controlled laboratory studies with game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and chickens (Gallus gallus) have demonstrated that methylmercury can cause teratogenic effects in birds, but studies with wild species of birds are lacking. To address this need, doses of methylmercury chloride were injected into the eggs of 25 species of birds, and the dead embryos and hatched chicks were examined for external deformities. When data for controls were summed across all 25 species tested and across all types of deformities, 24 individuals out of a total of 1,533 (a rate of 1.57%) exhibited at least one deformity. In contrast, when data for all of the mercury treatments and all 25 species were summed, 188 deformed individuals out of a total of 2,292 (8.20%) were found. Some deformities, such as lordosis and scoliosis (twisting of the spine), misshapen heads, shortening or twisting of the neck, and deformities of the wings, were seldom observed in controls but occurred in much greater frequency in Hg-treated individuals. Only 0.59% of individual control dead embryos and hatchlings exhibited multiple deformities versus 3.18% for Hg-dosed dead embryos and hatchlings. Methylmercury seems to have a widespread teratogenic potential across many species of birds.

  1. Exposures of dental professionals to elemental mercury and methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Gruninger, Stephen E; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure, a worldwide public health concern, predominantly takes two forms--methylmercury from fish consumption and elemental Hg from dental amalgam restorations. We recruited 630 dental professionals from an American Dental Association meeting to assess Hg body burden and primary sources of exposure in a dually exposed population. Participants described occupational practices and fish consumption patterns via questionnaire. Hg levels in biomarkers of elemental Hg (urine) and methylmercury (hair and blood) were measured with a Direct Mercury Analyzer-80 and were higher than the general US population. Geometric means (95% CI) were 1.28 (1.19-1.37) μg/l in urine, 0.60 (0.54-0.67) μg/g in hair and 3.67 (3.38-3.98) μg/l in blood. In multivariable linear regression, personal amalgams predicted urine Hg levels along with total years in dentistry, amalgams handled, working hours and sex. Fish consumption patterns predicted hair and blood Hg levels, which were higher among Asians compared with Caucasians. Five species contributed the majority of the estimated Hg intake from fish--swordfish, fresh tuna, white canned tuna, whitefish and king mackerel. When studying populations with occupational exposure to Hg, it is important to assess environmental exposures to both elemental Hg and methylmercury as these constitute a large proportion of total exposure.

  2. Developmental Model Using Gestalt-Play versus Cognitive-Verbal Group with Chinese Adolescents: Effects on Strengths and Adjustment Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yih-Jiun

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the effectiveness of short-term developmental group counseling applying Gestalt-play versus cognitive-verbal approaches with Taiwanese adolescents. On a measure of behavioral and emotional strengths, teachers reported significant changes in students' overall behavioral and emotional strengths measured via total scores. Specific…

  3. Enhancing understanding, flow and self-efficacy in learners with developmental and attention difficulties through interventions with differentiated technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate in which way technologies may be used to increase inclusion and a feeling of flow and self-efficacy in learning processes when it comes to learners with developmental and attention deficits (focus learners) in a mainstream classroom. The paper is an out...

  4. Using Animation in Microsoft PowerPoint to Enhance Engagement and Learning in Young Learners with Developmental Delay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parette, Howard P., Jr.; Hourcade, Jack; Blum, Craig

    2011-01-01

    Over the past decade, a wide array of instructional technology applications have found their way into early intervention settings. Of particular importance to young learners who evidence developmental delays or are at risk for school failure are those technologies with the potential to more effectively teach basic emergent literacy skills: (1)…

  5. Developmental Model Using Gestalt-Play versus Cognitive-Verbal Group with Chinese Adolescents: Effects on Strengths and Adjustment Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yih-Jiun

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the effectiveness of short-term developmental group counseling applying Gestalt-play versus cognitive-verbal approaches with Taiwanese adolescents. On a measure of behavioral and emotional strengths, teachers reported significant changes in students' overall behavioral and emotional strengths measured via total scores. Specific…

  6. The association between blood pressure and whole blood methylmercury in a cross-sectional study among Inuit in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anni Brit Sternhagen; Davidsen, Michael; Bjerregaard, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The Inuit in Greenland have a high average consumption of marine species and are highly exposed to methylmercury, which in other studies has been related to hypertension. Data on the relation between methylmercury and hypertension is limited, especially in populations subjected to a high exposure...... of methylmercury. We examined the relation between whole blood mercury and blood pressure (BP) in Inuit in Greenland....

  7. Transport of the glutathione-methylmercury complex across liver canalicular membranes on reduced glutathione carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutczak, W J; Ballatori, N

    1994-04-01

    Methylmercury transport across liver canalicular membranes into bile, a major route of excretion of this toxic compound, is dependent upon intracellular GSH, and a glutathione-methylmercury complex (CH3Hg.SG) has been detected in liver tissue and bile. To examine whether the CH3Hg.SG complex is itself transported across the canalicular membrane and to identify the transport system involved, studies were performed in isolated rat liver canalicular plasma membrane vesicles. Uptake of CH3(203)Hg.SG (10 microM) into an osmotically active space was temperature-sensitive and unaffected by either ATP (5 mM) or an inwardly directed Na+ gradient (100 mM); however, CH3Hg.SG uptake was enhanced by a valinomycin-induced K+ diffusion potential (inside-positive) indicating that its transport was electrogenic. Transport of CH3Hg.SG exhibited saturation kinetics with both high affinity (Km = 12 +/- 2 microM, Vmax = 0.23 +/- 0.02 nmol.mg-1.20 s-1) and low affinity (Km = 1.47 +/- 0.22 mM, Vmax = 1.23 +/- 0.14 nmol.mg-1.20 s-1) components. Uptake of this complex was inhibited by GSH, the GSH analog ophthalmic acid, S-methyl, S-ethyl, S-butyl, S-hexyl, S-octyl, and S-dinitrophenyl glutathione, but not by GSSG, bile acids, amino acids, and P-glycoprotein inhibitors. Furthermore, GSH competitively inhibited (Ki = 83 microM) and trans-stimulated CH3Hg.SG uptake into the canalicular vesicles. These studies provide the first kinetic characterization of a transport system for glutathione-mercaptides and indicate that CH3Hg.SG is not a substrate for the ATP-dependent, canalicular GSSG or glutathione S-conjugate carriers, but appears to be a substrate for canalicular carriers that also transport GSH. Because efflux systems for GSH are found in all mammalian cells, transport of glutathione-metal complexes by such carriers may be a common mechanism for the removal of methylmercury and possibly other metals from cells.

  8. Umbilical Cord Mercury Concentration as Biomarker of Prenatal Exposure to Methylmercury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Jørgensen, Poul J.

    2005-01-01

    biomarker, exposure assessment, food contamination, hair analysis, mercury/analysis, methylmercury compounds/analysis, organomercury compounds/blood, pregnancy, prenatal exposure delayed effects, preschool child, seafood, umbilical cord.......biomarker, exposure assessment, food contamination, hair analysis, mercury/analysis, methylmercury compounds/analysis, organomercury compounds/blood, pregnancy, prenatal exposure delayed effects, preschool child, seafood, umbilical cord....

  9. A COMBINED PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOENERGETICS-BASED MODEL FOR METHYLMERCURY IN FEMALE AMERICAN KESTRELS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The results of this combined dose-response and modeling effort will be used to improve effects characterizations for methylmercury in avian wildlife. This information will reduce uncertainty in risk assessments for methylmercury in the environment and contribute to the developme...

  10. Floodplain methylmercury biomagnification factor higher than that of the contiguous river (South River, Virginia USA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newman, Michael C., E-mail: newman@vims.edu [College of William and Mary - VIMS, P.O. Box 1346, Rt. 1208 Greate Rd., Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Xu Xiaoyu, E-mail: xiaoyu@vims.edu [College of William and Mary - VIMS, P.O. Box 1346, Rt. 1208 Greate Rd., Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Condon, Anne, E-mail: anne_condon@fws.gov [U.S. Fish and Wildlife, 6669 Short Lane, Gloucester, VA 23061 (United States); Liang Lian, E-mail: liang@cebam.net [Cebam Analytical, Inc., 18804 North Creek Parkway, Suite 110, Bothell, WA 98011 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    Mercury biomagnification on the South River floodplain (Virginia, USA) was modeled at two locations along a river reach previously modeled for methylmercury movement through the aquatic trophic web. This provided an opportunity to compare biomagnification in adjoining trophic webs. Like the aquatic modeling results, methylmercury-based models provided better prediction than those for total mercury. Total mercury Food Web Magnification Factors (FWMF, fold per trophic level) for the two locations were 4.9 and 9.5. Methylmercury FWMF for the floodplain locations were higher (9.3 and 25.1) than that of the adjacent river (4.6). Previous speculation was not resolved regarding whether the high mercury concentrations observed in floodplain birds was materially influenced by river prey consumption by riparian spiders and subsequent spider movement into the trophic web of the adjacent floodplains. Results were consistent with a gradual methylmercury concentration increase from contaminated floodplain soil, to arthropod prey, and finally, to avian predators. - Highlights: > First comparison of methylmercury biomagnification in adjacent river/land food webs. > Methylmercury increased more rapidly in the terrestrial, than the aquatic, food web. > Methylmercury increased gradually from soil, to prey, and, to avian predators. - Higher methylmercury biomagnification on South River floodplain than the associated river likely explain high mercury in floodplain birds.

  11. Recognizing and Preventing Overexposure to Methylmercury from Fish and Seafood Consumption: Information for Physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan M. Silbernagel

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Fish is a valuable source of nutrition, and many people would benefit from eating fish regularly. But some people eat a lot of fish, every day or several meals per week, and thus can run a significant risk of overexposure to methylmercury. Current advice regarding methylmercury from fish consumption is targeted to protect the developing brain and nervous system but adverse health effects are increasingly associated with adult chronic low-level methylmercury exposure. Manifestations of methylmercury poisoning are variable and may be difficult to detect unless one considers this specific diagnosis and does an appropriate test (blood or hair analysis. We provide information to physicians to recognize and prevent overexposure to methylmercury from fish and seafood consumption. Physicians are urged to ask patients if they eat fish: how often, how much, and what kinds. People who eat fish frequently (once a week or more often and pregnant women are advised to choose low mercury fish.

  12. Factors affecting the toxicity of methylmercury injected into eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2006-01-01

    We developed a standardized protocol for comparing the sensitivities of the embryos of different bird species to methylmercury when methylmercury was injected into their eggs. During the course of developing this protocol, we investigated the effects of various factors on the toxicity of the injected methylmercury. Most of our experiments were done with chicken (Gallus domesticus), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) eggs, all of which were purchased in large numbers from game farms. A smaller amount of work was done with double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs collected from the wild. Several solvents were tested, and corn oil at a rate of 1 :l/g egg contents was selected for the final standardized protocol because it had minimal toxicity to embryos and because methylmercury dissolved in corn oil yielded a dose?response curve in a range of egg concentrations that was similar to the range that causes reproductive impairment when the mother deposits methylmercury into her own eggs. The embryonic stage at which eggs were injected with corn oil altered mercury toxicity; at early stages, the corn oil itself was toxic. Therefore, in the final protocol we standardized the time of injection to occur when each species reached the morphologic equivalent of a 3-day-old chicken embryo. Although solvents can be injected directly into the albumen of an egg, high embryo mortality can occur in the solvent controls because of the formation of air bubbles in the albumen. Our final protocol used corn oil injections into the air cell, which are easier and safer than albumen injections. Most of the methylmercury, when dissolved in corn oil, injected into the air cell passes through the inner shell membrane and into the egg albumen. Most commercial incubators incubate eggs in trays with the air cell end of the egg pointing upward, but we discovered that mercury-induced mortality was too great when eggs were held in this orientation

  13. Enhancing understanding, Flow and Self-Efficacy in Learners with Developmental and Attention Difficulties through ICT-based Interventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate in which way technologies may be used to increase inclusion and a feeling of flow and self-efficacy in learning processes when it comes to learners with developmental and attention deficits (focus learners) in a mainstream classroom. The paper...... as valuable for focus learners’ capability in learning processes. The paper discusses the findings and concludes that conscious use of technology-based interventions make it possible to provide learning challenges balanced to the learners’ individual skills. But a broader understanding and acceptance by all...

  14. An enhanced role and expanded developmental origins for gamma-aminobutyric acidergic interneurons in the human cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clowry, Gavin J

    2015-10-01

    Human beings have considerably expanded cognitive abilities compared with all other species and they also have a relatively larger cerebral cortex compared with their body size. But is a bigger brain the only reason for higher cognition or have other features evolved in parallel? Humans have more and different types of GABAergic interneurons, found in different places, than our model species. Studies are beginning to show differences in function. Is this expanded repertoire of functional types matched by an evolution of their developmental origins? Recent studies support the idea that generation of interneurons in the ventral telencephalon may be more complicated in primates, which have evolved a large and complex outer subventricular zone in the ganglionic eminences. In addition, proportionally more interneurons appear to be produced in the caudal ganglionic eminence, the majority of which populate the superficial layers of the cortex. Whether or not the cortical proliferative zones are a source of interneurogenesis, and to what extent and of what significance, is a contentious issue. As there is growing evidence that conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and congenital epilepsy may have developmental origins in the failure of interneuron production and migration, it is important we understand fully the similarities and differences between human development and our animal models.

  15. A new mass screening method for methylmercury poisoning using mercury-volatilizing bacteria from Minamata Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, K; Naruse, I; Takizawa, Y

    1999-09-01

    A simplified mass screening method for methylmercury exposure was developed using methylmercury-volatilizing bacteria from Minamata Bay. Some bacteria can transform methylmercury into mercury vapor. Most mercury in the hair is methylmercury, which is readily extracted with HCl solution. Black spots are formed on X-ray film due to the reduction of Ag(+) emulsion with mercury vapor produced by methylmercury-volatilizing bacteria. By exploiting these characteristics, a screening method was developed, whereby the fur of rats injected with methylmercury chloride formed clear black spots on X-ray film, whereas the fur of rats injected with saline did not. Subsequently, 50 human hair samples were examined using this mass screening method. The method identified people who had high mercury concentration, over 20 microg/g. A few thousand hair samples may be screened in a day using this method because it is rapid, simple, and economical. This method, therefore, enables screening of persons with methylmercury poisoning in mercury-polluted areas.

  16. Transmission electron microscopic evaluation of neuronal changes in methylmercury-exposed zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Said A; Farouk, Sameh M; Abbott, Louise C

    2016-01-01

    Our work aimed to elucidate the ultrastructural changes associated with brain neurons in wild-type zebrafish embryos exposed to different concentrations of methylmercury. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to one of five concentrations of methylmercury (0 [negative control], 5, 10, 50, and 80 parts per billion) starting at six hours post fertilization (hpf). At 96 hpf, cells in the zebrafish embryo brains were examined using transmission electron microscopy. The developing neurons of the control embryos sowed normal cellular ultrastructure. Few alterations were observed among the neurons of zebrafish embryos exposed to 5 ppb methylmercury. The cells of the embryos exposed to 10 ppb methylmercury showed slight cellular degeneration as demonstrated by the accumulation of electron dens bodies which were presumably lysosomes in different stages of formation. In embryos exposed to 50 ppb methylmercury, the neuronal cytoplasm conained large electron dense lysosomes and the rough endoplasmic reticulum appeared to be reduced and irregular in shape. Furthermore, the embryonic brain neurons exposed to 80 ppb methylmercury showed the most severe ultrastructural changes, including some that were consistent with different stages of the cell death process. Obvious cellular changes were observed in this highest exposure group included: disrupted or degenerating nuclei; fragmentation or vacuolization of mitochondrial cristae; and loss of mitochondrial matrix density. Based on these observations, we conclude that these different morphological patterns of cellular changes may reflect either different stages of the cell death process or different types of cell death due to 24 hours of exposure to 80 ppb methylmercury.

  17. Voltammetric studies on the electrochemical determination of methylmercury in chloride medium at carbon microelectrodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, F. [Centro de Electroquimica e Cinetica da Universidade de Lisboa, Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Ed. C8, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Neto, M.M.M. [Centro de Electroquimica e Cinetica da Universidade de Lisboa, Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Ed. C8, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal) and Departamento de Quimica Agricola e Ambiental, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon (Portugal)]. E-mail: mm.neto@netcabo.pt; Rocha, M.M. [Centro de Electroquimica e Cinetica da Universidade de Lisboa, Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Ed. C8, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal); Fonseca, I.T.E. [Centro de Electroquimica e Cinetica da Universidade de Lisboa, Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, Ed. C8, 1749-016 Lisbon (Portugal)

    2006-10-10

    Electroanalytical techniques have been used to determine methylmercury at low levels in environmental matrices. The electrochemical behaviour of methylmercury at carbon microelectrodes in a hydrochloric acid medium using cyclic, square wave and fast-scan linear-sweep voltammetric techniques has been investigated. The analytical utility of the methylmercury reoxidation peak has been explored, but the recorded peak currents were found to be poorly reproducible. This is ascribed to two factors: the adsorption of insoluble chloromercury compounds on the electrode surface, which appears to be an important contribution to hinder the voltammetric signal of methylmercury; and the competition between the reoxidation of the methylmercury radical and its dimerization reaction, which limits the reproducibility of the methylmercury peak. These problems were successfully overcome by adopting the appropriate experimental conditions. Fast-scan rates were employed and an efficient electrochemical regeneration procedure of the electrode surface was achieved, under potentiostatic conditions in a mercury-free solution containing potassium thiocyanate-a strong complexing agent. The influence of chloride ion concentration was analysed. Interference by metals, such as lead and cadmium, was considered. Calibration plots were obtained in the micromolar and submicromolar concentration ranges, allowing the electrochemical determination of methylmercury in trace amounts. An estuarine water sample was analysed using the new method with a glassy carbon microelectrode.

  18. [Microcosm Simulation Study and Methylmercury Forming Mechanism at Landscape Water of City].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao-hong; Si, You-bin; Guo, Zi-wei; Du, Cheng-zhu; Zhu, Cong-cong

    2016-04-15

    Mercury is harmful to the environment, which has gradually become one of the research hotspots. Sediments, as a main repository of pollutants, have an important impact on water quality and the internal organisms, which deserves our research. In this paper, we focused on Hefei landscape water sediment and tried to investigate the status of inorganic mercury and methylmercury pollutions in the sediment. To study the conversion process from inorganic mercury to methylmercury and their enrichment levels and mechanism, we established the ecological chain of "sediment-water-grass-fish" through analog microcosm examination. The results were as follows: from ten water and sediment samples in Hefei landscape water sediment, we found that the contents of inorganic mercury and methylmercury ranged 11.74-13.12 µg · kg⁻¹ and 0.37-2.23 µg · kg⁻¹, respectively. The microcosm examination showed that: with increasing culture time, inorganic mercury in sediments gradually decreased. There was a phenomenon that the content of methylmercury increased at first and then decreased to reach the balance later. Both the inorganic mercury and methylmercury in water change showed an increasing trend. The enrichment contents of inorganic mercury in Egeria densa Planch, and golden mandarin fish (Siniperca scherzeri Steindachner) were low while their enrichment of methylmercury could he great. In addition, we found that both the bioaccumulation ability and the enrichment coefficient of methylmercury in the body of golden mandarin fish were the maximum during the same period.

  19. Effects of Methylmercury exposure in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa Vertigan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Mercury-containing compounds are environmental pollutants that have become increasingly consequential in the Arctic regions of North America due to processes of climate change increasing their release and availability at northern latitudes. Currently, the form of mercury known to be most detrimental to human health is methylmercury, CH3Hg+, which is found in the environment and accumulates in the tissues of piscivores, including those consumed by Alaska Natives through subsistence gathering. Much is known about the neurotoxicity of methylmercury after exposure to high concentrations, but little is known about toxicity to other tissues and cell types, particularly for long-term exposure and the lower concentrations that would occur through fish consumption. Effects of methylmercury exposure on 3T3-L1 adipocytes in culture were assessed using assays for cytotoxicity and an ELISA assay for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, a signaling molecule shown to be important for maintaining metabolic status in adipose tissue. Results showed that exposure to methylmercury leads to significant toxicity in adipocytes at exposures of 100 ng/mL during later stages of differentiation, but lower methylmercury concentrations produced little to no toxicity. Results also showed that VEGF secretion is elevated in adipocytes exposed to methylmercury after the process of differentiating into mature, fat-storing cells. These results provide a basis for further exploration into metabolic consequences of methylmercury exposure on specific cell types and cell models.

  20. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  1. Outbreak of methylmercury poisoning due to consumption of contaminated grain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clarkson, T.W.; Amin-Zaki, L.; Al-Tikriti, S.K.

    1976-10-01

    An outbreak of methylmercury poisoning took place in the fall and winter of 1971 to 1972 in Iraq. Six thousand five hundred and thirty cases were admitted to hospitals throughout the country and 459 died in hospital. The outbreak was the result of eating homemade bread prepared from wheat treated with a methylmercury fungicide. The wheat was intended for planting purposes only. Signs and symptoms of poisonings in adults indicate that the major site of action of this form of mercury is the central nervous system. Severe brain damage also resulted from prenatal exposure when the mother ingested large amounts of the contaminated bread. The frequency of signs and symptoms in an exposed population was found to be related to the estimated maximum blood levels, i.e., the concentration in blood at the end of exposure. A small percentage of the population exhibited a significant increase in complaints of paresthesia at maximum blood levels in the range of 240 to 480 ng Hg/ml. At higher blood levels a greater proportion of the population complained of paresthesia and other signs and symptoms became apparent.

  2. Machine learning classification of cell-specific cardiac enhancers uncovers developmental subnetworks regulating progenitor cell division and cell fate specification

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmad, Shaad M.; Busser, Brian W; Huang, Di; Cozart, Elizabeth J.; Michaud, Sébastien; Zhu, Xianmin; Jeffries, Neal; Aboukhalil, Anton; Bulyk, Martha L.; Ovcharenko, Ivan; Michelson, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila heart is composed of two distinct cell types, the contractile cardial cells (CCs) and the surrounding non-muscle pericardial cells (PCs), development of which is regulated by a network of conserved signaling molecules and transcription factors (TFs). Here, we used machine learning with array-based chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) data and TF sequence motifs to computationally classify cell type-specific cardiac enhancers. Extensive testing of predicted enhancers at single-c...

  3. Molecular mechanisms of methylmercury-induced cell death in human HepG2 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuello, Susana; Goya, Luis; Madrid, Yolanda; Campuzano, Susana; Pedrero, Maria; Bravo, Laura; Cámara, Carmen; Ramos, Sonia

    2010-05-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been suggested to exert cytotoxicity through multiple mechanisms, but the precise biochemical machinery has not been fully defined. This study was aimed at investigating the time-course (0-24h) effect of 2mg/L MeHg on cell death in human HepG2 cells. MeHg decreased cell viability in a time-dependent manner, which was concomitant with increased LDH leakage, reduced GSH levels, CAT activity and altered activity of the antioxidant enzymes GPx and GR at the longest times of incubation (16 and 24h). Activity of the detoxifying enzyme GST was also early enhanced (2h). Caspase-3 activity reached a maximum value at 8h and continued increased up to 24h. This feature was preceded by an enhancement in the caspase-9 activity (2h), whereas caspase-8 activity remained unchanged. MeHg early diminished Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-x(S) ratio and increased levels of the pro-apoptotic Bax and Bad. Moreover, MeHg-induced cytotoxicity was completely inhibited by the antioxidants (GSH and NAC) and notably by the mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone, but not by the NADH oxidase inhibitor DPI. In summary, MeHg induced an oxidative stress responsible for apoptosis in HepG2 cells through direct activation of the caspase cascade and altered the cellular antioxidant and detoxificant enzymatic system to later provoke necrosis at later stages. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Methylmercury: Reproductive and behavioral effects on three generations of mallard ducks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.

    1979-01-01

    Three generations of mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed either a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury in the form of methylmercury. The levels of mercury in adult tissues and eggs remained about the same over 3 generations. The methylmercury diet had no effect on adult weights or weight changes during the reproductive season. Females fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury laid a greater percentage of their eggs outside their nestboxes than did controls, and also laid fewer eggs and produced fewer ducklings. Methylmercury in the diet appeared to result in a small amount of eggshell thinning. Ducklings from parents fed methylmercury were less responsive than, controls to tape-recorded maternal calls, but were hyper-responsive to a frightening stimulus in avoidance tests; there were no significant differences in locomotor activity in an open-field test.

  5. Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure and Genetic Predisposition to Cognitive Deficit at Age 8 Years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Julvez, Jordi; Smith, George Davey; Golding, Jean

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive consequences at school age associated with prenatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure may need to take into account nutritional and sociodemographic cofactors as well as relevant genetic polymorphisms....

  6. Prenatal exposure to methylmercury alters development of adrenergic receptor binding sites in peripheral sympathetic target tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slotkin, T.A.; Orband, L.; Cowdery, T.; Kavlock, R.J.; Bartolome, J.

    1987-01-01

    In order to assess the impact of prenatal exposure to methylmercury on sympathetic neurotransmission, effects on development of adrenergic receptor binding sites in peripheral tissues was evaluated. In the liver, methylmercury produced a dose-dependent increase in alpha/sub 1/, alpha/sub 2/, and beta-receptor binding of radioliganda throughout the first 5 weeks of postnatal life. Similarly, renal alpha-receptor subtypes showed increased binding capabilities, but binding to alpha-receptor sites was reduced. At least some of the changes in receptors appear to be of functional significance, as physiological reactivity to adrenergic stimulation is altered in the same directions in these two tissues. The actions of methylmercury displayed tissue specificity in that the same receptor populations were largely unaffected in other tissues (lung, heart). These results suggest that methylmercury exposure in utero alters adrenergic responses through targeted effects on postsynaptic receptor populations in specific tissues.

  7. Floodplain methylmercury biomagnification factor higher than that of the contiguous river (South River, Virginia USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Michael C; Xu, Xiaoyu; Condon, Anne; Liang, Lian

    2011-10-01

    Mercury biomagnification on the South River floodplain (Virginia, USA) was modeled at two locations along a river reach previously modeled for methylmercury movement through the aquatic trophic web. This provided an opportunity to compare biomagnification in adjoining trophic webs. Like the aquatic modeling results, methylmercury-based models provided better prediction than those for total mercury. Total mercury Food Web Magnification Factors (FWMF, fold per trophic level) for the two locations were 4.9 and 9.5. Methylmercury FWMF for the floodplain locations were higher (9.3 and 25.1) than that of the adjacent river (4.6). Previous speculation was not resolved regarding whether the high mercury concentrations observed in floodplain birds was materially influenced by river prey consumption by riparian spiders and subsequent spider movement into the trophic web of the adjacent floodplains. Results were consistent with a gradual methylmercury concentration increase from contaminated floodplain soil, to arthropod prey, and finally, to avian predators.

  8. Improving Outcomes for Children with Developmental Disabilities through Enhanced Communication and Collaboration between School Psychologists and Physicians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritzema, Anne M.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Ghosh, Shuvo; Karagiannakis, Anastasia; Manay-Quian, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    A renewed call for enhanced communication and collaboration between school psychology and medicine is envisioned, in light of a transdisciplinary model, where school psychologists, family physicians, and other health professionals transcend disciplinary boundaries. Recommendations for optimal communication and collaboration are described, as well…

  9. Impact of Web-Enhanced Developmental English Course Instruction on Hispanic College Students' Writing and Grammar Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehadeh, Hazar H.

    2013-01-01

    The number of academically underprepared Hispanic college students is increasing, and there is a need to adopt effective teaching tools to increase their academic achievement. Research has indicated the efficacy of web-enhanced instruction (WEI) in the classroom on student academic achievement, but a lack of research remains in regard to the…

  10. Methylmercury in a predatory fish (Cichla spp.) inhabiting the Brazilian Amazon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kehrig, Helena do A [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: kehrig@biof.ufrj.br; Howard, Bruce M. [T.H. Huxley School, Imperial College, London SW7 2BP (United Kingdom); Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2008-07-15

    This research tested whether limnological conditions, biological characteristics of fish and anthropogenic impacts influenced the assimilation of methylmercury into the muscle of a sedentary piscivorous fish, Cichla spp., from three rivers (Negro, Madeira, Tapajos) and two hydroelectric reservoirs (Balbina, Tucurui) within the Brazilian Amazon. Methylmercury in this fish ranged from 0.04 to 1.43 {mu}g g{sup -1} w.w. across sites. No significant differences were observed in the methylmercury concentrations between males and females, or for different morphotypes of this species. Positive correlations were found between methylmercury and fish body weight. No differences were found between the weight normalized methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations or its percent of total mercury in fish from the three rivers; weight normalized MeHg was highest in one of the two reservoirs. In Rio Tapajos, where gold mining and deforestation cause high water turbidity, fish showed the highest MeHg and concentrations were different across the four sites examined. In all sampling areas, the %MeHg was found to be higher than 70. - Cichla spp. may be considered good bioindicators of methylmercury contamination in the Amazonian ecosystem because of their integration of this pollutant over time.

  11. [Methylmercury exposure in the general population; toxicokinetics; differences by gender, nutritional and genetic factors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Estecha, Montserrat; Bodas-Pinedo, Andrés; Guillén-Pérez, José Jesús; Rubio-Herrera, Miguel Ángel; Ordóñez-Iriarte, José M; Trasobares-Iglesias, Elena M; Martell-Claros, Nieves; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; Farré-Rovira, Rosaura; Herráiz-Martínez, Miguel Ángel; Martínez-Astorquiza, Txantón; Calvo-Manuel, Elpidio; Sáinz-Martín, María; Bretón-Lesmes, Irene; Prieto-Menchero, Santiago; Llorente-Ballesteros, M Teresa; Martínez-García, M José; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Bermejo-Barrera, Pilar; García-Donaire, José Antonio; Cuadrado-Cenzual, M Ángeles; Gallardo-Pino, Carmen; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Arroyo-Fernández, Manuel; Calle-Pascual, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental toxicant that causes numerous adverse effects on human health and natural ecosystems. The factors that determine the existance of adverse effects, as well as their severity are, among others: the chemical form of mercury (elemental, inorganic, organic), dosis, age, period of exposure, pathways of exposure and environmental, nutritional and genetic factors. In the aquatic cycle of mercury, once it has been deposited, it is transformed into methylmercury due to the action of certain sulphate-reducing bacteria, which bioaccumulates in the aquatic organisms and moves into the food chain. The methylmercury content of large, long-lived fish such as swordfish, shark, tuna or marlin, is higher. Methylmercury binds to protein in fish and is therefore not eliminated by cleaning or cooking the fish. Fetuses and small children are more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of methylmercury from the consumption of contaminated fish. Methylmercury is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. The intake of certain dietary components such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, selenium, fiber, thiol compounds, certain phytochemicals and other nutrients can modify methylmercury bioaccesibility and its toxicity. Apart from environmental factors, genetic factors can influence mercury toxicity and explain part of the individual vulnerability.

  12. Differential protein-DNA interactions at the promoter and enhancer regions of developmentally regulated U4 snRNA genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyake, J H; Botros, I W; Stumph, W E

    1992-01-01

    In the chicken genome there are two closely-linked genes, U4B and U4X, that code for different sequence variants of U4 small nuclear RNA (snRNA). Both genes are expressed with nearly equal efficiency in the early embryo, but U4X gene expression is specifically down-regulated relative to U4B as development proceeds. At the present time, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate differential expression of snRNA genes. We have now identified a novel chicken factor, PPBF, that binds sequence-specifically in vitro to the proximal regulatory region of the U4X gene, but not to the proximal region of the U4B gene. PPBF is itself regulated during development and may therefore be a key factor involved in differentially regulating U4X gene transcription relative to U4B. The U4X and U4B enhancers contain distinct sequence variants of two essential motifs (octamer and SPH). The Oct-1 transcription factor binds with similar affinities to both the U4X and U4B octamer motifs. However, a second essential snRNA enhancer-binding protein, SBF, has a 20- to 30-fold lower affinity for the SPH motif in the U4X enhancer than for the homologous SPH motif in the U4B enhancer. A potential role therefore exists for SBF, as well as PPBF, in the preferential down-regulation of the U4X RNA gene during chicken development.

  13. Assessing Sources of Human Methylmercury Exposure Using Stable Mercury Isotopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Miling; Sherman, Laura S; Blum, Joel D

    2014-01-01

    Seafood consumption is the primary route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for most populations. Inherent uncertainties in dietary survey data point to the need for an empirical tool to confirm exposure sources. We therefore explore the utility of Hg stable isotope ratios in human hair as a new...... method for discerning MeHg exposure sources. We characterized Hg isotope fractionation between humans and their diets using hair samples from Faroese whalers exposed to MeHg predominantly from pilot whales. We observed an increase of 1.75‰ in δ(202)Hg values between pilot whale muscle tissue and Faroese...... whalers' hair but no mass-independent fractionation. We found a similar offset in δ(202)Hg between consumed seafood and hair samples from Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers who are exposed to lower levels of MeHg from a variety of seafood sources. An isotope mixing model was used to estimate individual...

  14. DOE/FDA/EPA: Workshop on methylmercury and human health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Saroff, L.; Bolger, M.; Cicmanec, J.; Durkee, S. [eds.

    1994-12-31

    In the US the general population is exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) principally through the consumption of fish. There is continuing discussion about the sources of this form of mercury (Hg), the magnitudes and trends in exposures to consumers, and the significance of the sources and their contributions to human health. In response to these discussions, the US Department of Energy, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Environmental Protection Agency cosponsored a two-day workshop to discuss data and methods available for characterizing the risk to human health presented by MeHg. This workshop was attended by 45 individuals representing various Federal and state organizations and interested stakeholders. The agenda covered: Agency interests; probabilistic approach to risk assessment; emission sources; atmospheric transport; biogeochemical cycling; exposure assessment; health effects of MeHg; and research needs.

  15. Methylmercury chloride induces learning deficits in prenatally treated rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muesch, H.R.; Bornhausen, M.; Kriegel, H.; Greim, H.

    1978-01-01

    Methylmercury chloride (MMC) was given to pregnant rats on the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th day after conception in doses of 0.05 and 2.0 mg/kg/day. The female offspring of these animals were tested 90 days after birth for learning ability using operant conditioning procedures. The rats were kept at 90% of their normal body weight and trained in a lever-box to press a bar in order to obtain a food pellet. Significant differences in the acquisition speed became apparent when the ratio of bar presses to reward was increased in a classical contingency of differential reinforcement of high rates even at MMC-doses of 4 x 0.05 mg/kg. These differences were not found in the general motility level nor in motor coordination.

  16. Protective effects of organoselenium compounds against methylmercury-induced oxidative stress in mouse brain mitochondrial-enriched fractions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.F. Meinerz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the potential neuroprotective effect of 1-100 µM of four organoselenium compounds: diphenyl diselenide, 3’3-ditri-fluoromethyldiphenyl diselenide, p-methoxy-diphenyl diselenide, and p-chloro-diphenyl diselenide, against methylmercury-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in mitochondrial-enriched fractions from adult Swiss mouse brain. Methylmercury (10-100 µM significantly decreased mitochondrial activity, assessed by MTT reduction assay, in a dose-dependent manner, which occurred in parallel with increased glutathione oxidation, hydroperoxide formation (xylenol orange assay and lipid peroxidation end-products (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS. The co-incubation with diphenyl diselenide (100 µM completely prevented the disruption of mitochondrial activity as well as the increase in TBARS levels caused by methylmercury. The compound 3’3-ditrifluoromethyldiphenyl diselenide provided a partial but significant protection against methylmercury-induced mitochondrial dysfunction (45.4 ± 5.8% inhibition of the methylmercury effect. Diphenyl diselenide showed a higher thiol peroxidase activity compared to the other three compounds. Catalase blocked methylmercury-induced TBARS, pointing to hydrogen peroxide as a vector during methylmercury toxicity in this model. This result also suggests that thiol peroxidase activity of organoselenium compounds accounts for their protective actions against methylmercury-induced oxidative stress. Our results show that diphenyl diselenide and potentially other organoselenium compounds may represent important molecules in the search for an improved therapy against the deleterious effects of methylmercury as well as other mercury compounds.

  17. Deposition of mercury in forests across a montane elevation gradient: Elevational and seasonal patterns in methylmercury inputs and production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Jacqueline R.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Demers, Jason D.; Sauer, Amy K.; Blackwell, Bradley D.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.; Shanley, James B.; Ross, Donald S.

    2017-08-01

    Global mercury contamination largely results from direct primary atmospheric and secondary legacy emissions, which can be deposited to ecosystems, converted to methylmercury, and bioaccumulated along food chains. We examined organic horizon soil samples collected across an elevational gradient on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack region of New York State, USA to determine spatial patterns in methylmercury concentrations across a forested montane landscape. We found that soil methylmercury concentrations were highest in the midelevation coniferous zone (0.39 ± 0.07 ng/g) compared to the higher elevation alpine zone (0.28 ± 0.04 ng/g) and particularly the lower elevation deciduous zone (0.17 ± 0.02 ng/g), while the percent of total mercury as methylmercury in soils decreased with elevation. We also found a seasonal pattern in soil methylmercury concentrations, with peak methylmercury values occurring in July. Given elevational patterns in temperature and bioavailable total mercury (derived from mineralization of soil organic matter), soil methylmercury concentrations appear to be driven by soil processing of ionic Hg, as opposed to atmospheric deposition of methylmercury. These methylmercury results are consistent with spatial patterns of mercury concentrations in songbird species observed from other studies, suggesting that future declines in mercury emissions could be important for reducing exposure of mercury to montane avian species.

  18. Protective effects of organoselenium compounds against methylmercury-induced oxidative stress in mouse brain mitochondrial-enriched fractions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.F. Meinerz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the potential neuroprotective effect of 1-100 µM of four organoselenium compounds: diphenyl diselenide, 3’3-ditri-fluoromethyldiphenyl diselenide, p-methoxy-diphenyl diselenide, and p-chloro-diphenyl diselenide, against methylmercury-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in mitochondrial-enriched fractions from adult Swiss mouse brain. Methylmercury (10-100 µM significantly decreased mitochondrial activity, assessed by MTT reduction assay, in a dose-dependent manner, which occurred in parallel with increased glutathione oxidation, hydroperoxide formation (xylenol orange assay and lipid peroxidation end-products (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS. The co-incubation with diphenyl diselenide (100 µM completely prevented the disruption of mitochondrial activity as well as the increase in TBARS levels caused by methylmercury. The compound 3’3-ditrifluoromethyldiphenyl diselenide provided a partial but significant protection against methylmercury-induced mitochondrial dysfunction (45.4 ± 5.8% inhibition of the methylmercury effect. Diphenyl diselenide showed a higher thiol peroxidase activity compared to the other three compounds. Catalase blocked methylmercury-induced TBARS, pointing to hydrogen peroxide as a vector during methylmercury toxicity in this model. This result also suggests that thiol peroxidase activity of organoselenium compounds accounts for their protective actions against methylmercury-induced oxidative stress. Our results show that diphenyl diselenide and potentially other organoselenium compounds may represent important molecules in the search for an improved therapy against the deleterious effects of methylmercury as well as other mercury compounds.

  19. Developmental Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Michael Quinn

    1994-01-01

    Developmental evaluation is proposed as a term to describe certain long-term partnering relationships with clients who are, themselves, engaged in ongoing program development. Rather than a model, developmental evaluation is a relationship founded on a shared purpose and is a way of being useful in innovative settings. (SLD)

  20. Reproduction in mallards exposed to dietary concentrations of methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2010-06-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to use mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) tested under controlled conditions to determine how much harm to reproduction resulted from various concentrations of mercury in eggs. Breeding pairs of mallards were fed a control diet or diets containing 1, 2, 4, or 8 microg/g mercury, as methylmercury chloride. Mean concentrations of mercury in eggs laid by parents fed 0, 1, 2, 4, or 8 microg/g mercury were 0.0, 1.6, 3.7, 5.9, and 14 microg/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. There were no signs of mercury poisoning in the adults, and fertility and hatching success of eggs were not affected by mercury. Survival of ducklings and the number of ducklings produced per female were reduced by the 4 and 8-microg/g dietary mercury treatments (that resulted in 5.9 and 14 microg/g mercury in their eggs, respectively). Ducklings from parents fed the various mercury diets were just as heavy as controls at hatching, but by 6 days of age ducklings whose parents had been fed 4 or 8 microg/g mercury weighed less than controls. Because we do not know if absorption of mercury from our diets would be the same as absorption from natural foods, the mercury concentrations we report in eggs may be more useful in extrapolating to possible harmful effects in nature than are the dietary levels we fed. We conclude that mallard reproduction does not appear to be particularly sensitive to methylmercury.

  1. Reproduction in mallards exposed to dietary concentrations of methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H.; Hoffman, David J.; Klimstra, Jon D.; Stebbins, Katherine R.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to use mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) tested under controlled conditions to determine how much harm to reproduction resulted from various concentrations of mercury in eggs. Breeding pairs of mallards were fed a control diet or diets containing 1, 2, 4, or 8 μg/g mercury, as methylmercury chloride. Mean concentrations of mercury in eggs laid by parents fed 0, 1, 2, 4, or 8 μg/g mercury were 0.0, 1.6, 3.7, 5.9, and 14 μg/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. There were no signs of mercury poisoning in the adults, and fertility and hatching success of eggs were not affected by mercury. Survival of ducklings and the number of ducklings produced per female were reduced by the 4 and 8-μg/g dietary mercury treatments (that resulted in 5.9 and 14 μg/g mercury in their eggs, respectively). Ducklings from parents fed the various mercury diets were just as heavy as controls at hatching, but by 6 days of age ducklings whose parents had been fed 4 or 8 μg/g mercury weighed less than controls. Because we do not know if absorption of mercury from our diets would be the same as absorption from natural foods, the mercury concentrations we report in eggs may be more useful in extrapolating to possible harmful effects in nature than are the dietary levels we fed. We conclude that mallard reproduction does not appear to be particularly sensitive to methylmercury.

  2. Coupling of methylmercury uptake with respiration and water pumping in freshwater tilapia Oreochromis niloticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Wong, Ming-Hung; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2011-09-01

    The relationships among the uptake of toxic methylmercury (MeHg) and two important fish physiological processes-respiration and water pumping--in the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were explored in the present study. Coupled radiotracer and respirometric techniques were applied to measure simultaneously the uptake rates of MeHg, water, and oxygen under various environmental conditions (temperature, dissolved oxygen level, and water flow). A higher temperature enhanced MeHg influx and the oxygen consumption rate but had no effect on the water uptake, indicating the influence of metabolism on MeHg uptake. The fish showed a high tolerance to hypoxia, and the oxygen consumption rate was not affected until the dissolved oxygen concentration decreased to extremely low levels (below 1 mg/L). The MeHg and water uptake rates increased simultaneously as the dissolved oxygen level decreased, suggesting the coupling of water flux and MeHg uptake. The influence of fish swimming performance on MeHg uptake was also investigated for the first time. Rapidly swimming fish showed significantly higher uptake rates of MeHg, water, and oxygen, confirming the coupling relationships among respiration, water pumping, and metal uptake. Moreover, these results support that MeHg uptake is a rate-limiting process involving energy. Our study demonstrates the importance of physiological processes in understanding mercury bioaccumulation in fluctuating aquatic environments.

  3. The renal histology and ultrastructure in rats given methylmercury and ethanol in combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumbeiha, W K; Yamashiro, S; Bhatnagar, M K

    1991-12-01

    The effects of combined administration of methylmercury (MeHg) and ethanol (EtOH) on renal morphology were examined in the rat. Forty-eight male Wistar rats were divided into 6 groups of 8 rats each as follows: group 1 was given feed ad libitum with no treatment; group 2 was restricted to 70 mL of feed daily with no treatment; groups 3-6 were restricted to 70 mL of feed daily and gavaged with distilled water, MeHg alone, EtOH alone, or MeHg in combination with EtOH, respectively, daily for 45 days. The ingestion of MeHg and EtOH in combination caused severe structural renal lesions which involved the glomerulus and all segments of the uriniferous tubule. Only with this combination treatment (group 6) was glomerular pathology observed; accumulations of platelets and inflammatory cells, fibrosis and thickening of the mesangium were observed in the glomerulus. There was also severe tubulointerstitial nephritis characterized by tubular atrophy, accumulation of inflammatory cells especially neutrophils, and increased collagen deposition in the same group. In contrast, the ingestion of either MeHg or EtOH produced less severe lesions mainly in the proximal tubular epithelium. This study suggests that EtOH enhanced the nephrotoxicity of MeHg.

  4. Shallow methylmercury production in the marginal sea ice zone of the central Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimbürger, Lars-Eric; Sonke, Jeroen E; Cossa, Daniel; Point, David; Lagane, Christelle; Laffont, Laure; Galfond, Benjamin T; Nicolaus, Marcel; Rabe, Benjamin; van der Loeff, Michiel Rutgers

    2015-05-20

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxic compound that threatens wildlife and human health across the Arctic region. Though much is known about the source and dynamics of its inorganic mercury (Hg) precursor, the exact origin of the high MeHg concentrations in Arctic biota remains uncertain. Arctic coastal sediments, coastal marine waters and surface snow are known sites for MeHg production. Observations on marine Hg dynamics, however, have been restricted to the Canadian Archipelago and the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean (79-90 °N) profiles for total mercury (tHg) and MeHg. We find elevated tHg and MeHg concentrations in the marginal sea ice zone (81-85 °N). Similar to other open ocean basins, Arctic MeHg concentration maxima also occur in the pycnocline waters, but at much shallower depths (150-200 m). The shallow MeHg maxima just below the productive surface layer possibly result in enhanced biological uptake at the base of the Arctic marine food web and may explain the elevated MeHg concentrations in Arctic biota. We suggest that Arctic warming, through thinning sea ice, extension of the seasonal sea ice zone, intensified surface ocean stratification and shifts in plankton ecodynamics, will likely lead to higher marine MeHg production.

  5. Seasonal variation of methylmercury in sediment cores from the Tagus Estuary (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Carlos Eduardo; Cesário, Rute; O'Driscoll, Nelson J; Nogueira, Marta; Válega, Mónica; Caetano, Miguel; Canário, João

    2016-03-15

    Seasonal and spatial variations of dissolved and particulate methylmercury were evaluated for the first time in sediment cores from the Tagus Estuary. Results showed the highest MeHg concentrations in summer months indicating that the "seasonally" methylation process occurs not only at the topmost layers of the sediments but also in the deeper layers of the sediment column. The proportion of MeHg (up to 92%) in some of our pore water samples was higher than values reported in the literature for other estuaries suggesting that the sedimentary environment in the Tagus tends to favour Hg methylation. This work points to the importance of seasonal variation of the MeHg production in sediment cores. In physically dominated estuaries this enhances seasonal MeHg production in deeper sediments that can have serious ecological impacts due to resuspension or advection processes under extreme events by the increase of MeHg transported to the water column. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Overexpression of Arabidopsis YUCCA6 in Potato Results in High-Auxin Developmental Phenotypes and Enhanced Resistance to Water Deficit

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jeong Im Kim; Dongwon Baek; Hyeong Cheol Park; Hyun Jin Chun; Dong-Ha Oh; Min Kyung Lee; Joon-Yung Cha

    2013-01-01

    Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA),a major plant auxin,is produced in both tryptophan-dependent and tryptophanindependent pathways.A major pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana generates IAA in two reactions from tryptophan.Step one converts tryptophan to indole-3-pyruvic acid (IPA) by tryptophan aminotransferases followed by a rate-limiting step converting IPA to IAA catalyzed by YUCCA proteins.We identified eight putative StYUC (Solanum tuberosum YUCCA)genes whose deduced amino acid sequences share 50%-70% identity with those of Arabidopsis YUCCA proteins.All include canonical,conserved YUCCA sequences:FATGY motif,FMO signature sequence,and FAD-binding and NADP-binding sequences.In addition,five genes were found with-50% amino acid sequence identity to Arabidopsis tryptophan aminotransferases.Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum cv.Jowon) constitutively overexpressing Arabidopsis AtYUC6 displayed high-auxin phenotypes such as narrow downward-curled leaves,increased height,erect stature,and longevity.Transgenic potato plants overexpressing AtYUC6 showed enhanced drought tolerance based on reduced water loss.The phenotype was correlated with reduced levels of reactive oxygen species in leaves.The results suggest a functional YUCCA pathway of auxin biosynthesis in potato that may be exploited to alter plant responses to the environment.

  7. Reading performance is enhanced by visual texture discrimination training in Chinese-speaking children with developmental dyslexia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangzhi Meng

    Full Text Available High order cognitive processing and learning, such as reading, interact with lower-level sensory processing and learning. Previous studies have reported that visual perceptual training enlarges visual span and, consequently, improves reading speed in young and old people with amblyopia. Recently, a visual perceptual training study in Chinese-speaking children with dyslexia found that the visual texture discrimination thresholds of these children in visual perceptual training significantly correlated with their performance in Chinese character recognition, suggesting that deficits in visual perceptual processing/learning might partly underpin the difficulty in reading Chinese.To further clarify whether visual perceptual training improves the measures of reading performance, eighteen children with dyslexia and eighteen typically developed readers that were age- and IQ-matched completed a series of reading measures before and after visual texture discrimination task (TDT training. Prior to the TDT training, each group of children was split into two equivalent training and non-training groups in terms of all reading measures, IQ, and TDT. The results revealed that the discrimination threshold SOAs of TDT were significantly higher for the children with dyslexia than for the control children before training. Interestingly, training significantly decreased the discrimination threshold SOAs of TDT for both the typically developed readers and the children with dyslexia. More importantly, the training group with dyslexia exhibited significant enhancement in reading fluency, while the non-training group with dyslexia did not show this improvement. Additional follow-up tests showed that the improvement in reading fluency is a long-lasting effect and could be maintained for up to two months in the training group with dyslexia.These results suggest that basic visual perceptual processing/learning and reading ability in Chinese might at least partially rely on

  8. [Fish and seafood as a source of human exposure to methylmercury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mania, Monika; Wojciechowska-Mazurek, Maria; Starska, Krystyna; Rebeniak, Małgorzata; Postupolski, Jacek

    2012-01-01

    Fish and seafood are recommended diet constituents providing high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, these foodstuffs can also be the major source ofmethylmercury intake in humans. In general, more than 90% of the mercury in fish is found as methylmercury, but contents of methylmercury can vary considerably between species. Predatory species that are at the top of the food chain and live a long time, may accumulate higher levels of methylmercury. This paper contains information about sources of human exposure to organic compounds of mercury, toxicity, metabolism and transformation of mercury in the environment. Assessment of methylmercury by international risk assessment bodies such as the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and U.S. National Research Council (NRC) were presented. Climate changes and their influence on the mercury cycle in the environment especially mercury methylation and concentrations of methylmercury in marine species were also presented. Consumer advice prepared by European Commission and Member States as regards consumption of predatory fishes such as swordfish, tuna, shark, marlin and pike, taking into account the most vulnerable groups of population e.g. women planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding women and children were presented. Mercury and methylmercury contamination of fishes and seafood on the basis of the literature references as well as intake of mercury with fish and fish products in Poland and other European country were discussed. The role of selenium as a factor which counteracts methylmercury toxicity and protects against some neurological effects of methylmercury exposure in humans, as well as information on potential etiological factors connected with autism disorder were also described. Attention has also been drawn to increasing number of notifications to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed

  9. Reservoir stratification affects methylmercury levels in river water, plankton, and fish downstream from Balbina hydroelectric dam, Amazonas, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasper, Daniele; Forsberg, Bruce R; Amaral, João H F; Leitão, Rafael P; Py-Daniel, Sarah S; Bastos, Wanderley R; Malm, Olaf

    2014-01-21

    The river downstream from a dam can be more contaminated by mercury than the reservoir itself. However, it is not clear how far the contamination occurs downstream. We investigated the seasonal variation of methylmercury levels in the Balbina reservoir and how they correlated with the levels encountered downstream from the dam. Water, plankton, and fishes were collected upstream and at sites between 0.5 and 250 km downstream from the dam during four expeditions in 2011 and 2012. Variations in thermal stratification of the reservoir influenced the methylmercury levels in the reservoir and in the river downstream. Uniform depth distributions of methylmercury and oxygen encountered in the poorly stratified reservoir during the rainy season collections coincided with uniformly low methylmercury levels along the river downstream from the dam. During dry season collections, the reservoir was strongly stratified, and anoxic hypolimnion water with high methylmercury levels was exported downstream. Methylmercury levels declined gradually to 200 km downstream. In general, the methylmercury levels in plankton and fishes downstream from the dam were higher than those upstream. Higher methylmercury levels observed 200-250 km downstream from the dam during flooding season campaigns may reflect the greater inflow from tributaries and flooding of natural wetlands that occurred at this time.

  10. Effect of methylmercury on some neurotransmitters and oxidative damage of rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Jin-ping; YANG Yi-chen; HU Wei-xuan; YANG Liu; WANG Wen-hua; JIA Jin-ping; LIN Xue-yu

    2005-01-01

    In order to study the molecular mechanism of injury in rat organs induced by methylmercury, and the relationship between neurotransmitter and oxidative damage in the toxicity process of rat injury by methylmercury was studied. The control group was AChE, ACh, NOS, NO, MDA, SOD, GSH-Px and GSH in different organs of rats were determined with conventional methods. The results showed that after exposure to methylmercury for 7 d, the mercury content in brain of exposure groups increased clearly and had significant difference compared with the control group( P< 0.01). In rat's brain, serum, liver and kidney, the content of ACh and AChE were all decreased; the content of NOS and NO were all increased; the content of MDA was increased compared with the control group,the exposure groups had significant difference ( P < 0.01 ); the content of SOD, GSH and GSH-Px was decreased compared with the control group, the exposure groups had significant difference( P < 0.01). It could be concluded that methylmercury did effect the change of neurotransmitter and free radical. They participated in the toxicity process of injury by methylmercury. The damage of neurotransmitter maybe cause the chaos of free radical and the chaos of free radical may also do more damage to neurotransmitter vice versa.

  11. Methylmercury in a predatory fish (Cichla spp.) inhabiting the Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehrig, Helena do A; Howard, Bruce M; Malm, Olaf

    2008-07-01

    This research tested whether limnological conditions, biological characteristics of fish and anthropogenic impacts influenced the assimilation of methylmercury into the muscle of a sedentary piscivorous fish, Cichla spp., from three rivers (Negro, Madeira, Tapajós) and two hydroelectric reservoirs (Balbina, Tucuruí) within the Brazilian Amazon. Methylmercury in this fish ranged from 0.04 to 1.43microgg(-1) w.w. across sites. No significant differences were observed in the methylmercury concentrations between males and females, or for different morphotypes of this species. Positive correlations were found between methylmercury and fish body weight. No differences were found between the weight normalized methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations or its percent of total mercury in fish from the three rivers; weight normalized MeHg was highest in one of the two reservoirs. In Rio Tapajós, where gold mining and deforestation cause high water turbidity, fish showed the highest MeHg and concentrations were different across the four sites examined. In all sampling areas, the %MeHg was found to be higher than 70.

  12. Mercury in women exposed to methylmercury through fish consumption, and in their newborn babies and breast milk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skerfving, S.

    1988-10-01

    The presence of methylmercury in fish is a major environmental problem. During the major epidemics of methylmercury poisoning through sea food in Minamata in Japan, and through dressed seed in Iraq, there was a high prevalence of infants, who developed cerebral palsy. This was generally assumed to be due to intrauterine methylmercury poisoning, as it is well known, that methylmercury is transferred through the placenta into the fetus. There is also a possibility that exposure occurred through breast milk, as high levels of mercury in breast milk have been reported in mothers from Minamata. Information on the relationship between methylmercury exposure, mercury levels in blood of mothers and their babies, and levels in breast milk are reported here.

  13. Effects of organic matter addition on methylmercury formation in capped and uncapped marine sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ndungu, Kuria; Schaanning, Morten; Braaten, Hans Fredrik Veiteberg

    2016-10-15

    In situ subaqueous capping (ISC) of contaminated marine sediments is frequently proposed as a feasible and effective mitigation option. However, though effective in isolating mercury species migration into overlying water, capping can also alter the location and extent of biogeochemical zones and potentially enhance methylmercury (MeHg) formation in Hg-contaminated marine sediments. We carried out a boxcosm study to investigate whether the addition of organic carbon (OC) to Hg-contaminated marine sediments beneath an in situ cap would initiate and/or enhance MeHg formation of the inorganic Hg present. The study was motivated by ongoing efforts to remediate ca. 30,000 m(2) of Hg-contaminated seabed sediments from a Hg spill from the U864 WWII submarine wreck. By the time of sinking, the submarine is assumed to have been holding a cargo of ca. 65 tons of liquid Hg. Natural organic matter and petroleum hydrocarbons from fuels and lubricants in the wreck are potential sources of organic carbon that could potentially fuel MeHg formation beneath a future cap. The results of our study clearly demonstrated that introduction of algae OC to Hg-contaminated sediments, triggered high rates of MeHg production as long a there was sufficient OC. Thus, MeHg production was limited by the amount of organic carbon available. The study results also confirmed that, within the six-month duration of the study and in the absence of bioturbating fauna, a 3-cm sediment clay cap could effectively reduce fluxes of Hg species to the overlying water and isolate the Hg-contaminated sediments from direct surficial deposition of organic matter that could potentially fuel methylation.

  14. Dietary lipids modulate methylmercury toxicity in Atlantic salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsvik, Pål A; Amlund, Heidi; Torstensen, Bente E

    2011-12-01

    This experiment aimed to study the molecular toxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) in liver, brain and white muscle of Atlantic salmon fed a diet based on fish oil (FO, high dietary n-3/n-6 ratio) compared to an alternative diet mainly based on vegetable oil (VO, low dietary n-3/n-6 ratio). Juvenile salmon were fed decontaminated diets or the FO and VO diets enriched with 5 mg Hg/kg (added as MeHg) for three months. The dietary lipid composition affected the fatty acid composition in the tissues, especially in liver and white muscle. After 84 days of exposure, the liver accumulated three times as much MeHg as the brain and white muscle. Vitamin C content and heme oxygenase, tubulin alpha (TUBA) and Cpt1 transcriptional levels all showed significant effects of MeHg exposure in the liver. TBARS, α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and the transcriptional levels of thioredoxin, heme oxygenase, TUBA, PPARB1, D5D and D6D showed an effect of dietary lipid composition in liver tissue. Effects of dietary lipids were observed in brain tissue for MT-A, HIF1, Bcl-X and TUBA. Interaction effects between MeHg exposure and dietary lipid composition were observed in all tissues. Our data suggest that dietary fats have modulating effects on MeHg toxicity in Atlantic salmon.

  15. Ratiometric Photoacoustic Molecular Imaging for Methylmercury Detection in Living Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Wang, Sheng; Ma, Ying; Lin, Jing; Wang, Hai-Yan; Gu, Yueqing; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Huang, Peng

    2017-02-22

    Photoacoustic molecular imaging is an emerging and promising diagnostic tool for heavy metal ions detection. Methylmercury (MeHg(+) ) is one of the most potent neurotoxins, which damages the brain and nervous system of human beings through fish consumption. The development of a selective and sensitive method for MeHg(+) detection is highly desirable. In this Communication, we develope a chemoselective photoacoustic sensor (LP-hCy7) composed of the liposome (LP) and MeHg(+) -responsive near-infrared (NIR) cyanine dye (hCy7) for MeHg(+) detection within living subjects, such as zebrafish and mouse. The as-prepared LP-hCy7 nanoprobe displays unique dual-shift NIR absorbance peaks and produces a normalized turn-on response after the reaction of MeHg(+) and hCy7 through a mercury-promoted cyclization reaction. The absorbance intensities of LP-hCy7 nanoprobe at 690 and 860 nm are decreased and increased, respectively. The ratiometric photoacoustic signal (PA860/PA690) is noticeably increased in the presence of MeHg(+) . These findings not only provide a ratiometric photoacoustic molecular imaging probe for the detection of metal ions in vivo, but also provides a tool for spectroscopic photoacoustic molecular imaging.

  16. Chlorella suppresses methylmercury transfer to the fetus in pregnant mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchikawa, Takuya; Maruyama, Isao; Kumamoto, Shoichiro; Ando, Yotaro; Yasutake, Akira

    2011-10-01

    To investigate the effects of chlorella on methylmercury (MeHg) transfer to the fetus during pregnancy, female C57BL/6N mice (aged 10 weeks) were housed for 7 to 8 weeks, from 4 weeks before mating to birth, with diets containing 0% or 10% chlorella powder (CP) and MeHg-containing drinking water (2 µg Hg/ml). The consumption volume of the MeHg-containing water was limited to 15 ml/mouse/week throughout the experiment. Distilled water and a basal diet (0% CP) was given to control mice. Except for the mating period, during the 5(th) week, mice were housed individually until parturition. Two neonates were randomly selected from each mother mouse within 24 hr after parturition for Hg analysis of the blood, brain, liver, and kidneys. Mother mice were sacrificed on the same day as neonates to obtain tissue samples for Hg analysis. The blood and brain Hg levels of both neonates and mothers in the CP diet group were significantly lower than those in the basal diet group. Although the hepatic and renal Hg levels were not significant in mothers between the two dietary groups, in neonates, the CP diet group showed significantly lower Hg levels in these tissues than the basal diet group. The results obtained here revealed that continuous CP intake suppressed MeHg transfer to the fetus, in addition to effective suppressing MeHg accumulation in brains of the mothers.

  17. Performance of laboratories in speciation analysis in seafood – Case of methylmercury and inorganic arsenic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Ines; Baxter, Malcolm; Devesa, Vicenta;

    2011-01-01

    The international measurement evaluation program (IMEP) has together with the European Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (EU-RL-HM) carried out two interlaboratory comparisons (ILC) in 2010 on the measurement of trace metals, as well as methylmercury and inorganic arsenic...... in seafood. In IMEP-109 only EU National Reference Laboratories (NRL) took part, while IMEP-30 was open to all laboratories. In this article only methylmercury and inorganic arsenic analysis will be discussed, as these appear generally to be more problematic measurands. They are also particularly interesting...... arsenic analysis. Results for inorganic arsenic were spread, but not method dependant. The measurand seems to be difficult to analyse in this matrix and possible method issues were identified. Methylmercury results were satisfactory, but not many laboratories perform this type of analysis because...

  18. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  19. Methylmercury chloride damage to the adult rat hippocampus cannot be detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhiyan Lu; Jinwei Wu; Guangyuan Cheng; Jianying Tian; Zeqing Lu; Yongyi Bi

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have found that methylmercury can damage hippocampal neurons and accord-ingly cause cognitive dysfunction. However, a non-invasive, safe and accurate detection method for detecting hippocampal injury has yet to be developed. This study aimed to detect methylmer-cury-induced damage on hippocampal tissue using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Rats were given a subcutaneous injection of 4 and 2 mg/kg methylmercury into the neck for 50 consecutive days. Water maze and pathology tests confirmed that cognitive function had been impaired and that the ultrastructure of hippocampal tissue was altered after injection. The results of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed that the nitrogen-acetyl aspartate/creatine, choline complex/creatine and myoinositol/creatine ratio in rat hippocampal tissue were unchanged. Therefore, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy can not be used to determine structural damage in the adult rat hippocampus caused by methylmercury chloride.

  20. Developmental Scaffolding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giorgi, Franco; Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2015-01-01

    . Within the developmental hierarchy, each module yields an inter-level relationship that makes it possible for the scaffolding to mediate the production of selectable variations. Awide range of genetic, cellular and morphological mechanisms allows the scaffolding to integrate these modular variations...... is eventually attained when the embryo acquires the capacity to impose a number of developmental constraints on its constituting parts in a top-down direction. The acquisition of this capacity allows a semiotic threshold to emerge between the living cellular world and the underlying nonliving molecular world...... to the complexity of sign recognition proper of a cellular community. In this semiotic perspective, the apparent goal directness of any developmental strategy should no longer be accounted for by a predetermined genetic program, but by the gradual definition of the relationships selected amongst the ones...

  1. Toxicity of methylmercury injected into eggs when dissolved in water versus corn oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Klimstra, J.D.; Stebbins, K.R.; Kondrad, S.L.

    2011-01-01

    In a previous study, the embryotoxicity of methylmercury dissolved in corn oil was compared among 26 species of birds. Corn oil is not soluble in the water-based matrix that constitutes the albumen of an egg. To determine whether the use of corn oil limited the usefulness of this earlier study, a comparison was made of the embryotoxicity of methylmercury dissolved in corn oil versus water. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and chicken (Gallus gallus) eggs were injected with methylmercury chloride dissolved in corn oil or water to achieve concentrations of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.6??g/g mercury in the egg on a wet weight basis. Hatching success at each dose of mercury was compared between the two solvents. For mallards, 16.4% of the eggs injected with 1.6??g/g mercury dissolved in water hatched, which was statistically lower than the 37.6% hatch rate of eggs injected with 1.6??g/g mercury dissolved in corn oil, but no differences in hatching success were observed between corn oil and water at any of the other doses. With chicken eggs, no significant differences occurred in percentage hatch of eggs between corn oil and water at any of the mercury doses. Methylmercury dissolved in corn oil seems to have a toxicity to avian embryos similar to that of does methylmercury dissolved in water. Consequently, the results from the earlier study that described the toxicity of methylmercury dissolved in corn oil to avian embryos were probably not compromised by the use of corn oil as a solvent. ?? 2011 SETAC.

  2. Serum/plasma methylmercury determination by isotope dilution gas chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baxter, Douglas C., E-mail: douglas.baxter@alsglobal.com [ALS Scandinavia AB, Aurorum 10, 977 75 Lulea (Sweden); Faarinen, Mikko [ALS Scandinavia AB, Aurorum 10, 977 75 Lulea (Sweden); Osterlund, Helene; Rodushkin, Ilia [ALS Scandinavia AB, Aurorum 10, 977 75 Lulea (Sweden); Division of Geosciences, Lulea University of Technology, 977 87 Lulea (Sweden); Christensen, Morten [ALS Scandinavia AB, Maskinvaegen 2, 183 53 Taeby (Sweden)

    2011-09-09

    Highlights: {center_dot} We determine methylmercury in serum and plasma using isotope dilution calibration. {center_dot} Separation by gas chromatography and detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. {center_dot} Data for 50 specimens provides first reference range for methylmercury in serum. {center_dot} Serum samples shown to be stable for 11 months in refrigerator. - Abstract: A method for the determination of methylmercury in plasma and serum samples was developed. The method uses isotope dilution with {sup 198}Hg-labeled methylmercury, extraction into dichloromethane, back-extraction into water, aqueous-phase ethylation, purge and trap collection, thermal desorption, separation by gas chromatography, and mercury isotope specific detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. By spiking 2 mL sample with 1.2 ng tracer, measurements in a concentration interval of (0.007-2.9) {mu}g L{sup -1} could be performed with uncertainty amplification factors <2. A limit of quantification of 0.03 {mu}g L{sup -1} was estimated at 10 times the standard deviation of concentrations measured in preparation blanks. Within- and between-run relative standard deviations were <10% at added concentration levels of 0.14 {mu}g L{sup -1}, 0.35 {mu}g L{sup -1} and 2.8 {mu}g L{sup -1}, with recoveries in the range 82-110%. Application of the method to 50 plasma/serum samples yielded a median (mean; range) concentration of methylmercury of 0.081 (0.091; <0.03-0.19) {mu}g L{sup -1}. This is the first time methylmercury has been directly measured in this kind of specimen, and is therefore the first estimate of a reference range.

  3. Retrospective study on temporal and regional variations of methylmercury concentrations in preserved umbilical cords collected from inhabitants of the Minamata area, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Murata, Katsuyuki; Tsuruta, Kazuhito; Miyamoto, Kenichiro; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2010-09-01

    The present study was conducted to investigate the historical time-course changes and regional distribution of methylmercury concentrations in preserved umbilical cords collected from Minamata-area inhabitants born between 1947 and 1989. The data from Miyazaki, Tottori, Akita, Tsushima (Nagasaki), Fukuoka and Tokyo were used as controls. A total of 325 data were analyzed to estimate the temporal and spatial distribution of methylmercury among inhabitants born in the Minamata area. Elevated methylmercury concentrations (>or=1 microg/g) were mainly observed in inhabitants born between 1947 and 1968. That peak coincided with the peak of acetaldehyde production in Minamata. The methylmercury concentrations started to decrease in keeping with the decline of acetaldehyde production, which ceased in 1968, and thereafter the methylmercury levels gradually decreased to the control levels. Elevated methylmercury concentrations were first observed in the districts of Minamata, followed by Izumi, Tsunagi and Ashikita, indicating the time-course-dependent regional distributions of methylmercury pollution.

  4. The fatty acid profile of rainbow trout liver cells modulates their tolerance to methylmercury and cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferain, Aline, E-mail: aline.ferain@uclouvain.be [Institute of Life Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud 2/L7.05.08, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Bonnineau, Chloé [Institute of Life Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud 2/L7.05.08, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Irstea, UR MALY, Centre de Lyon-Villeurbanne, rue de la Doua 5/32108, F-69616 Villeurbanne (France); Neefs, Ineke; Rees, Jean François; Larondelle, Yvan [Institute of Life Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud 2/L7.05.08, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Schamphelaere, Karel A.C.De [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Toxicology Unit, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Debier, Cathy [Institute of Life Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud 2/L7.05.08, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

    2016-08-15

    Highlights: • The phospholipid composition of rainbow trout liver cells was successfully changed. • Cell phospholipids influenced methylmercury (MeHg) and cadmium (Cd) toxicity. • Cells enriched in 18:3n-3, 20:5n-3 or 22:5n-6 were more resistant to MeHg and Cd. • Cell enrichment in 22:6n-3 increased resistance to Cd but not MeHg. - Abstract: The polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) composition of fish tissues, which generally reflects that of the diet, affects various cellular properties such as membrane structure and fluidity, energy metabolism and susceptibility to oxidative stress. Since these cellular parameters can play an important role in the cellular response to organic and inorganic pollutants, a variation of the PUFA supply might modify the toxicity induced by such xenobiotics. In this work, we investigated whether the cellular fatty acid profile has an impact on the in vitro cell sensitivity to two environmental pollutants: methylmercury and cadmium. Firstly, the fatty acid composition of the rainbow trout liver cell line RTL-W1 was modified by enriching the growth medium with either alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6), arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6) or docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5n-6). These modified cells and their control (no PUFA enrichment) were then challenged for 24 h with increasing concentrations of methylmercury or cadmium. We observed that (i) the phospholipid composition of the RTL-W1 cells was profoundly modulated by changing the PUFA content of the growth medium: major modifications were a high incorporation of the supplemented PUFA in the cellular phospholipids, the appearance of direct elongation and desaturation metabolites in the cellular phospholipids as well as a change in the gross phospholipid composition (PUFA and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) levels and n-3/n-6 ratio); (ii) ALA, EPA and DPA enrichment significantly

  5. In-stream production of methylmercury in a northern California river during summer baseflow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsui, M. T.; Finlay, J. C.; Nollet, Y. H.; Balogh, S. J.

    2009-12-01

    In stream ecosystems, it is well established that terrestrial landscape features such as wetlands are important in determining the aqueous concentration and flux of methylmercury. In contrast, our understanding of in-stream production of methylmercury is inadequate, especially on an ecosystem scale. In this study, we examined the relationship between the net production of dissolved methylmercury and algal metabolism in an 8-km reach of a third order stream (South Fork Eel River) in northern California. The stream has a forested watershed with no wetlands and has a long period of baseflow that typically extends from late May to early October. There was an intense rainfall in early May, 2009, but no major precipitation was recorded afterward, as is typical of Mediterranean climate of the study site. We collected surface water samples along the main channel and four major tributaries to the study stream reach. Temporal patterns of algal metabolism were inferred from net changes in total dissolved phosphorus and silica uptake and algal abundance. There was essentially no net production of methylmercury within the study reach (~ 0 µg Hg/km/d) in mid-May but net production of methylmercury occurred afterward when discharge declined exponentially, water temperature increased and algal metabolism increased (i.e. phosphorus and silica were taken up biologically). Net production of dissolved methylmercury peaked in mid-June (100 µg Hg/km/d) and then declined in mid-July (58 µg Hg/km/d) and mid-August (45 µg Hg/km/d) within the 8-km reach. The absence of surface runoff during the summer (e.g. June through September) indicates that the observed net production of methylmercury occurred within the channel and algal metabolism is coupled to the mercury methylation process. In summary, our study suggests that, in addition to watershed features, in-stream production of methylmercury should be considered as an important factor mediating mercury bioavailability in flowing waters

  6. Developmental Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Niels; Hvid, Helge; Kristensen, Tage Søndergaard

    2003-01-01

    Human Deveoplment and Working Life - Work for Welfare explores whether the development of human resources at company level can improve individuals' quality of life, companies' possibilities of development, and welfare and democracy in society. Chapter two discuss the concept "developmental work...

  7. Developmental Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Niels; Hvid, Helge; Kristensen, Tage Søndergaard;

    2003-01-01

    Human Deveoplment and Working Life - Work for Welfare explores whether the development of human resources at company level can improve individuals' quality of life, companies' possibilities of development, and welfare and democracy in society. Chapter two discuss the concept "developmental work...

  8. Maternal PUFA status but not prenatal methylmercury exposure is associated with children's language functions at age five years in the Seychelles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strain, J J; Davidson, Philip W; Thurston, Sally W; Harrington, Donald; Mulhern, Maria S; McAfee, Alison J; van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Henderson, Juliette; Watson, Gene E; Zareba, Grazyna; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A; Lynch, Miranda; Wallace, Julie M W; McSorley, Emeir M; Bonham, Maxine P; Stokes-Riner, Abbie; Sloane-Reeves, Jean; Janciuras, Joanne; Wong, Rosa; Clarkson, Thomas W; Myers, Gary J

    2012-11-01

    Evidence from the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study suggests that maternal nutritional status can modulate the relationship between prenatal methylmercury (MeHg) exposure and developmental outcomes in children. The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal PUFA status was a confounding factor in any possible associations between prenatal MeHg exposure and developmental outcomes at 5 y of age in the Republic of Seychelles. Maternal status of (n-3) and (n-6) PUFA were measured in serum collected at 28 wk gestation and delivery. Prenatal MeHg exposure was determined in maternal hair collected at delivery. At 5 y of age, the children completed a comprehensive range of sensitive developmental assessments. Complete data from 225 mothers and their children were available for analysis. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed Preschool Language Scale scores of the children improved with increasing maternal serum DHA [22:6(n-3)] concentrations and decreased with increasing arachidonic acid [20:4(n-6)] concentrations, albeit verbal intelligence improved with increasing (n-6) PUFA concentrations in maternal serum. There were no adverse associations between MeHg exposure and developmental outcomes. These findings suggest that higher fish consumption, resulting in higher maternal (n-3) PUFA status, during pregnancy is associated with beneficial developmental effects rather than detrimental effects resulting from the higher concomitant exposures of the fetus to MeHg. The association of maternal (n-3) PUFA status with improved child language development may partially explain the authors' previous finding of improving language scores, as prenatal MeHg exposure increased in an earlier mother-child cohort in the Seychelles where maternal PUFA status was not measured.

  9. Neurobehavioral toxicity in progeny of rat mothers exposed to methylmercury during gestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinesh N. Gandhi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Methylmercury (MeHg is recognized as one of the most hazardous environmental pollutants. This may be a concern to long-term consumption of contaminated fish and seafood for health risk to pregnant women and their children. AIM: An animal study was conducted to assess the effect of MeHg exposure on rodent offspring following in utero exposure. METHODS: Pregnant Wister rats were treated by gavage with MeHg at dose levels of 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg/day from gestation day (GD 5 till parturition, and then were allowed to deliver. RESULTS: Dams treated with 2.0 mg/kg/day MeHg group showed signs of toxicity such as gait alterations and hyperactivity resulting in the failure to deliver sustainable viable pups. MeHg had significant effects on body weight gain of dams during GD 5 till parturition. MeHg had no significant effects on the ages of physical developments such as pinna detachment, incisor eruptions or eye opening as well as alter cliff avoidance, surface righting, swimming ontogeny, startle reflex, pivoting, negative geotaxis, or forelimb and hindlimb grip strength in either sex. Exposure to 1.0 mg/kg/day MeHg treatment group prolonged gestation period, retard mid-air righting in male pups, shortened forelimb grip strength measured on rotating rod in either sex and enhanced open field behaviour in male pups. Data obtained from Functional Observation Battery (FOB also revealed impairment of neuromotor performance in male pups. The male pups appeared to be more susceptible than the female pups. CONCLUSION. Overall, the dose level of MeHg in the present study produced a few adverse effects on the neurobehavioral parameters, and it may alter neuromotor performance of the male pups.

  10. Total Mercury and Methylmercury Dynamics; stream export in an upland forested watershed in the Adirondack region of New York State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton, W.; Vidon, P.; Mitchell, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Although levels of mercury and acid rain deposition have greatly declined in recent years due to legislation controls on industry emissions, their legacy has had a lasting effect on the Adirondack region of New York State. This historical mercury deposition is of concern because of the high chance for methylmercury production and export to occur. The impact of forested uplands on methylmercury export remains poorly understood in relation to other ecosystems. Research indicates that sulfate dynamics play a large role in regulating the production of methylmercury in the presence of inorganic mercury; however the relationship between methylmercury production and nitrate availability at various times of the year is less understood, yet, hypothesized to potentially impact sulfate reduction and ultimately methylmercury production in a variety of ecosystems. In this study, mercury and water quality (including sulfate and nitrate) will be monitored in spring, summer and fall of 2012 at 7 locations in Arbutus Watershed, Adirondacks, NY. Proxies (UV absorbance, Fluorescence indices) for total mercury and methylmercury will be utilized to predict export. The main objectives of this research are to determine the relevance of forested uplands in methylmercury export, as well as gain further understanding of mercury dynamics and associated proxies in relation to nitrate and sulfate availability. Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Ecological Center

  11. Harmonization of Mangiferin on methylmercury engendered mitochondrial dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Shubhankar; Paul, Ajanta; Mumbrekar, Kamalesh D; Rao, Satish B S

    2017-02-01

    Mangiferin (MGN), a C-glucosylxanthone abundantly found in mango plants, was studied for its potential to ameliorate methylmercury (MeHg) induced mitochondrial damage in HepG2 (human hepatocarcinoma) cell line. Cell viability experiments performed using 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) showed protective property of MGN in annulling MeHg-induced cytotoxicity. Conditioning the cells with optimal dose of MGN (50 µM) lowered MeHg-induced oxidative stress, calcium influx/efflux, depletion of mitochondrial trans-membrane potential and prevented mitochondrial fission as observed by decrease in Mitotracker red fluorescence, expression of pDRP1 (serine 616), and DRP1 levels. MGN pre-treated cells demonstrated elevation in the activities of glutathione (GSH), Glutathione-S-transferase (GST), Glutathione peroxidase (GPx), Glutathione reductase (GR), reduced levels of Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) enzyme complexes. In addition, the anti-apoptotic effect of MGN was clearly indicated by the reduction in MeHg-induced apoptotic cells analyzed by flowcytometric analysis after Annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide staining. In conclusion, the present work demonstrates the ability of a dietary polyphenol, MGN to ameliorate MeHg-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction in human hepatic cells in vitro. This hepatoprotective potential may be attributed predominantly to the free radical scavenging/antioxidant property of MGN, by facilitating the balancing of cellular Ca(2+) ions, maintenance of redox homeostasis and intracellular antioxidant activities, ultimately preserving the mitochondrial function and cell viability after MeHg intoxication. As MeHg intoxication occurs over a period of time, continuous consumption of such dietary compounds may prove to be very useful in promoting human health. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 630-644, 2017.

  12. Comparative toxicogenomic responses of mercuric and methyl-mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElwee, Matthew K; Ho, Lindsey A; Chou, Jeff W; Smith, Marjolein V; Freedman, Jonathan H

    2013-10-11

    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant that exists in multiple chemical forms. A paucity of information exists regarding the differences or similarities by which different mercurials act at the molecular level. Transcriptomes of mixed-stage C. elegans following equitoxic sub-, low- and high-toxicity exposures to inorganic mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and organic methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) were analyzed. In C. elegans, the mercurials had highly different effects on transcription, with MeHgCl affecting the expression of significantly more genes than HgCl2. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that inorganic and organic mercurials affected different biological processes. RNAi identified 18 genes that were important in C. elegans response to mercurial exposure, although only two of these genes responded to both mercurials. To determine if the responses observed in C. elegans were evolutionarily conserved, the two mercurials were investigated in human neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH), hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells. The human homologs of the affected C. elegans genes were then used to test the effects on gene expression and cell viability after using siRNA during HgCl2 and MeHgCl exposure. As was observed with C. elegans, exposure to the HgCl2 and MeHgCl had different effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in the cellular response to the two mercurials. These results suggest that, contrary to previous reports, inorganic and organic mercurials have different mechanisms of toxicity. The two mercurials induced disparate effects on gene expression, and different genes were important in protecting the organism from mercurial toxicity.

  13. Methylmercury in diverse stream ecosystems across the United States (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigham, M. E.

    2009-12-01

    Mercury methylation, conversion of inorganic mercury (Hg) to methylmercury (MeHg), is an important biogeochemical process, resulting in MeHg bioaccumulation in fish that inhabit natural waters. Fish can accumulate high MeHg levels even in waters that receive Hg only through atmospheric deposition. The U.S. Geological Survey measured MeHg as part of a national survey that consisted of one-time sampling of 291 streams, and in detailed temporal studies of 10 streams covering a range of seasons and hydrologic conditions. Both studies spanned important gradients relative to the Hg cycle, including wet Hg deposition rate and wetland density. Both within regions of similar Hg atmospheric deposition, and among all streams nationally, wetland density was an important influence on MeHg in stream water and in fish. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the source of MeHg to streams is Hg methylation that occurs predominantly within wetlands and subsequent transport to the stream. Within streams, MeHg in stream water typically increases as streamflow and dissolved organic carbon increase. MeHg production within the stream channel, in streambed sediment, is measurable, but appears to be a minor contributor to MeHg in stream water. Implications of this work are that changes in Hg atmospheric deposition would likely produce the greatest changes in MeHg levels in fish in streams that drain a watersheds with a high density of wetlands. Other ecosystem disturbances, such as sulfate loading and wet and dry cycles, that affect Hg methylation will also likely have a greater impact in ecosystems with a higher density of wetlands in the watershed than in low-wetland-density ecosystems.

  14. Bioconcentration of methylmercury in microzooplankton in a temperate river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyunji; Noh, Seam; Kim, Eunhee; Poopal, Rama Krishnan; Lee, Hak Young; Han, Seunghee

    2011-12-01

    To understand the bioconcentration of methylmercury (MeHg) at the base of the riverine food chain, we determined levels of dissolved organic carbon, microseston, Hg, and MeHg in surface water in relation to the microzooplankton MeHg from Yeongsan River. The spatial distribution of unfiltered Hg (0.29-3.1 ng/L) and dissolved Hg (0.15-0.74 ng/L) closely followed the microseston distribution. The spatial distribution of unfiltered MeHg (0.0078-0.077 ng/L) and dissolved MeHg (0.0069-0.018 ng/L) increased with increasing distance from the river mouth and appeared to arise from the shallow wetlands surrounding the upper riverbanks and then to be transported downstream. The logarithm of the MeHg bioconcentration factor for microzooplankton ranged from 5.3 to 6.0 (5.7 ± 0.18), and for microseston ranged from 4.0 to 5.4 (4.9 ± 0.35). Linear correlation statistics comparing microzooplankton MeHg and river water characteristics revealed that microzooplankton MeHg concentration was most significantly correlated with unfiltered MeHg (r = 0.83) and particulate MeHg (r = 0.80) levels. This result suggests that MeHg in unfiltered river water, which is relatively easy to determine, can be used as a surrogate for MeHg in microzooplankton that may influence MeHg levels in higher-trophic-level organisms.

  15. Influence of nutrient level on methylmercury content in water spinach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greger, Maria; Dabrowska, Beata

    2010-08-01

    Widely consumed vegetables are often cultivated in sewage waters with high nutrient levels. They can contain high levels of methylmercury (MeHg), because they can form MeHg from inorganic Hg in their young shoots. We determined whether the MeHg uptake and the MeHg formation in the shoots of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) were affected by the presence of a high nutrient level in the growth medium. Water spinach shoots were rooted and pretreated in growth medium containing 7% (low) or 70% (high) Hoagland nutrient solution; thereafter, the plants were treated with either 0.02 microM MeHg or 0.2 microM HgCl2 for 3 d. Half the plants were then analyzed for total Hg and MeHg. The remaining plants were transferred to mercury-free medium with low or high nutrient levels and posttreated for 3 days before analysis of total Hg and MeHg in order to measure MeHg formation in the absence of external Hg. The results indicate that nutrient level did not influence MeHg uptake, but that a high nutrient level reduced the distribution of MeHg to the shoots 2.7-fold versus low nutrient level. After treatment with HgCl2, MeHg was found in roots and new shoots but not in old shoots. The MeHg:total-Hg ratio was higher in new shoots than in roots, being 13 times higher at high versus low nutrient levels. Thus, MeHg formation was the same in new shoots independent of inorganic Hg concentration, since the total Hg level decreased at a high nutrient level.

  16. Effects of Diphenyl Diselenide on Methylmercury Toxicity in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane L. Dalla Corte

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the efficacy of diphenyl diselenide [(PhSe2] in attenuating methylmercury- (MeHg-induced toxicity in rats. Adult rats were treated with MeHg [5 mg/kg/day, intragastrically (i.g.] and/ or (PhSe2 [1 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally (i.p.] for 21 days. Body weight gain and motor deficits were evaluated prior to treatment, on treatment days 11 and 21. In addition, hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial function (reactive oxygen species (ROS formation, total and nonprotein thiol levels, membrane potential (ΔΨm, metabolic function, and swelling, hepatic, cerebral, and muscular mercury levels, and hepatic, cerebral, and renal thioredoxin reductase (TrxR activity were evaluated. MeHg caused hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibited TrxR activity in liver (38,9%, brain (64,3%, and kidney (73,8%. Cotreatment with (PhSe2 protected hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial thiols from depletion by MeHg but failed to completely reverse MeHg’s effect on hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction or hepatic, cerebral, and renal inhibition of TrxR activity. Additionally, the cotreatment with (PhSe2 increased Hg accumulation in the liver (50,5% and brain (49,4% and increased the MeHg-induced motor deficits and body-weight loss. In conclusion, these results indicate that (PhSe2 can increase Hg body burden as well as the neurotoxic effects induced by MeHg exposure in rats.

  17. Effects of methylmercury on reproduction in American kestrels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.; Koterba, M.T.; Rossmann, R.; Link, W.A.; French, J.B.; Bennett, R.S.; Bauer, W.C.

    2007-01-01

    Sixty breeding pairs of captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were exposed to a range of sublethal dietary concentrations of mercury (Hg), in the form of methylmercuric chloride, and their subsequent reproduction was measured. Egg production, incubation performance, and the number and percent of eggs hatched decreased markedly between 3.3 and 4.6 mg/kg dry weight of Hg (1.2 and 1.7 mg/kg wet wt), in the diet. The number of fledglings and the percent of nestlings fledged were reduced markedly at 0.7 mg/kg dry weight (0.3 mg/kg wet wt) and declined further between 2 and 3.3 mg/kg dry weight (0.7 and 1.2 mg/kg wet wt). Dietary concentrations of ?4.6 mg/kg dry weight (1.7 mg/kg wet wt) were associated with total fledging failure. The estimated decline in fledged young per pair (24%, Bayesian regression) for kestrels consuming 0.7 mg/kg dry weight (0.3 mg/ kg wet wt) raises concerns about population maintenance in areas subject to high inputs of anthropogenic Hg. Mercury concentrations in 20 second-laid eggs collected from all groups were related to dietary concentrations of Hg, and the Hg concentrations in 19 of these eggs were related to eggs laid and young fledged. Concentrations of Hg in eggs from the highest diet group (5.9 mg/kg dry wt; 2.2 mg/kg wet wt) were higher than egg concentrations reported for either wild birds or for captive birds (nonraptors) fed dry commercial food containing 5 mg/kg methylmercury. Accumulation ratios of Hg from diets to eggs were higher than those reported for feeding studies with other species.

  18. The effect of methylmercury exposure on early central nervous system development in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, S A; Moussa, E A; Abbott, L C

    2012-09-01

    Much attention is focused on environmental contamination by heavy metals. The heavy metal mercury is found worldwide and is ranked number 3 on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act substance list. We examined the effect of low-level methylmercury exposure on central nervous system development of wild-type zebrafish embryos (ZFEs) of the AB strain because methylmercury is the most common form of mercury to which humans are exposed in the environment. ZFEs were exposed to nine different concentrations of methylmercury [0 (negative control), 5, 10, 50, 80, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 parts per billion (μg l(-1) )] starting at 6 h post-fertilization, which is the time the neural tube is first beginning to form. ZFEs were exposed to 2% ethanol as positive controls (100% embryonic death). ZFEs were assessed at 30, 54, 72 and 96 h post-fertilization for changes in embryonic development, mortality, time of hatching and morphological deformities. No abnormalities were observed in ZFEs exposed to 5 μg l(-1) methylmercury. The time of hatching from the chorion was delayed in ZFEs exposed to methylmercury concentrations of 50 μg l(-1) or higher. Significantly more ZFEs exposed to 0, 5 or 10 μg l(-1) methylmercury successfully completed hatching compared with ZFEs exposed to 50 μg l(-1) or higher methylmercury. ZFEs exposed to more than 200 μg l(-1) methylmercury exhibited 100% embryonic mortality. The rate of cell proliferation within the neural tube was significantly decreased in embryos exposed to 10, 50 and 80 μg l(-1) methylmercury and there were no differences between these doses.

  19. O comportamento do metilmercúrio (metilHg no ambiente Behavior of methylmercury in the environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcia Cristina Bisinoti

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Methylmercury is the most hazardous mercury species known. Due to its high stability, lipid solubility, and ionic properties, this compound shows a high ability to cross membranes in living organisms, damaging the central nervous system, mainly the brain, and the effects of chronic poisoning are progressive. In this paper some aspects related to the toxicity and the cases of methylmercury poisoning are described. Other aspects related to the behavior of methylmercury and the environmental factors that influence the transformation of mercury in the water and sediment, with emphasis on the methylation/demethylation reactions and the mercury cycle are discussed.

  20. Distribution and characteristics of methylmercury in surface sediment in Minamata Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Akito; Yano, Shinichiro; Hisano, Akihiro; Kindaichi, Michiaki; Sonoda, Ikuko; Tada, Akihide; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2016-08-15

    This study was carried out to evaluate the present-day chemical properties of methylmercury in surface sediment in Minamata Bay where a dredging project was completed 28years ago. Present-day sediment from Minamata Bay consists of sandy silt, and the average loss-on-ignition in surface sediment was 7.0±2.3%. The average methylmercury concentrations in the upper sediment layers were significantly higher than those in the lower sediment layers. Currently, the concentrations in sediments in Minamata Bay do not exceed the Japanese regulatory standard value for mercury. The average concentration of methylmercury in Minamata Bay surface sediment was 1.74±1.0ng/g on a dry weight basis (n=107). The methylmercury concentration in Minamata Bay surface sediment was almost 16 times higher than that in surface sediment from Isahaya Bay surface sediment, which was 0.11±0.045ng/g on a dry weight basis (n=5).

  1. Hormesis associated with a low dose of methylmercury injected into mallard eggs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H.; Hoffman, David J.; Klimstra, Jon D.; Stebbins, Katherine R.; Kondrad, Shannon L.; Erwin, Carol A.

    2012-01-01

    We injected mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs with methylmercury chloride at doses of 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.2, and 6.4 μg mercury/g egg contents on a wet-weight basis. A case of hormesis seemed to occur because hatching success of eggs injected with 0.05 μg mercury (the lowest dose) was significantly greater (93.3%) than that of controls (72.6%), whereas hatching success decreased at progressively greater doses of mercury. Our finding of hormesis when a low dose of methylmercury was injected into eggs agrees with a similar observation in a study in which a group of female mallards was fed a low dietary concentration of methylmercury and hatching of their eggs was significantly better than that of controls. If methylmercury has a hormetic effect at low concentrations in avian eggs, these low concentrations may be important in a regulatory sense in that they may represent a no-observed adverse effect level (NOAEL).

  2. Delay and impairment in brain development and function in rat offspring after maternal exposure to methylmercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radonjic, M.; Cappaert, N.L.M.; Vries, E.F.J.; Esch, C.E.F.; Kuper, F.C.; van Waarde, A.; Dierckx, R.A.J.O.; Wadman, W.J.; Wolterbeek, A.P.M.; Stierum, R.H.; de Groot, D.M.G.

    2013-01-01

    Maternal exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) has been shown to have adverse effects on neural development of the offspring in man. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms by which MeHg affects the developing brain. To explore the neurodevelopmental defects and the underlying

  3. Delay and Impairment in Brain Development and Function in Rat Offspring After Maternal Exposure to Methylmercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radonjic, Marijana; Cappaert, Natalie L. M.; de Vries, Erik F. J.; de Esch, Celine E. F.; Kuper, Frieke C.; van Waarde, Aren; Dierckx, Rudi A. J. O.; Wadman, Wytse J.; Wolterbeek, Andre P. M.; Stierum, Rob H.; de Groot, Didima M. G.

    Maternal exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) has been shown to have adverse effects on neural development of the offspring in man. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms by which MeHg affects the developing brain. To explore the neurodevelopmental defects and the underlying

  4. Risk assessment of methylmercury in five European countries considering the national seafood consumption patterns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobs, Silke; Sioen, Isabelle; Jacxsens, Liesbeth

    2017-01-01

    Although seafood is a nutritious protein source, due to marine environmental pollution, seafood may also be a source of contaminants. The results obtained within the FP7-ECsafeSEAFOOD-project show that among the range of studied environmental contaminants certainly methylmercury (MeHg) requires d...

  5. Serum/plasma methylmercury determination by isotope dilution gas chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Douglas C; Faarinen, Mikko; Österlund, Heléne; Rodushkin, Ilia; Christensen, Morten

    2011-09-01

    A method for the determination of methylmercury in plasma and serum samples was developed. The method uses isotope dilution with (198)Hg-labeled methylmercury, extraction into dichloromethane, back-extraction into water, aqueous-phase ethylation, purge and trap collection, thermal desorption, separation by gas chromatography, and mercury isotope specific detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. By spiking 2 mL sample with 1.2 ng tracer, measurements in a concentration interval of (0.007-2.9) μg L(-1) could be performed with uncertainty amplification factors levels of 0.14 μg L(-1), 0.35 μg L(-1) and 2.8 μg L(-1), with recoveries in the range 82-110%. Application of the method to 50 plasma/serum samples yielded a median (mean; range) concentration of methylmercury of 0.081 (0.091; methylmercury has been directly measured in this kind of specimen, and is therefore the first estimate of a reference range.

  6. Phytoremediation Of Mercury And Methylmercury Contaminated Sediments By Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phytoremediation has potential to be implemented at mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) contaminated sites. Water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) were investigated for their ability to assimilate Hg and MeHg into plant biomass, in both aquatic and sediment-associated f...

  7. Phytoremediation Of Mercury And Methylmercury Contaminated Sediments By Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phytoremediation has potential to be implemented at mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) contaminated sites. Water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) were investigated for their ability to assimilate Hg and MeHg into plant biomass, in both aquatic and sediment-associated f...

  8. Mercury and Methylmercury concentrations and loads in Cache Creek Basin, California, January 2000 through May 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Alpers, Charles N.; Slotton, Darrell G.; Suchanek, Thomas H.; Ayers, Shaun M.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations and mass loads of total mercury and methylmercury in streams draining abandoned mercury mines and near geothermal discharge in Cache Creek Basin, California, were measured during a 17-month period from January 2000 through May 2001. Rainfall and runoff averages during the study period were lower than long-term averages. Mass loads of mercury and methylmercury from upstream sources to downstream receiving waters, such as San Francisco Bay, were generally the highest during or after winter rainfall events. During the study period, mass loads of mercury and methylmercury from geothermal sources tended to be greater than those from abandoned mining areas because of a lack of large precipitation events capable of mobilizing significant amounts of either mercury-laden sediment or dissolved mercury and methylmercury from mine waste. Streambed sediments of Cache Creek are a source of mercury and methylmercury to downstream receiving bodies of water such as the Delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Much of the mercury in these sediments was deposited over the last 150 years by erosion and stream discharge from abandoned mines or by continuous discharges from geothermal areas. Several geochemical constituents were useful as natural tracers for mining and geothermal areas. These constituents included aqueous concentrations of boron, chloride, lithium, and sulfate, and the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water. Stable isotopes of water in areas draining geothermal discharges were enriched with more oxygen-18 relative to oxygen-16 than meteoric waters, whereas the enrichment by stable isotopes of water from much of the runoff from abandoned mines was similar to that of meteoric water. Geochemical signatures from stable isotopes and trace-element concentrations may be useful as tracers of total mercury or methylmercury from specific locations; however, mercury and methylmercury are not conservatively transported. A distinct mixing trend of

  9. Associations among exposure to methylmercury, reduced Reelin expression, and gender in the cerebellum of developing mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biamonte, Filippo; Latini, Laura; Giorgi, Filippo Sean; Zingariello, Maria; Marino, Ramona; De Luca, Roberto; D'Ilio, Sonia; Majorani, Costanza; Petrucci, Francesco; Violante, Nicola; Senofonte, Oreste; Molinari, Marco; Keller, Flavio

    2014-12-01

    Genetic risk factors acting during pregnancy or early after birth have been proposed to account for the exponential increase of autism diagnoses in the past 20 years. In particular, a potential link with exposure to environmental mercury has been suggested. Male sex constitutes a second risk factor for autism. A third potential genetic risk factor is decreased Reelin expression. Male heterozygous reeler (rl(+/-)) mice show an autism-like phenotype, including Purkinje cells (PCs) loss and behavioral rigidity. We evaluated the complex interactions between 3 risk factors, i.e. genetic status, sex, and exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), in rl(+/-) mice. Mice were exposed to MeHg during the prenatal and early postnatal period, either at a subtoxic dose (2 ppm in Dams' drinking water), or at a toxic dose (6 ppm Dams' drinking water), based on observations in other rodent species and mice strains. We show that: (a) 2 ppm MeHg does not cause PCs loss in the different animal groups, and does not enhance PCs loss in rl(+/-) males; consistent with a lack of overt neurotoxicity, 2 ppm MeHg per se does not cause behavioral alterations (separation-induced ultrasonic calls in newborns, or sociability and social preference in adults); (b) in stark contrast, 6 ppm MeHg causes a dramatic reduction of PCs number in all groups, irrespective of genotype and sex. Cytochrome C release from mitochondria of PCs is enhanced in 6 ppm MeHg-exposed groups, with a concomitant increase of μ-calpain active subunit. At the behavioral level, 6 ppm MeHg exposure strongly increases ultrasonic vocalizations in all animal groups. Notably, 6 ppm MeHg significantly decreases sociability in rl(+/-) male mice, while the 2 ppm group does not show such as decrease. At a subtoxic dose, MeHg does not enhance the autism-like phenotype of male rl(+/-) mice. At the higher MeHg dose, the scenario is more complex, with some "autism-like" features (loss of sociability, preference for sameness) being evidently

  10. Morphine protects against methylmercury intoxication: a role for opioid receptors in oxidative stress?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan Costa-Malaquias

    Full Text Available Mercury is an extremely dangerous environmental contaminant responsible for episodes of human intoxication throughout the world. Methylmercury, the most toxic compound of this metal, mainly targets the central nervous system, accumulating preferentially in cells of glial origin and causing oxidative stress. Despite studies demonstrating the current exposure of human populations, the consequences of mercury intoxication and concomitant use of drugs targeting the central nervous system (especially drugs used in long-term treatments, such as analgesics are completely unknown. Morphine is a major option for pain management; its global consumption more than quadrupled in the last decade. Controversially, morphine has been proposed to function in oxidative stress independent of the activation of the opioid receptors. In this work, a therapeutic concentration of morphine partially protected the cellular viability of cells from a C6 glioma cell line exposed to methylmercury. Morphine treatment also reduced lipid peroxidation and totally prevented increases in nitrite levels in those cells. A mechanistic study revealed no alteration in sulfhydryl groups or direct scavenging at this opioid concentration. Interestingly, the opioid antagonist naloxone completely eliminated the protective effect of morphine against methylmercury intoxication, pointing to opioid receptors as the major contributor to this action. Taken together, the experiments in the current study provide the first demonstration that a therapeutic concentration of morphine is able to reduce methylmercury-induced oxidative damage and cell death by activating the opioid receptors. Thus, these receptors may be a promising pharmacological target for modulating the deleterious effects of mercury intoxication. Although additional studies are necessary, our results support the clinical safety of using this opioid in methylmercury-intoxicated patients, suggesting that normal analgesic doses could

  11. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations and loads in the Cache Creek watershed, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L; Alpers, Charles N; Slotton, Darell G; Suchanek, Thomas H; Ayers, Shaun M

    2004-07-05

    Concentrations and loads of total mercury and methylmercury were measured in streams draining abandoned mercury mines and in the proximity of geothermal discharge in the Cache Creek watershed of California during a 17-month period from January 2000 through May 2001. Rainfall and runoff were lower than long-term averages during the study period. The greatest loading of mercury and methylmercury from upstream sources to downstream receiving waters, such as San Francisco Bay, generally occurred during or after winter rainfall events. During the study period, loads of mercury and methylmercury from geothermal sources tended to be greater than those from abandoned mining areas, a pattern attributable to the lack of large precipitation events capable of mobilizing significant amounts of either mercury-laden sediment or dissolved mercury and methylmercury from mine waste. Streambed sediments of Cache Creek are a significant source of mercury and methylmercury to downstream receiving bodies of water. Much of the mercury in these sediments is the result of deposition over the last 100-150 years by either storm-water runoff, from abandoned mines, or continuous discharges from geothermal areas. Several geochemical constituents were useful as natural tracers for mining and geothermal areas, including the aqueous concentrations of boron, chloride, lithium and sulfate, and the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water. Stable isotopes of water in areas draining geothermal discharges showed a distinct trend toward enrichment of (18)O compared with meteoric waters, whereas much of the runoff from abandoned mines indicated a stable isotopic pattern more consistent with local meteoric water.

  12. Hydrologic Controls On Methylmercury Availability In Coastal Plain Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, P. M.; Brigham, M. E.; Burns, D. A.; Button, D. T.; Lutz, M. A.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.; Riva-Murray, K.; Journey, C.

    2011-12-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) in streams is often attributed to methylation in up-gradient wetland areas, with episodic flood events maximizing wetland-stream hydrologic connectivity and dominating MeHg supply to the stream habitat. A number of studies have demonstrated that Coastal Plain streams in the southeastern United States are particularly vulnerable to high MeHg bioaccumulation and have attributed this vulnerability to wetland abundance and strong hydrologic connectivity between wetland areas and adjacent stream aquatic habitat. Because characteristically coarse-grained Coastal Plain sediments favor vertical infiltration with little surface runoff, flood events attributable to Coastal Plain precipitation are driven by rising groundwater, promoting efficient transport of MeHg from wetland/floodplain source areas to the stream habitat and increasing in-stream availability. Several observations at McTier Creek, South Carolina, however, suggest that good hydrologic connectivity and efficient MeHg transport in Coastal Plain systems are not limited to flood conditions. Close correspondence between stream and shallow-groundwater water levels at McTier indicate good hydrologic connectivity exists prior to flood conditions. Dissolved MeHg concentrations do not increase under flood conditions. Thus, we assessed the flux of water and dissolved mercury (Hg) species (FMeHg and total Hg (FTHg)) from surface water and groundwater sources in a short reach at McTier Creek during separate events in April and July 2009, to determine the importance of shallow groundwater Hg transport from floodplain areas to the stream under non-flood conditions. Mass balance assessments indicated that, under non-flood conditions, the primary supply of water, FMeHg, and FTHg within the reach (excluding upstream surface-water influx) was groundwater discharge, rather than tributary transport from wetlands, in-stream MeHg production, or atmospheric deposition. The results indicate efficient transport of

  13. Low level methylmercury exposure affects neuropsychological function in adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Platt Illeane

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The neurotoxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg have been demonstrated in both human and animal studies. Both adult and fetal brains are susceptible to the effects of MeHg toxicity. However, the specific effects of adult exposures have been less well-documented than those of children with prenatal exposures. This is largely because few studies of MeHg exposures in adults have used sensitive neurological endpoints. The present study reports on the results of neuropsychological testing and hair mercury concentrations in adults (>17 yrs living in fishing communities of Baixada Cuiabana (Mato Grosso in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in six villages on the Cuiaba River. Participants included 129 men and women older than 17 years of age. They were randomly selected in proportion to the age range and number of inhabitants in each village. Questionnaire information was collected on demographic variables, including education, occupation, and residence history. Mercury exposure was determined by analysis of hair using flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The neurocognitive screening battery included tests from the Wechsler Memory Scale and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Concentrated Attention Test of the Toulouse-Pierron Factorial Battery, the Manual Ability Subtests of the Tests of Mechanical Ability, and the Profile of Mood States. Results Mercury exposures in this population were associated with fish consumption. The hair mercury concentration in the 129 subjects ranged from 0.56 to 13.6 μg/g; the mean concentration was 4.2 ± 2.4 micrograms/g and the median was 3.7 μg/g. Hair mercury levels were associated with detectable alterations in performance on tests of fine motor speed and dexterity, and concentration. Some aspects of verbal learning and memory were also disrupted by mercury exposure. The magnitude of the effects increased with hair mercury concentration

  14. Supercritical fluid carbon dioxide extraction and liquid chromatographic separation with electrochemical detection of methylmercury from biological samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, N.S.

    1997-01-01

    Using the coupled methods presented in this paper, methylmercury can be accurately and rapidly extracted from biological samples by modified supercritical fluid carbon dioxide and quantitated using liquid chromatography with reductive electrochemical detection. Supercritical fluid carbon dioxide modified with methanol effectively extracts underivatized methylmercury from certified reference materials Dorm-1 (dogfish muscle) and Dolt-2 (dogfish liver). Calcium chloride and water, with a ratio of 5:2 (by weight), provide the acid environment required for extracting methylmercury from sample matrices. Methylmercury chloride is separated from other organomercury chloride compounds using HPLC. The acidic eluent, containing 0.06 mol L-1 NaCl, insures the presence of methylmercury chloride and facilitates the reduction of mercury on a glassy carbon electrode. If dual glassy carbon electrodes are used, a positive peak is observed at -0.65 to -0.70 V and a negative peak is observed at -0.90V with the organomercury compounds that were tested. The practical detection limit for methylmercury is 5 X 10-8 mol L-1 (1 X 10-12 tool injected) when a 20 ??L injection loop is used.

  15. Developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Robin L; Pennington, Bruce F

    2015-01-01

    This review uses a levels-of-analysis framework to summarize the current understanding of developmental dyslexia's etiology, brain bases, neuropsychology, and social context. Dyslexia is caused by multiple genetic and environmental risk factors as well as their interplay. Several candidate genes have been identified in the past decade. At the brain level, dyslexia is associated with aberrant structure and function, particularly in left hemisphere reading/language networks. The neurocognitive influences on dyslexia are also multifactorial and involve phonological processing deficits as well as weaknesses in other oral language skills and processing speed. We address contextual issues such as how dyslexia manifests across languages and social classes as well as what treatments are best supported. Throughout the review, we highlight exciting new research that cuts across levels of analysis. Such work promises eventually to provide a comprehensive explanation of the disorder as well as its prevention and remediation.

  16. Sulfur and Methylmercury in the Florida Everglades - the Biogeochemical Connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orem, W. H.; Gilmour, C. C.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Aiken, G.

    2011-12-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a serious environmental problem in aquatic ecosystems worldwide because of its toxicity and tendency to bioaccumulate. The Everglades receives some of the highest levels of atmospheric mercury deposition and has some of the highest levels of MeHg in fish in the USA, posing a threat to pisciverous wildlife and people through fish consumption. USGS studies show that a combination of biogeochemical factors make the Everglades especially susceptible to MeHg production and bioaccumulation: (1) vast wetland area with anoxic soils supporting anaerobic microbial activity, (2) high rates of atmospheric mercury deposition, (3) high levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) that complexes and stabilizes mercury in solution for transport to sites of methylation, and (4) high sulfate loading in surface water that drives microbial sulfate reduction and mercury methylation. The high levels of sulfate in the Everglades represent an unnatural condition. Background sulfate levels are estimated to be water sulfate concentrations exceeding background. Highly sulfate-enriched marshes in the northern Everglades have average sulfate levels of 60 mg/L. Sulfate loading to the Everglades is principally a result of land and water management in south Florida. The highest concentrations of sulfate, averaging 60-70 mg/L, are in canal water in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Geochemical data and a preliminary sulfur mass balance for the EAA are consistent with sulfur currently used in agriculture, and sulfur released by oxidation of organic EAA soils (including legacy agricultural applications and natural sulfur) as the primary sources of sulfate enrichment to the canals and ecosystem. Sulfate loading increases microbial sulfate reduction and MeHg production in soils. The relationship between sulfate loading and MeHg production, however, is complex. Sulfate levels up to about 20-30 mg/L increase mercury methylation, but buildup of sulfide from microbial sulfate

  17. Production and Cycling of Methylmercury in High Arctic Wetland Ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnherr, I.; St. Louis, V. L.

    2010-12-01

    Some species of freshwater fish in the Canadian high Arctic contain levels of methylmercury (MeHg) that pose health risks to the northern Inuit peoples that harvest these species as a traditional food source. In temperate regions, wetlands are known natural sites of MeHg production and hence significant MeHg sources to downstream ecosystems. However, the importance of wetlands to Hg methylation in the Arctic is unclear and the sources of MeHg to arctic freshwater ecosystems are still largely unidentified. Our research is demonstrating that some shallow and warm wetland ponds on the Arctic landscape contain high MeHg concentrations compared to nearby deep and cold lakes. We used a mass-balance approach to measure the net in-pond production of MeHg in two warm wetland ponds (Ponds 1 and 2) near Lake Hazen, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (81° N latitude). We quantified external inputs and outputs of MeHg to and from the ponds, as well as the accumulation of MeHg in the water column during the summers of 2005 and 2008. Any changes in water column MeHg concentrations that could not be accounted for by external inputs or sinks were attributed to in-pond production. The principal external input and sink of MeHg was, respectively, wet atmospheric deposition and water-column MeHg photodemethylation. For 2005, we estimate that the net flux of MeHg from sediments into the water column was 0.015 μg m-2 d-1 in Pond 1 and 0.0016 μg m-2 d-1 in Pond 2. Compared to sediment-water MeHg fluxes measured in Alaskan tundra lakes (0.0015-0.0045 μg m-2 d-1), Pond 1 sediments are a greater source of MeHg while Pond 2 is similar to the Alaskan lakes. Furthermore, the accumulation of MeHg in the water column of Pond 1 (0.0061 μg m-2 d-1) was similar to the net yield of MeHg from temperate boreal wetlands (0.0005-0.006 μg m-2 d-1), demonstrating that these Arctic wetlands are important sites of MeHg production. In addition, we used mercury stable-isotope tracers to quantify methylation and

  18. Oxygen intrusion into anoxic fjords leads to increased methylmercury availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiteberg Braaten, Hans Fredrik; Pakhomova, Svetlana; Yakushev, Evgeniy

    2013-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) appears in the oxic surface waters of the oceans at low levels (sub ng/L). Because inorganic Hg can be methylated into the toxic and bioaccumulative specie methylmercury (MeHg) levels can be high at the top of the marine food chain. Even though marine sea food is considered the main risk driver for MeHg exposure to people most research up to date has focused on Hg methylation processes in freshwater systems. This study identifies the mechanisms driving formation of MeHg during oxygen depletion in fjords, and shows how MeHg is made available in the surface water during oxygen intrusion. Studies of the biogeochemical structure in the water column of the Norwegian fjord Hunnbunn were performed in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In autumn of 2011 mixing flushing events were observed and lead to both positive and negative effects on the ecosystem state in the fjord. The oxygenated water intrusions lead to a decrease of the deep layer concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia and phosphate. On the other hand the intrusion also raised the H2S boundary from 8 m to a shallower depth of just 4 m. Following the intrusion was also observed an increase at shallower depths of nutrients combined with a decrease of pH. Before flushing events were observed concentrations of total Hg (TotHg) increased from 1.3 - 1.7 ng/L in the surface layer of the fjord to concentrations ranging from 5.2 ng/L to 6.4 ng/L in the anoxic zone. MeHg increased regularly from 0.04 ng/L in the surface water to a maximum concentration of 5.2 ng/L in the deeper layers. This corresponds to an amount of TotHg present as MeHg ranging from 2.1 % to 99 %. The higher concentrations of MeHg in the deeper layer corresponds to an area where no oxygen is present and concentrations of H2S exceeds 500 µM, suggesting a production of MeHg in the anoxic area as a result of sulphate reducing bacteria activity. After flushing the concentrations of TotHg showed a similar pattern ranging from 0.6 ng/L in the

  19. Relations between mercury, methyl-mercury and selenium in tissues of Octopus vulgaris from the Portuguese Coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raimundo, Joana, E-mail: jraimundo@ipimar.p [IPIMAR - National Institute of Biological Resources, Av. Brasilia, 1449-006 Lisbon (Portugal); REQUIMTE - CQFB, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Qta Torre, 2829-516 Monte da Caparica (Portugal); Vale, Carlos; Canario, Joao; Branco, Vasco [IPIMAR - National Institute of Biological Resources, Av. Brasilia, 1449-006 Lisbon (Portugal); Moura, Isabel [REQUIMTE - CQFB, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Qta Torre, 2829-516 Monte da Caparica (Portugal)

    2010-06-15

    Mercury, methyl-mercury (MeHg) and selenium were determined in digestive gland and mantle of Octopus vulgaris, from three areas of the Portuguese coast. To our knowledge these are the first data on MeHg in cephalopods. Concentrations were higher in the digestive gland and percentage of MeHg in mantle. Enhanced Hg and MeHg levels were obtained in digestive gland of specimens from Olhao (3.1-7.4 and 2.0-5.0 mug g{sup -1}, respectively). Differences between areas may be partially related to Hg availability. Relationships between concentrations in mantle and digestive gland pointed to proportional increases of Hg and MeHg in tissues of specimens from Matosinhos and Cascais, but relatively constant values in mantle of individuals from Olhao (higher contamination). Se:Hg molar ratio in digestive gland was 32 and 30 in octopus from Matosinhos and Cascais, respectively, and 5.4 from Olhao. The proximity to the unit suggests demethylation as response to elevated MeHg levels in digestive gland. - Digestive gland presented high accumulation of Hg and MeHg and demethylation processes may occur with the involvement of Se

  20. [Effect of Methylmercury on the Light Dependence Fluorescence Parameters in a Green Alga Chlamydomonas moewusii].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopopov, F F; Matorin, D N; Seifullina, N H; Bratkovskaya, L B; Zayadan, B K

    2015-01-01

    The effect of a dangerous toxic substance, methylmercury, on light dependence curves of chlorophyll fluorescence in Chlamydomonas moewusii was studied. We found low concentration of methylmercury (10(-7) M) to cause a decrease in the relative rate of the non-cyclic electron transport activity of PS 2, a decline in the maximum utilization of light energy (α), and a decline in the saturation light intensity (E(s)). Non-photochemical fluorescence quenching increased after short-term exposure and decreased in the course of prolonged incubation. These parameters were more sensitive to the action of the toxic substance than the widely used parameter F(V)/F(M), which reflects the maximum quantum yield of PS 2. We propose the use of the method of fast measurement of light dependence curves of fluorescence to detect the changes in algal cells at the early stages of exposure to mercury salts.

  1. The pathology of methylmercury poisoning (Minamata disease): The 50th Anniversary of Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eto, Komyo; Marumoto, Masumi; Takeya, Motohiro

    2010-10-01

    Methylmercury (Me-Hg) poisoning (Minamata disease: MD) is one of the most severe types of disease caused by humans to humans in Japan. The disease is a special class of food-borne methylmercury intoxication in humans as typified by the outbreak that began in 1953 in Minamata and its vicinity in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. There are 450 autopsy cases in Kumamoto and 30 autopsy cases in Niigata Prefecture related to MD in Japan. Two hundred and one cases in Kumamoto and 22 cases in Niigata showed pathological changes of MD. This report provides a brief research history and overview of the pathological changes of MD, and also presents representative cases of adult, infantile and fetal forms of MD among the 450 MD-related autopsy cases in Kumamoto Prefecture.

  2. [History of ignorance of methylmercury toxicity and intoxication in Japan in relation to Minamata disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishihara, Nobuo

    2014-01-01

    The first reports of methylmercury intoxication appeared in 1865 and 1866. These reports had sensational effects in European countries, and were introduced not only in journals but also in newspapers. These two reports were referable in Japan at the latest in 1927. The formation of organic mercury in the production of acetoaldehyde was also referable in 1906 in Japan. In 1931 (one year before the start of acetoaldehyde production in Minamata) these important reports cited above were referable in Kumamoto University, and there were warnings about the toxicity of organic mercury and environmental pollution prior to the start of acetoaldehyde production. However, not only the plant, authorities (Ministry of Welfare), and Kumamoto Prefectural Office, but also the scientists completely ignored these reports. Waste was dumped into the environment without any treatment. Serious pollution of the environment by organic mercury started, which resulted in the outbreak of Minamata disease (=methylmercury intoxication).

  3. Cognitive deficits at age 22 years associated with prenatal exposure to methylmercury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pál; Grandjean, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    methylmercury exposure was assessed in terms of the mercury concentration in cord blood and maternal hair. Clinical examinations of 847 cohort members at age 22 years were carried out in 2008-2009 using a panel of neuropsychological tests that reflected major functional domains. Subjects with neurological...... and psychiatric diagnoses were excluded from the data analysis, thus leaving 814 subjects. Multiple regression analysis included covariates previously identified for adjustment. Deficits in Boston Naming Test (BNT) and other tests of verbal performance were significantly associated with the cord-blood mercury...... to about 2.2 IQ points at a 10-fold increased prenatal methylmercury exposure. Thus, although the cognitive deficits observed were smaller than at examinations at younger ages, maternal diets with contaminated seafood were associated with adverse effects in this birth cohort at age 22 years. The deficits...

  4. Rapid increases in mercury concentrations in the eggs of mallards fed methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H.; Hoffman, David J.; Klimstra, Jon D.; Stebbins, Katherine R.

    2009-01-01

    To determine how quickly breeding birds would have to feed in a mercury-contaminated area before harmful concentrations of mercury, as methylmercury, built up in their eggs, we fed female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) a control diet or diets containing 0.5, 1, 2, 4, or 8 μg/g mercury (on what was close to a dry weight basis) as methylmercury chloride for 23 d. After 18 d on their respective mercury diets, the eggs of mallards fed 0.5, 1, 2, 4, or 8 μg/g mercury contained 97.8, 86.0, 89.9, 88.9, and 85.9%, respectively, of the peak concentrations reached after 23 d. Depending on the dietary concentration of mercury, no more than approximately a week may be required for harmful concentrations (0.5–0.8 μg/g, wet weight) to be excreted into eggs.

  5. Methylmercury determination in marine sediment and organisms by Direct Mercury Analyser

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maggi, Chiara; Berducci, Maria Teresa [Advanced Institute for Environmental Protection and Research - ISPRA, Via di Casalotti 300, Rome (Italy); Bianchi, Jessica, E-mail: j.bianchi@icram.org [Advanced Institute for Environmental Protection and Research - ISPRA, Via di Casalotti 300, Rome (Italy); Giani, Michele [National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Biological Oceanography Department, Via Piccard 54, 34100 Trieste (Italy); Campanella, Luigi [Chemical Department University ' La Sapienza' , P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome (Italy)

    2009-05-08

    An analytical method for simple and rapid determination of methylmercury in sediment and organism samples is described. The proposed method employs the oxygen combustion-gold amalgamation using Direct Mercury Analyser (DMA-80) after complete removal of MeHg by organic extraction and back extraction to an aqueous medium. DMA-80 instrument is equally suitable for the analysis of solid and liquid materials and has a good detection limit. The analytical performance of this method was evaluated by analysis of certified reference materials (CRM-580, IAEA-405, DORM-2, DOLT-3, SRM-2976 and SRM-2977) assessing its quality in terms of accuracy, repeatability and quantification limit. Furthermore total mercury and methylmercury have been analysed in sediment and organism samples collected during the XXI Italian Antarctic Expedition in Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea, Northern Victoria Land). The results obtained show the validity of the proposed method as ready-to-use analytical method to analyse real samples.

  6. Mercury and methylmercury intake estimation due to seafood products for the Catalonian population (Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Rodellar-Torras, Santiago; Fontcuberta, Mireia; Arqués, Josep; Calderón, Josep; Serra-Majem, Lluís; Ribas-Barba, Lourdes

    2009-01-01

    Abstract This study estimates mercury and methylmercury levels in fish and fishery products commercialized in the city of Barcelona from 2001 to 2007. Combining food levels data with the consumption data of 2158 people (as the median of two 24-hour-recall), the total Mercury intake of the Catalonian population was calculated. Mercury was detected in 32,8% of analyses samples. The general population average weekly intake of total mercury in Catalonian population was 0.783 ?g/k...

  7. Comparison of direct mercury analyzer and FIA-CV-AAS in determination of methylmercury in fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, J. C.; Hortellani, M. A.; Sarkis, J. E. S.; Nakatsubo, M. A.

    2016-07-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been determined in fish reference materials by direct mercury analyzer (DMA 80) and FIA-CV-AAS. In order to evaluate accuracy, certified reference materials (Fish protein, NRCC - Dorm 4 and fish material, Ipen - Dourada 1) were analyzed after extraction and separation of mercury species. Good agreement of the results have been obtained (relative error of the determination between the methods varied from 1.5% to 39%). The repeatability of the results varied from 4% to 26%.

  8. Economic benefits of methylmercury exposure control in Europe: Monetary value of neurotoxicity prevention

    OpenAIRE

    Bellanger, Martine; Pichery, Céline; Aerts, Dominique; Berglund, Marika; Castaño, Argelia; Čejchanová, Mája; Crettaz, Pierre; Davidson, Fred; Esteban, Marta; Fischer, Marc E; Gurzau, Anca Elena; Halzlova, Katarina; Katsonouri, Andromachi; KNUDSEN Lisbeth E.; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike

    2013-01-01

    © 2013 Bellanger et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Background: Due to global mercury pollution and the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), an assessment of the economic benefits of p...

  9. Signs and symptoms of methylmercury contamination in a First Nations community in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takaoka, Shigeru; Fujino, Tadashi; Hotta, Nobuyuki; Ueda, Keishi; Hanada, Masanobu; Tajiri, Masami; Inoue, Yukari

    2014-01-15

    In 1970, fish caught in the English-Wabigoon River system in northwestern Ontario, Canada, were found to be contaminated with mercury coming from a chlor-alkali plant in the province. In the 1970s, patients exhibiting some of the symptoms of the Hunter-Russell syndrome (e.g. paresthesias, visual field constriction, ataxia, impaired hearing, and speech impairment) were reported by some researchers. However attempts to diagnose the patients as suffering from methylmercury poisoning proved to be controversial. In order to research the presence of methylmercury contamination, and show that the patients, through eating contaminated fish, were suffering from methylmercury poisoning, we studied the results of subjective complaints, neurological findings, and quantitative somatosensory measurements gathered in Grassy Narrows Indian Reservation, Ontario, in March, 2010. At that time, the population of the Grassy Narrows settlement was around 900. Ninety-one residents volunteered to be examined. From them, we selected 80 people who were older than 15 years old, and divided them into two groups. Canadian Younger (CY): 36 residents who were from 16 to 45 years old. Canadian Older (CO): 44 residents who were from 46 to 76 years old. We compared them to Japanese Exposed (JE): 88 methylmercury exposed residents from the Minamata district in Japan, and Japanese Control (JC): 164 control residents from non-polluted areas in Japan. Complaints and abnormal neurological findings were more prevalent and quantitative sensory measurements were worse in the two Canadian groups and the Japanese Exposed group than in the Japanese Control group. Complaints, neurological findings and quantitative sensory measurements were similar in Canadian Older and Japanese Exposed. The results for Canadian Younger fell between those of Canadian Older and Japanese Control. These findings indicate that the clinical signs and symptoms of the residents of Grassy Narrows are almost the same as those recorded

  10. Methylmercury and elemental mercury differentially associate with blood pressure among dental professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Wang, Yi; Gillespie, Brenda; Werner, Robert; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury-associated effects on the cardiovascular system have been documented though discrepancies exist, and most studied populations experience elevated methylmercury exposures. No paper has investigated the impact of low-level elemental (inorganic) mercury exposure on cardiovascular risk in humans. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the association between mercury exposure (methylmercury and elemental mercury) and blood pressure measures in a cohort of dental professionals that experience background exposures to both mercury forms. Dental professionals were recruited during the 2010 Michigan Dental Association Annual Convention. Mercury levels in hair and urine samples were analyzed as biomarkers of methylmercury and elemental mercury exposure, respectively. Blood pressure (systolic, diastolic) was measured using an automated device. Distribution of mercury in hair (mean, range: 0.45, 0.02–5.18 μg/g) and urine (0.94, 0.03–5.54 μg/L) correspond well with the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Linear regression models revealed significant associations between diastolic blood pressure (adjusted for blood pressure medication use) and hair mercury (n = 262, p = 0.02). Urine mercury results opposed hair mercury in many ways. Notably, elemental mercury exposure was associated with a significant systolic blood pressure decrease (n = 262, p = 0.04) that was driven by the male population. Associations between blood pressure and two forms of mercury were found at exposure levels relevant to the general population, and associations varied according to type of mercury exposure and gender. PMID:22494934

  11. Effects of dietary methylmercury on liver and kidney histology in the neotropical fish Hoplias malabaricus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mela, M; Randi, M A F; Ventura, D F; Carvalho, C E V; Pelletier, E; Oliveira Ribeiro, C A

    2007-11-01

    Methylmercury is a potent toxic present in Amazonian fish species due to gold mining activities. In the present work, we investigated the morphological effects of methylmercury in liver and kidney of Hoplias malabaricus feeding contaminated prey fish over 70 days. Two groups of nine mature fish (tested and control) were acclimatized for four weeks to laboratory conditions and then the tested group fed prey fish previously contaminated at an additional level of 0.075 microg MeHg g(-1) at 5-day intervals and over 14 successive intervals whereas control group fed uncontaminated fish. H. malabaricus specimens were then dissected for chemical and morphological analyses. The low and realistic level of MeHg in the prey fish induced a low increase of total mercury in liver (1.8-fold) and muscle (2.2-fold). The biomagnification factor (Hg in predator/Hg in prey) reached 142 in liver and 21 in muscle and was indicative of a relatively fast contamination of internal organs by dietary exposure. The liver of exposed individuals presented leukocyte infiltration, increased number of melano-macrophage centers, necrotic areas and lesions in Disse's space. Evident disorder and chaos in cytoskeleton organization suggest a strong toxic effect in hepatocytes, such as organelles positioning and movement, vesicles traffic and secretion. Head kidney showed large necrosis areas, increased number of melano-macrophages centers, phagocytic areas, intercellular space among parenquimal cells and atypical cells. Injuries and damages to tissues suggest too slow defense mechanisms to immobilize or eliminate ingested methylmercury, demonstrating that the sensitivity of fish cells to methylmercury exposure is higher than it has been previously described in the literature.

  12. Factors controlling methylmercury production in the Allequash Creek wetland: a multivariate statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, J. E.; Babiarz, C.; Shafer, M. M.; Tan, S.; Schott, T.; Roden, E. E.; Armstrong, D. E.

    2010-12-01

    Measurements of a wide variety of biogeochemical parameters were carried out in sediment cores from the Allequash Creek wetland in northern Wisconsin, USA, over a one year period from July, 2008-July, 2009. Analyses included mercury methylation and demethylation rate potentials, sediment and porewater total mercury and methylmercury measurements, ion exchange column measurements to separate Hg species by net charge, tin-reducible mercury titrations to measure strong Hg-binding ligands, measurements of microbial terminal electron accepting processes, and measurements of total dissolved iron and sulfur, dissolved iron(II), dissolved sulfide, pH, percent loss on ignition, and acid-volatile sulfide. The results of each of these measurements were used as a variable in principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis, in order to determine geochemical trends in the data independently of a priori assumptions. The most important trends highlighted by this analysis include an inverse association between mercury methylation and strong Hg-binding ligands, as well as an inverse association between methylation and porewater sulfide concentrations. Positive associations were observed between methylation, dissolved organic carbon, and porewater methylmercury. These results strongly suggest that dissolved sulfide and organic Hg-binding ligands inhibit mercury methylation, while dissolved organic carbon both promotes methylation and strongly binds methylmercury.

  13. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aunica L Kane

    Full Text Available Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0. E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation.

  14. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Aunica L; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E; Heinsch, Stephen C; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G; Sarkar, Casim A; Nater, Edward A; Gralnick, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation.

  15. Is Low Non-Lethal Concentration of Methylmercury Really Safe? A Report on Genotoxicity with Delayed Cell Proliferation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo-Lopez, María Elena; Costa-Malaquias, Allan; Oliveira, Edivaldo H. C.; Miranda, Moysés S.; Arrifano, Gabriela P. F.; Souza-Monteiro, José R.; Sagica, Fernanda Espirito-Santo; Fontes-Junior, Enéas A.; Maia, Cristiane S. F.; Macchi, Barbarella M.; do Nascimento, José Luiz M.

    2016-01-01

    Human exposure to relatively low levels of methylmercury is worrying, especially in terms of its genotoxicity. It is currently unknown as to whether exposure to low levels of mercury (below established limits) is safe. Genotoxicity was already shown in lymphocytes, but studies with cells of the CNS (as the main target organ) are scarce. Moreover, disturbances in the cell cycle and cellular proliferation have previously been observed in neuronal cells, but no data are presently available for glial cells. Interestingly, cells of glial origin accumulate higher concentrations of methylmercury than those of neuronal origin. Thus, the aim of this work was to analyze the possible genotoxicity and alterations in the cell cycle and cell proliferation of a glioma cell line (C6) exposed to a low, non-lethal and non-apoptotic methylmercury concentration. Biochemical (mitochondrial activity) and morphological (integrity of the membrane) assessments confirmed the absence of cell death after exposure to 3 μM methylmercury for 24 hours. Even without promoting cell death, this treatment significantly increased genotoxicity markers (DNA fragmentation, micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds). Changes in the cell cycle profile (increased mitotic index and cell populations in the S and G2/M phases) were observed, suggesting arrest of the cycle. This delay in the cycle was followed, 24 hours after methylmercury withdrawal, by a decrease number of viable cells, reduced cellular confluence and increased doubling time of the culture. Our work demonstrates that exposure to a low sublethal concentration of MeHg considered relatively safe according to current limits promotes genotoxicity and disturbances in the proliferation of cells of glial origin with sustained consequences after methylmercury withdrawal. This fact becomes especially important, since this cellular type accumulates more methylmercury than neurons and displays a vital role protecting the CNS, especially in

  16. Developmental dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyahara, M; Möbs, I

    1995-12-01

    This article discusses the role developmental dyspraxia plays in developmental coordination disorder (DCD), based upon a review of literature on apraxia, developmental dyspraxia, and DCD. Apraxia and dyspraxia have often been equated with DCD. However, it is argued that apraxia and dyspraxia primarily refer to the problems of motor sequencing and selection, which not all children with DCD exhibit. The author proposes to distinguish developmental dyspraxia from DCD. Other issues discussed include the assessment, etiology, and treatment of developmental dyspraxia and DCD, and the relationship between DCD and learning disabilities. A research agenda is offered regarding future directions to overcome current limitation.

  17. Dietary Mercury Exposure Resulted in Behavioral Differences in Mice Contaminated with Fish-Associated Methylmercury Compared to Methylmercury Chloride Added to Diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Bourdineaud

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Methylmercury (MeHg is a potent neurotoxin, and humans are mainly exposed to this pollutant through fish consumption. However, in classical toxicological studies, pure methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl is injected, given to drink or incorporated within feed assuming that its effects are identical to those of MeHg naturally associated to fish. In the present study, we wanted to address the question whether a diet containing MeHg associated to fish could result in observable adverse effects in mice as compared to a diet containing the same concentration of MeHg added pure to the diet and whether beneficial nutriments from fish were able to counterbalance the deleterious effects of fish-associated mercury, if any. After two months of feeding, the fish-containing diet resulted in significant observable effects as compared to the control and MeHg-containing diets, encompassing altered behavioral performances as monitored in a Y-shaped maze and an open field, and an increased dopamine metabolic turnover in hippocampus, despite the fact that the fish-containing diet was enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium compared to the fish-devoid diets.

  18. A Methylmercury Prediction Too For Surface Waters Across The Contiguous United States (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Booth, N.; Lutz, M.; Fienen, M. N.; Saltman, T.

    2009-12-01

    About 20 years ago, researchers at a few locations across the globe discovered high levels of mercury in fish from remote settings lacking any obvious mercury source. We now know that for most locations atmospheric deposition is the dominant mercury source, and that mercury methylation is the key process that translates low mercury loading rates into relatively high levels in top predators of aquatic food webs. Presently, almost all US states have advisories for elevated levels of mercury in sport fish, and as a result there is considerable public awareness and concern for this nearly ubiquitous contaminant issue. In some states, “statewide” advisories have been issued because elevated fish mercury levels are so common, or the state has no effective way to monitor thousands of lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and streams. As such, resource managers and public health officials have limited options for informing the public on of where elevated mercury concentrations in sport fish are more likely to occur than others. This project provides, for the first time, a national map of predicted (modeled) methylmercury concentrations in surface waters, which is the most toxic and bioaccumulative form of mercury in the environment. The map is the result of over two decades of research that resulted in the formulation of conceptual models of the mercury methylation process, which is strongly governed by environmental conditions - specifically hydrologic landscapes and water quality. The resulting predictive map shows clear regional trends in the distribution of methylmercury concentrations in surface waters. East of the Mississippi, the Gulf and southeastern Atlantic coast, the northeast, the lower Mississippi valley, and Great Lakes area are predicted to have generally higher environmental methylmercury levels. Higher-elevation, well-drained areas of Appalachia are predicted to have relatively lower methylmercury abundance. Other than the prairie pothole region, in the western

  19. Prenatal methylmercury exposure hampers glutathione antioxidant system ontogenesis and causes long-lasting oxidative stress in the mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringari, James; Nunes, Adriana K C; Franco, Jeferson L; Bohrer, Denise; Garcia, Solange C; Dafre, Alcir L; Milatovic, Dejan; Souza, Diogo O; Rocha, João B T; Aschner, Michael; Farina, Marcelo

    2008-02-15

    During the perinatal period, the central nervous system (CNS) is extremely sensitive to metals, including methylmercury (MeHg). Although the mechanism(s) associated with MeHg-induced developmental neurotoxicity remains obscure, several studies point to the glutathione (GSH) antioxidant system as an important molecular target for this toxicant. To extend our recent findings of MeHg-induced GSH dyshomeostasis, the present study was designed to assess the developmental profile of the GSH antioxidant system in the mouse brain during the early postnatal period after in utero exposure to MeHg. Pregnant mice were exposed to different doses of MeHg (1, 3 and 10 mg/l, diluted in drinking water, ad libitum) during the gestational period. After delivery, pups were killed at different time points - postnatal days (PND) 1, 11 and 21 - and the whole brain was used for determining biochemical parameters related to the antioxidant GSH system, as well as mercury content and the levels of F(2)-isoprostane. In control animals, cerebral GSH levels significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period; gestational exposure to MeHg caused a dose-dependent inhibition of this developmental event. Cerebral glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities significantly increased over time during the early postnatal period in control animals; gestational MeHg exposure induced a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on both developmental phenomena. These adverse effects of prenatal MeHg exposure were corroborated by marked increases in cerebral F(2)-isoprostanes levels at all time points. Significant negative correlations were found between F(2)-isoprostanes and GSH, as well as between F(2)-isoprostanes and GPx activity, suggesting that MeHg-induced disruption of the GSH system maturation is related to MeHg-induced increased lipid peroxidation in the pup brain. In utero MeHg exposure also caused a dose-dependent increase in the cerebral levels of mercury at

  20. Insights from mercury stable isotopes into factors affecting the internal body burden of methylmercury in frequent fish consumers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miling Li

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Methylmercury (MeHg exposure can cause adverse health effects in children and adults and is predominantly from seafood consumption in the United States (U.S.. Here we examine evidence for differences in MeHg uptake and metabolism in U.S. individuals who consume three or more fish meals per week. We hypothesized based on prior research that some individuals have enhanced capacity to demethylate ingested MeHg and this will be reflected by a greater than typically observed δ202Hg offset in their hair relative to consumed fish (∼2 ‰. We used self-reported seafood intake data to identify individuals with hair Hg concentrations that agree extremely well with reported ingestion and those that do not. Approximately one-third of individuals in our survey population had hair Hg levels below the lower bound of probabilistic exposure modeling based on dietary intake data. The Δ199Hg values measured in the hair of a subset of individuals with the highest and lowest discrepancies between modeled and measured exposures are consistent with self-reported fish intake, validating the reliability of their dietary recall information. The δ202Hg offset between fish and human hair is similar for low- and high-discrepancy individuals, suggesting enhanced in vivo demethylation does not explain some individuals with hair Hg levels equivalent to non-fish consumers (0.10 ug/g. Using the probabilistic exposure model, we find dietary MeHg absorption efficiencies required to explain hair Hg levels in these high-discrepancy individuals are on average lower than 14% (range: 1%–72%. Exposure modeling for MeHg typically assumes a range of 91–97% and our results emphasize much greater inter-individual variability in this value.

  1. Perinatal exposure to low-dose methylmercury induces dysfunction of motor coordination with decreases in synaptophysin expression in the cerebellar granule cells of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimura, Masatake; Cheng, Jinping; Zhao, Wenchang

    2012-06-29

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental pollutant that is toxic to the developing central nervous system (CNS) in children, even at low exposure levels. Perinatal exposure to MeHg is known to induce neurological symptoms with neuropathological changes in the CNS. However, the relationship between the neurological symptoms and neuropathological changes induced in offspring as a result of exposure to low-dose MeHg is not well defined. In the present study, neurobehavioral analyses revealed that exposure to a low level of MeHg (5 ppm in drinking water) during developmental caused a significant deficit in the motor coordination of rats in the rotating rod test. In contrast, general neuropathological findings, including neuronal cell death and the subsequent nerve inflammation, were not observed in the region of the cerebellum responsible for regulating motor coordination. Surprisingly, the expression of synaptophysin (SPP), a marker protein for synaptic formation, significantly decreased in cerebellar granule cells. These results showed that perinatal exposure to low-dose MeHg causes neurobehavioral impairment without general neuropathological changes in rats. We demonstrated for the first time that exposure to low-dose MeHg during development induces the dysfunction of motor coordination due to changes of synaptic homeostasis in cerebellar granule cells.

  2. Short-term effect of severe exposure to methylmercury on atherosclerotic heart disease and hypertension mortality in Minamata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Sachiko; Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide; Doi, Hiroyuki

    2012-02-15

    Recent studies suggest potential adverse effects of methylmercury exposure on myocardial infarction and hypertension, although the evidence is still limited. We thus evaluated this association using age-standardized mortality ratios (ASMRs) in Minamata, where severe methylmercury poisoning had occurred. We obtained mortality data from annual vital statistics and demographic statistics from census. We then compared mortality of atherosclerotic heart disease including degenerative heart disease and hypertension in Minamata-city with those in Kumamoto Prefecture, which includes Minamata city, as a control. We estimated ASMRs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) during the period from 1953 to 1970. ASMRs of atherosclerotic heart disease were continuously decreased during the period from 1953 to 1967. In contrast, the ASMR of hypertension was significantly elevated during the period from 1963 to 1967 (SMR=1.38, CI; 1.06-1.80); but they decreased later. Although dilution is present in this ecological study, our study supports the notion that methylmercury exposure induces hypertension.

  3. Effects of trophic poisoning with methylmercury on the appetitive elements of the agonistic sequence in fighting-fish (Betta splendens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, Amauri; de Oliveira, Caio Maximino; Romão, Cynthia Ferreira; de Brito, Thiago Marques; Ventura, Dora Fix

    2007-11-01

    The aggressive display in Betta splendens is particularly prominent, and vital to its adaptation to the environment. Methylmercury is an organic variation of Hg that presents particularly pronounced neuro-behavioral effects. The present experiments aim to test the effect of acute and chronic poisoning with methylmercury on the display in Bettas. The animals were poisoned by trophic means in both experiments (16 ug/kg in acute poisoning; 16 ug/kg/day for chronic poisoning), and tested in agonistic pairs. The total frequency of the display was recorded, analyzing the topography of the agonistic response. The methylmercury seems to present a dose- and detoxification-dependent effect on these responses, with a more pronounced effect on motivity in acute poisoning and on emotionality in the chronic poisoning. It is possible that this effect could be mediated by alteration in the mono-amino-oxidase systems.

  4. The association between blood pressure and whole blood methylmercury in a cross-sectional study among Inuit in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anni Brit Sternhagen; Davidsen, Michael; Bjerregaard, Peter

    2012-01-01

    to a high exposure of methylmercury. We examined the relation between whole blood mercury and blood pressure (BP) in Inuit in Greenland. METHODS: A cross-sectional population-based study among adult Inuit in Greenland was performed in 2005-2009. Information on socio-demography, lifestyle, BP, blood samples......BACKGROUND: The Inuit in Greenland have a high average consumption of marine species and are highly exposed to methylmercury, which in other studies has been related to hypertension. Data on the relation between methylmercury and hypertension is limited, especially in populations subjected......,861). Multivariate regression analyses with inclusion of confounders were done separately for men and women with the omission of participants receiving anti-hypertensive drugs, except for logistic regression analyses of the relation between mercury and presence of hypertension (yes/no). RESULTS: The mean whole blood...

  5. The association between blood pressure and whole blood methylmercury in a cross-sectional study among Inuit in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anni Brit Sternhagen; Davidsen, Michael; Bjerregaard, Peter

    2012-01-01

    to a high exposure of methylmercury. We examined the relation between whole blood mercury and blood pressure (BP) in Inuit in Greenland. METHODS: A cross-sectional population-based study among adult Inuit in Greenland was performed in 2005-2009. Information on socio-demography, lifestyle, BP, blood samples...... significant for diastolic BP among men (Wald test, p = 0.01), however pairwise comparisons showed that some quintiles were not statistically different. This result is supported by LOESS modelling. CONCLUSIONS: No adverse associations between whole blood mercury and blood pressure were found. With increasing......BACKGROUND: The Inuit in Greenland have a high average consumption of marine species and are highly exposed to methylmercury, which in other studies has been related to hypertension. Data on the relation between methylmercury and hypertension is limited, especially in populations subjected...

  6. Aerobic Fitness and Neurocognitive Function Scores in Young Faroese Adults and Potential Modification by Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oulhote, Youssef; Debes, Frodi; Vestergaard, Sonja

    2017-01-01

    deviation (SD) increase in VO2Max was associated with better scores on short-term memory and cognitive processing speed by 0.21 SD (95% CI: -0.04, 0.46) and 0.28 SD (95% CI: 0.02, 0.54), respectively. In the group with lower prenatal methylmercury exposure, a 1 SD increase in VO2Max was associated...... with increased scores on cognitive processing speed by 0.45 SD (95% CI: 0.08, 0.81) and with a slightly lesser benefit in short-term memory. No such association was observed in the group with high prenatal methylmercury exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Higher aerobic capacity was associated with better performance...... in short-term memory and processing speed. However, prenatal methylmercury exposure seemed to attenuate these positive associations....

  7. Statement on the benefits of fish/seafood consumption compared to the risks of methylmercury in fish/seafood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EFSA Panel on Scientific Committee (SC

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Following a request from the European Commission to carry out a risk benefit analysis as regards the risks and benefits to human health of fish/seafood consumption related to methylmercury, the EFSA Scientific Committee used previous work performed by the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain and the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies to create scenarios based on typical fish consumption patterns of population groups at risk of exceeding the tolerable weekly intake (TWI for methylmercury. The Scientific Committee then estimated how many servings of fish/seafood per week these population groups would need to reach the TWI for methylmercury and the dietary reference value (DRV for n-3 (Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (LCPUFA. When consuming species with a high methylmercury content, only a few numbers of servings (<1–2 can be eaten before reaching the TWI, which may be attained before the DRV. To protect against inter alia neurodevelopmental toxicity of methylmercury and achieve the benefits of fish consumption (effect of fish/seafood consumption during pregnancy on functional outcomes of children’s neurodevelopment and on cardiovascular diseases in adults, which are associated with 1–4 fish servings per week, fish/seafood species with a high content of mercury in the daily diet should be limited. Because a variety of fish species are consumed across Europe, it is not possible to make general recommendations on fish consumption. The Scientific Committee therefore recommends that each country needs to consider its own pattern of fish consumption, especially the species of fish consumed, and carefully assess the risk of exceeding the TWI of methylmercury while obtaining the health benefits from consumption of fish/seafood.

  8. An autopsy case of minamata disease (methylmercury poisoning)--pathological viewpoints of peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eto, Komyo; Tokunaga, Hidehiro; Nagashima, Kazuo; Takeuchi, Tadao

    2002-01-01

    The outbreak of methylmercury poisoning in the geographic areas around Minamata Bay, Kumamoto, Japan in the 1950s has become known as Minamata disease. Based on earlier reports and extensive pathological studies on autopsied cases at the Kumamoto University School of Medicine, destructive lesions in the anterior portion of the calcarine cortex and depletion predominantly of granular cells in the cerebellar cortex came to be recognized as the hallmark and diagnostic yardstick of methylmercury poisoning in humans. As the number of autopsy cases of Minamata disease increased, it became apparent that the cerebral lesion was not restricted to the calcarine cortex but was relatively widespread. Less severe lesions, believed to be responsible for the motor symptoms of Minamata patients, were often found in the precentral, postcentral, and lateral temporal cortices. These patients also frequently presented with signs of sensory neuropathy affecting the distal extremities. Because of few sufficiently comprehensive studies, peripheral nerve degeneration has not been universally accepted as a cause of the sensory disturbances in Minamata patients. The present paper describes both biopsy and autopsy findings of the peripheral nerves in a male fisherman who died at the age of 64 years and showed the characteristic central nervous system lesions of Minamata disease at autopsy. A sural nerve biopsy with electron microscopy performed 1 month prior to his death showed endoneurial fibrosis and regenerated myelin sheaths. At autopsy the dorsal roots and sural nerve showed endoneurial fibrosis, loss of nerve fibers, and presence of Büngner's bands. The spinal cord showed Wallerian degeneration of the fasciculus gracilis (Goll's tract) with relative preservation of neurons in sensory ganglia. These findings support the contention that there is peripheral nerve degeneration in Minamata patients due to toxic injury from methylmercury.

  9. Absorption, distribution, and elimination of graded oral doses of methylmercury in juvenile white sturgeon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Susie Shih-Yin; Strathe, Anders Bjerring; Fadel, James G; Lin, Pinpin; Liu, Tsung-Yun; Hung, Silas S O

    2012-10-15

    Mercury (Hg) is toxic and is released into the environment from a wide variety of anthropogenic sources. Methylmercury (MeHg), a product of microbial methylation, enables rapid Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the biota. Methylmercury is sequestered and made available to the rest of the biota through the benthic-detrital component leading to the high risk of exposure to benthic fish species, such as white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). In the present study, a combined technique of stomach intubation, dorsal aorta cannulation, and urinary catheterization was utilized to characterize the absorption, distribution, and elimination of Hg in white sturgeon over a 48h exposure. Mercury, as methylmercury chloride, at either 0, 250, 500, or 1000 μg Hg/kg body weight, was orally intubated into white sturgeon, in groups of five. The blood was repeatedly sampled and urine collected from the fish over the 48h post intubation period, and at 48h, the fish were sacrificed for Hg tissue concentration and distribution determinations. The fractional rate of absorption (K), blood Hg concentration (μg/ml), tissue concentration (μg/g dry weight) and distribution (%), and urinary Hg elimination flux (μg/kg/h) are significantly different (pkidney>spleen>gill>heart>liver>brain>white muscle and remaining whole body. At 48h, Hg was found to be preferentially distributed to metabolically active tissues. Digestibility is highest at the lowest MeHg dose. Measurable urinary Hg was observed in the fish treated with the highest MeHg dose, and a significant increase in the elimination flux was observed between 3 and 12h post intubation.

  10. Microsolvation of methylmercury: structures, energies, bonding and NMR constants ((199)Hg, (13)C and (17)O).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flórez, Edison; Maldonado, Alejandro F; Aucar, Gustavo A; David, Jorge; Restrepo, Albeiro

    2016-01-21

    Hartree-Fock (HF) and second order perturbation theory (MP2) calculations within the scalar and full relativistic frames were carried out in order to determine the equilibrium geometries and interaction energies between cationic methylmercury (CH3Hg(+)) and up to three water molecules. A total of nine structures were obtained. Bonding properties were analyzed using the Quantum Theory of Atoms In Molecules (QTAIM). The analyses of the topology of electron densities reveal that all structures exhibit a partially covalent HgO interaction between methylmercury and one water molecule. Consideration of additional water molecules suggests that they solvate the (CH3HgOH2)(+) unit. Nuclear magnetic shielding constants σ((199)Hg), σ((13)C) and σ((17)O), as well as indirect spin-spin coupling constants J((199)Hg-(13)C), J((199)Hg-(17)O) and J((13)C-(17)O), were calculated for each one of the geometries. Thermodynamic stability and the values of NMR constants correlate with the ability of the system to directly coordinate oxygen atoms of water molecules to the mercury atom in methylmercury and with the formation of hydrogen bonds among solvating water molecules. Relativistic effects account for 11% on σ((13)C) and 14% on σ((17)O), which is due to the presence of Hg (heavy atom on light atom, HALA effect), while the relativistic effects on σ((199)Hg) are close to 50% (heavy atom on heavy atom itself, HAHA effect). J-coupling constants are highly influenced by relativity when mercury is involved as in J((199)Hg-(13)C) and J((199)Hg-(17)O). On the other hand, our results show that the values of NMR constants for carbon and oxygen, atoms which are connected through mercury (C-HgO), are highly correlated and are greatly influenced by the presence of water molecules. Water molecules introduce additional electronic effects to the relativistic effects due to the mercury atom.

  11. Final Evaluation Memorandum: Strategies for Resolving Low Dissolved Oxygen and Methylmercury Events in Northern Suisun Marsh

    OpenAIRE

    Siegel, Stuart; Bachand, Philip; Gillenwater, Dan; Chappell, Steve; Wickland, Bruce; Rocha, Orlando; Stephenson, Mark; Heim, Wesley; Enright, Chris; Moyle, Peter; Crain, Patrick; Downing, Bryan; Bergamaschi, Brian

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the project is to improve our understanding about best management practices that can be utilized on diked managed wetlands in Suisun Marsh for reducing the occurrence of low dissolved oxygen (DO) and high methylmercury (MeHg) events associated primarily with fall flood-up practices. Low DO events are of concern because they can lead to undue stress and even mortality of sensitive aquatic organisms. Elevated MeHg levels are of concern because MeHg is a neurotoxin that bio-magnif...

  12. Preventive effects of dextromethorphan on methylmercury-induced glutamate dyshomeostasis and oxidative damage in rat cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shu; Xu, Zhaofa; Liu, Wei; Li, Yuehui; Deng, Yu; Xu, Bin

    2014-06-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a well-known environmental pollutant leading to neurotoxicant associated with aberrant central nervous system (CNS) functions, but its toxic mechanisms have not yet been fully recognized. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MeHg induces neuronal injury via glutamate (Glu) dyshomeostasis and oxidative damage mechanisms and that these effects are attenuated by dextromethorphan (DM), a low-affinity and noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist. Seventy-two rats were randomly divided into four groups of 18 animals in each group: control group, MeHg-treated group (4 and 12 μmol/kg), and DM-pretreated group. After the 4-week treatment, we observed that the administration of MeHg at a dose of 12 μmol/kg significantly increased in total mercury (Hg) levels, disrupted Glu metabolism, overexcited NMDARs, and led to intracellular calcium overload in the cerebral cortex. We also found that MeHg reduced nonenzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants, enhanced neurocyte apoptosis, induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), and caused lipid, protein, and DNA peroxidative damage in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST) and glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) appeared to be inhibited by MeHg exposure. These alterations were significantly prevented by the pretreatment with DM at a dose of 13.5 μmol/kg. In conclusion, these findings strongly implicate that DM has potential to protect the brain from Glu dyshomeostasis and oxidative damage resulting from MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in rat.

  13. Glutathione adduct of methylmercury activates the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway in SH-SY5Y cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Eiko; Abiko, Yumi; Kumagai, Yoshito

    2014-10-20

    Methylmercury (MeHg) reacts readily with GSH, leading to the formation of a MeHg-SG adduct that is excreted into extracellular space through multidrug-resistance-associated protein (MRP), which is regulated by the transcription factor Nrf2. We previously reported that MeHg covalently modifies Keap1 and activates Nrf2 in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. In the study presented here, we examined whether the MeHg-SG adduct could also modulate the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway because the formation of the Hg-S bond is believed to be reversible in the presence of a nucleophile. SH-SY5Y cells exposed to the synthetic ethyl monoester of the MeHg-SG adduct (which is hydrolyzed by cellular esterase(s) to give the MeHg-SG adduct) exhibited a concentration-dependent cellular toxicity that was enhanced by pretreatment with a specific MRP inhibitor. As expected, the MeHg-SG adduct was able to modify cellular proteins in the SH-SY5Y cells and purified Keap1. We also found that this prodrug, as well as MeHg, causes the cellular Keap1 in the cells to be modified, resulting in Nrf2 activation and, thereby, the upregulation of the downstream genes. These results suggest that the MeHg-SG adduct is not electrophilic but that it modifies protein thiols (including Keap1) through S-transmercuration and that rapid Nrf2-dependent excretion of the MeHg-SG adduct is essential in decreasing the cytotoxicity of MeHg.

  14. Developmental validation of the Yfiler(®) Plus PCR Amplification Kit: An enhanced Y-STR multiplex for casework and database applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopinath, Siddhita; Zhong, Chang; Nguyen, Vivian; Ge, Jianye; Lagacé, Robert E; Short, Marc L; Mulero, Julio J

    2016-09-01

    Y-chromosomal loci have proven useful in solving investigations where low levels of male DNA are present in a high female DNA background. An intrinsic limitation of Y-STRs compared with autosomal STRs is a reduced power of discrimination due to a lack of recombination throughout most of the Y-chromosome. Thus, in an effort to increase the power of discrimination we have developed a new 6-dye, 27-plex Y-STR system that includes the 17 loci from the Yfiler(®) and Yfiler(®) Direct kits (DYS19, DYS385a/b, DYS389I/II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, DYS448, DYS456, DYS458, DYS635 (Y GATA C4), and Y GATA H4) plus three highly polymorphic Y-STR loci (DYS460, DYS481, and DYS533), and seven rapidly mutating Y-STR loci (DYF387S1a/b, DYS449, DYS518, DYS570, DYS576, DYS627) which allow for improved discrimination of related individuals. The Yfiler(®) Plus PCR Amplification Kit is a dual application assay designed to amplify DNA from extracted casework and database samples from storage cards and swab lysates via direct amplification. Compared to the Yfiler PCR Amplification Kit, the new multiplex shows increased discrimination of male lineages and also improved performance in inhibited samples, improved balance in male DNA samples mixed with female DNA at ratios >1:1000, and faster time to results. The Yfiler Plus Kit shows very high concordance to the Yfiler Kit but discordance with the PowerPlex(®) Y23 Kit at the DYS481 locus was observed in 2 out of 30 samples tested. This developmental validation work follows the SWGDAM guidelines and demonstrates that the assay is robust and suitable for use on forensic casework and database samples.

  15. Developmental coordination disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001533.htm Developmental coordination disorder To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Developmental coordination disorder is a childhood disorder. It leads to ...

  16. Computational identification of developmental enhancers:conservation and function of transcription factor binding-site clustersin drosophila melanogaster and drosophila psedoobscura

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, Benjamin P.; Pfeiffer, Barret D.; Laverty, Todd R.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Rubin, Gerald M.; Eisen, Michael B.; Celniker, SusanE.

    2004-08-06

    The identification of sequences that control transcription in metazoans is a major goal of genome analysis. In a previous study, we demonstrated that searching for clusters of predicted transcription factor binding sites could discover active regulatory sequences, and identified 37 regions of the Drosophila melanogaster genome with high densities of predicted binding sites for five transcription factors involved in anterior-posterior embryonic patterning. Nine of these clusters overlapped known enhancers. Here, we report the results of in vivo functional analysis of 27 remaining clusters. We generated transgenic flies carrying each cluster attached to a basal promoter and reporter gene, and assayed embryos for reporter gene expression. Six clusters are enhancers of adjacent genes: giant, fushi tarazu, odd-skipped, nubbin, squeeze and pdm2; three drive expression in patterns unrelated to those of neighboring genes; the remaining 18 do not appear to have enhancer activity. We used the Drosophila pseudoobscura genome to compare patterns of evolution in and around the 15 positive and 18 false-positive predictions. Although conservation of primary sequence cannot distinguish true from false positives, conservation of binding-site clustering accurately discriminates functional binding-site clusters from those with no function. We incorporated conservation of binding-site clustering into a new genome-wide enhancer screen, and predict several hundred new regulatory sequences, including 85 adjacent to genes with embryonic patterns. Measuring conservation of sequence features closely linked to function--such as binding-site clustering--makes better use of comparative sequence data than commonly used methods that examine only sequence identity.

  17. The Domain of Developmental Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sroufe, L. Alan; Rutter, Michael

    1984-01-01

    Describes how developmental psychopathology differs from related disciplines, including abnormal psychology, psychiatry, clinical child psychology, and developmental psychology. Points out propositions underlying a developmental perspective and discusses implications for research in developmental psychopathology. (Author/RH)

  18. Developmental trends in adaptive memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otgaar, Henry; Howe, Mark L; Smeets, Tom; Garner, Sarah R

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed that memory is enhanced when information is processed for fitness-related purposes. The main objective of the current experiments was to test developmental trends in the evolutionary foundation of memory using different types of stimuli and paradigms. In Experiment 1, 11-year-olds and adults were presented with neutral, negative, and survival-related DRM word lists. We found a memory benefit for the survival-related words and showed that false memories were more likely to be elicited for the survival-related word lists than for the other lists. Experiment 2 examined developmental trends in the survival processing paradigm using neutral, negative, and survival-related pictures. A survival processing advantage was found for survival-related pictures in adults, for negative pictures in 11/12-year-olds, and for neutral pictures in 7/8-year-olds. In Experiment 3, 11/12-year-olds and adults had to imagine the standard survival scenario or an adapted survival condition (or pleasantness condition) that was designed to reduce the possibilities for elaborative processing. We found superior memory retention for both survival scenarios in children and adults. Collectively, our results evidently show that the survival processing advantage is developmentally invariant and that certain proximate mechanisms (elaboration and distinctiveness) underlie these developmental trends.

  19. Detection of localized methylmercury contamination by use of the mussel adductor muscle in Minamata Bay and Kagoshima Bay, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haraguchi, K; Ando, T; Sato, M; Kawaguchi, C; Tomiyasu, T; Horvat, M; Akagi, H

    2000-10-16

    Based on our previous finding that the concentrations of total mercury in mussel adductor muscle approximated those of methylmercury, we compared concentrations of total mercury in the adductor muscle of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, collected from four sites around Minamata City from 1993 to 1995 and four sites in Kagoshima Bay from 1997 to 1998, to assess the level of localized methylmercury contamination. Though the input of mercury from the chemical plant had stopped by around 1970, concentrations of total mercury in the mussel adductor muscle were higher at two sites (26-121 ng/g, n = 135) near the main fallout of wastewater from the chemical plant in Minamata Bay than at the other sites, i.e. two sites 1-5 km from the former sites in Minamata City (6-28 ng/g, n = 52), and all sites in Kagoshima Bay (2-30 ng/g, n = 287). The localized methylmercury contamination around the chemical plant in Minamata Bay was documented also by our sensitive analysis of mercury concentrations in seawater and sediment samples. The survey of concentrations of total mercury in the mussel adductor muscle seems to be useful for monitoring the methylmercury contamination in coastal areas.

  20. The interactive effects of selenomethionine and methylmercury on their absorption, disposition, and elimination in juvenile white sturgeon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Susie Shih-Yin; Strathe, Anders Bjerring; Fadel, James G.

    2013-01-01

    in juvenile white sturgeon, a benthic fish species at high risk to exposures of both contaminants. Selenium and Hg were provided as L-selenomethionine (SeMet) and methylmercury (MeHg), respectively. Groups of 10 sturgeon were orally intubated with a single dose of either 0 (control), SeMet (500 µg Se/kg body...

  1. Influence of Reservoir Water Level Fluctuations on Sediment Methylmercury Concentrations Downstream of the Historical Black Butte Mercury Mine, OR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury (Hg) is a pollutant of global concern due to its ability to accumulate as methylmercury (MeHg) in biota. Mercury is methylated by anaerobic microorganisms such as sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in water and sediment. Throughout North America, reservoirs tend to have e...

  2. Evaluation of mercury, selenium and methylmercury in fish consumed by Santos Bay communities, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farias, Luciana A.; Favaro, Deborah I.T. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: lufarias@usp.br; Azevedo, Juliana de S.; Braga, Elisabete S. [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil). Inst. Oceanografico. Lab. de Nutrientes, Micronutrientes e Tracos no Mar (LABNUT)]. E-mail: juliana@io.usp.br

    2005-07-01

    In the present study, mercury and selenium levels were evaluated in fish tissues and fish organs in the Santos Bay, Sao Paulo State, southeastern Brazil. Santos Bay waters are polluted by the large industrial complex of Cubatao. The estuary system filters part of this pollution before it reaches the Bay. Mercury and methylmercury determination were performed using Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (CV-AAS) and selenium determination by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA). Methodology validation for the determination of these elements was carried out by means of reference materials analyses. There was no significant correlation between mercury and selenium concentrations (n = 17, (r2 ) R2 = 0.3482, p = 0.1709) in Cathorops spixii (bagre amarelo)- Ariidae family and Centropomus sp. (robalo)- Centropomidae family livers. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations in muscle from carnivorous species: Ariidae Cathorops spixii (bagre amarelo), Scianidae Steliffer rastifer (cangoa) and Scianidae Paralonchurus brasiliensis (maria-luiza) were determined and discussed. Total mercury concentration in Ariidae Catharops spixii livers presented the highest Hg level (7.6 mg kg-1). Although the Santos Bay is less contaminated than the inner section of its estuary system (Cubatao), it presents signs of environmental impact. (author)

  3. Seasonal distribution of total mercury and methylmercury in sediments of the Wujiangdu Reservoir, Guizhou, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury in sediments were determined at the dam of the Wujiangdu Reservoir in different seasons. Total mercury (HgT) levels in the whole sediment profile were 254.2±47.0 ng/g in winter, 254.2±31.6 ng/g in spring, and 256.7±60.8 ng/g in summer, without significant variations in different seasons or at different depths. In contrast, the methylmercury (MeHg) compounds were most abundant at the sediment-water interface and decreased progressively with depth. MeHg contents of the sediments during different seasons are highly dependent on microbial activity, and seem to be higher when Hg (Ⅱ)-methylating microorganisms are active. Thus, MeHg levels tend to rise in the loci where nutrient supplies and biological productivity are favorable. The percentage of HgT that is present as MeHg in the sediments increased gradually from December 2003 to April 2004 and to July 2004.

  4. Linkage between community diversity of sulfate-reducing microorganisms and methylmercury concentration in paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu-Rong; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Zhang, Li-Mei; He, Ji-Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) have been thought to play a key role in mercury (Hg) methylation in anoxic environments. The current study examined the linkage between SRM abundance and diversity and contents of methylmercury (MeHg) in paddy soils collected from a historical Hg mining area in China. Soil profile samples were collected from four sites over a distance gradient downstream the Hg mining operation. Results showed that MeHg content in the soil of each site significantly decreased with the extending distance away from Hg mine. Soil MeHg content was correlated positively with abundance of SRM and the contents of organic matter (OM), NH4(+), SO4(2-), and Hg. The abundances of SRM based on dissimilatory (bi) sulfite reductase (dsrAB) gene at 0-40 cm depths were higher than those at 40-80 cm depth at all sites. The SRM community composition varied in the soils of different sampling sites following terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and phylogenetic analyses, which appeared to be correlated with contents of MeHg, OM, NH4(+), and SO4(2-) through canonical correspondence analysis. The dominant groups of SRM in the soils examined belonged to Deltaproteobacteria and some unknown SRM clusters that could have potential for Hg methylation. These results advance our understanding of the relationship between SRM and methylmercury concentration in paddy soil.

  5. Foodborne exposure to pesticides and methylmercury in the United Arab Emirates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Christopher A; Krometis, Leigh-Anne H; Al-Harthi, Suaad S; Gibson, Jacqueline MacDonald

    2012-03-01

    As part of a comprehensive environmental health strategic planning project initiated by the government of Abu Dhabi, we assessed potential dietary exposure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to methylmercury (in seafood) and pesticides (in fruits and vegetables) above international guideline levels. We present results for the UAE population by age, gender, and body mass index. Our results show very low daily risks of exposure to pesticides in fruits and vegetables at levels exceeding WHO guidelines even under the conservative assumption that no pesticides are removed during washing and food preparation. Thus, exposure to pesticides on fruits and vegetables does not appear to be a major public health concern in the UAE. The chances of exposure to methylmercury in seafood are much higher; our model estimates a mean 1 in 5 daily risk of exceeding the FAO/WHO provisional tolerable weekly intake. However, great caution should be used in interpreting these results, as we analyzed only the risks and not the substantial benefits of fish consumption. In fact, previous studies have demonstrated that exposure to the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish can increase IQ in developing children, and it can substantially decrease the risk in adults of coronary heart disease and stroke. Further research is warranted to compare the risk of Me-Hg exposure from fish to the nutritional benefits of fish consumption in the UAE and to determine appropriate methods to communicate risk and benefit information to the UAE population.

  6. Cognitive performance of children prenatally exposed to "safe" levels of methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandjean, P; Weihe, P; White, R F; Debes, F

    1998-05-01

    Within a cohort of 1022 consecutive singleton births in the Faroe Islands, we assessed prenatal methylmercury exposure from the maternal hair mercury concentration. At approximately 7 years of age, 917 of the children underwent detailed neurobehavioral examination. Little risk is thought to occur as long as the hair mercury concentration in pregnant women is kept below 10-20 microg/g (50-100 nmol/l). A case group of 112 children whose mothers had a hair mercury concentration of 10-20 microg/g was therefore matched to children with exposure below 3 microg/g, using age, sex, time of examination, and the mother's score on Raven's Progressive Matrices as matching criteria. The two groups were almost identical with regard to other factors that might affect neurobehavioral performance in this community. On six neuropsychological test measures, the case group showed mild decrements, relative to controls, especially in the domains of motor function, language, and memory. Subtle effects on brain function therefore seem to be detectable at prenatal methylmercury exposure levels currently considered to be safe.

  7. Effects of early life exposure to methylmercury in Daphnia pulex on standard and reduced food ration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doke, Dzigbodi A.; Hudson, Sherri L.; Dawson, John A.; Gohlke, Julia M.

    2015-01-01

    As a well-known eco-toxicological model organism, Daphnia pulex may also offer advantages in human health research for assessing long-term effects of early life exposures to coupled stressors. Here, we examine consequences of early life exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) under standard and reduced food ration. We exposed Daphnia for 24 h in early life to varying concentrations of methylmercury(II) chloride (0, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 ng/L) and thereafter kept Daphnia on either a standard or a reduced food ration. The data suggests an additive effect of MeHg concentration and food ration on decreasing lifespan, although MeHg concentration does not affect survival linearly. Food ration and MeHg concentration were predictive of reduced reproduction, and there is some evidence of an interaction (p = 0.048). Multi-stressor work in alternative model systems may be useful for prioritizing research, taking into account potential antagonistic, additive or synergistic effects that nutritional status may have on chemical toxicity. PMID:25263226

  8. Comparison of Methylmercury Ecology in Adjacent Coastal Plain Rivers in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, P. M.; Journey, C. A.; Chapelle, F. H.; Lowery, M. A.; Conrads, P. A.

    2010-12-01

    Fish-tissue mercury concentrations (approximately 2 micrograms per gram) in the Edisto River basin of South Carolina are among the highest recorded in the United States. Substantially lower mercury concentrations (approximately 0.2 microgram per gram) are reported in fish from the adjacent Congaree River sub-basin and the Congaree National Park. Concentrations of total mercury were statistically higher in sediments from the Congaree River compared with those in sediments from the Edisto River. No statistically significant differences were observed in concentrations of methylmercury or in the range of net methylation potentials in sediments collected from various Edisto and Congaree hydrologic settings. In both systems, net methylation potentials were an order of magnitude or more lower in stream-channel sediments than in wetland sediments. These results are not consistent with the hypothesis that differences in fish-tissue mercury between the Edisto and Congaree basins reflect fundamental differences in the potential for each system to methylate mercury. The marked differences in net methylation potential observed between the wetland and in-stream settings suggested an alternative hypothesis: differences in the efficiency of methylmercury transport from zones of production (wetlands) to points of entry into the food chain (channels) contribute to the observed differences in fish-tissue mercury concen¬trations between the two river systems. An assessment of the flood hydrodynamics of these two rivers is consistent with the alternative hypothesis.

  9. Methylmercury in water, sediment, and invertebrates in created wetlands of Rouge Park, Toronto, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Kathleen A; Xie, Qun; Mitchell, Carl P J

    2012-12-01

    Thousands of hectares of wetlands are created annually because wetlands provide beneficial ecosystem services. Wetlands are also key sites for production of the bioaccumulative neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg), but little is known about MeHg production in created systems. Here, we studied methylmercury in sediment, water, and invertebrates in created wetlands of various ages. Sediment MeHg reached 8 ng g(-1) in the newest wetland, which was significantly greater than in natural, control wetlands. This trend was mirrored in several invertebrate taxa, whose concentrations reached as high as 1.6 μg g(-1) in the newest wetland, above levels thought to affect reproduction in birds. The MeHg concentrations in created wetland invertebrate taxa generally decreased with increasing wetland age, possibly due to a combination of deeper anoxia and less organic matter accumulation in younger wetlands. A short-term management intervention and/or improved engineering design may be necessary to reduce the mercury-associated risk in newly created wetlands.

  10. Influence of eutrophication on the distribution of total mercury and methylmercury in hydroelectric reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Bo; Feng, X B; Chen, C X; Qiu, G L; Sommar, J; Guo, Y N; Liang, P; Wan, Q

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of mercury (Hg) and the characteristics of its methylation were investigated in Wujiangdu (WJD) and Yinzidu (YZD) reservoirs in Guizhou province, China. The two reservoirs are characterized by high and low levels of primary productivity, respectively. Mercury species in water samples from depth profiles in both reservoirs and from interface water in the WJD were analyzed each season during 2007. The concentrations of total Hg (HgT(unf)) and methylmercury (MeHgT(unf)) in unfiltered water samples from the WJD varied from 3.0 to 18 pmol dm(-3) and from 0.17 to 15 pmol dm(-3), respectively; ranges were 2.0 to 9.5 pmol dm(-3) for HgT(unf) and 0.14 to 2.2 pmol dm(-3) for MeHgT(unf) in the YZD. Elevated methylmercury concentrations in water samples from the bottom water and water-sediment interface demonstrated an active net Hg methylation in the downstream reach of the WJD. There was no discernable Hg methylation occurring in the YZD, nor in the upstream and middle reaches of the WJD. The results suggest that high primary productivity resulting from cage aquaculture activities in the WJD is an important control on Hg methylation in the reservoir, increasing the concentrations of MeHg in water in the Wujiang River basin Southwestern China.

  11. IMEP-115: determination of methylmercury in seafood by elemental mercury analysis: collaborative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Fernando; Calderón, Josep; Gonçalves, Susana; Lourenço, Maria Helena; Robouch, Piotr; Emteborg, Hakan; Conneely, Patrick; Tumba-Tshilumba, Marie-France; de la Calle, Maria Beatriz

    2014-01-01

    A collaborative study IMEP-115 was organized by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (EURL-HM) to validate a method for the determination of methylmercury in seafood. The method was based on a liquid-liquid extraction with an organic solvent and with an aqueous cysteine solution. The final quantitation was done with an elemental mercury analyzer. Fifteen laboratories experienced in elemental mercury analyses, from 10 European countries, took part in the exercise. Five test items were selected to cover the concentration range from 0.013 to 5.12 mg/kg. All test items were reference materials certified for the methylmercury mass fraction: DOLT-4 (dogfish liver), TORT-2 (lobster hepatopancreas), SRM 2974a (mussel), SRM 1566b (oyster), and ERM CE-464 (tuna). Participants also received a bottle of ERM CE-463 (tuna) to test their analytical method before starting the collaborative study. Method validation showed adequate accuracy and acceptable precision for all test items, thus fitting its intended analytical purpose. The repeatability RSD ranged from 3.9 to 12.3%, while the reproducibility RSD ranged from 8.4 to 24.8%.

  12. Mercury and methylmercury stream concentrations in a Coastal Plain watershed: A multi-scale simulation analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knightes, Christopher D.; Golden, Heather E.; Journey, Celeste A.; Davis, Gary M.; Conrads, Paul A.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Brigham, Mark E.; Bradley, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous global environmental toxicant responsible for most US fish advisories. Processes governing mercury concentrations in rivers and streams are not well understood, particularly at multiple spatial scales. We investigate how insights gained from reach-scale mercury data and model simulations can be applied at broader watershed scales using a spatially and temporally explicit watershed hydrology and biogeochemical cycling model, VELMA. We simulate fate and transport using reach-scale (0.1 km2) study data and evaluate applications to multiple watershed scales. Reach-scale VELMA parameterization was applied to two nested sub-watersheds (28 km2 and 25 km2) and the encompassing watershed (79 km2). Results demonstrate that simulated flow and total mercury concentrations compare reasonably to observations at different scales, but simulated methylmercury concentrations are out-of-phase with observations. These findings suggest that intricacies of methylmercury biogeochemical cycling and transport are under-represented in VELMA and underscore the complexity of simulating mercury fate and transport.

  13. Burrowing dragonfly larvae as biosentinels of methylmercury in freshwater food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Roger J; Bailey, Sean W; Northwick, Reid M; Rolfhus, Kristofer R; Sandheinrich, Mark B; Wiener, James G

    2013-08-06

    We assessed the utility of larval burrowing dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera: Gomphidae) as biosentinels of methylmercury (MeHg) contamination. Gomphids were the most abundant family of dragonflies sampled during 2008-2010 from 17 lakes in four national parks of the northwestern Laurentian Great Lakes region. Ten species of burrowing gomphids were sampled; 13 lakes contained 3 or more species, and 2 species of Gomphus co-occurred in 12 lakes. Most of the total Hg (THg) in whole, late-instar larvae was MeHg, with mean percent MeHg exceeding 60% in 16 lakes. Mean MeHg in larvae of a given species varied greatly among lakes, ranging from 4 to 109 ng g(-1) dry weight. Methylmercury levels in larvae, however, were much less variable within a given lake and species. The mean concentration of MeHg in burrowing gomphids was positively correlated with mean MeHg concentration in unfiltered lake water. Mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in multispecies assemblages of Gomphus were also positively correlated with mean THg in coexisting prey fish and game fishes. We recommend-and provide guidance on-the application of burrowing gomphids as biosentinels of MeHg contamination, which can extend the bioassessment of MeHg to fishless fresh waters.

  14. Total Mercury and Methylmercury in Indiana Streams, August 2004-September 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulberg, Amanda L.; Risch, Martin R.

    2008-01-01

    Total mercury and methylmercury were determined by use of low (subnanogram per liter) level analytical methods in 225 representative water samples collected following ultraclean protocols at 25 Indiana monitoring stations in a statewide network, on a seasonal schedule, August 2004-September 2006. The highest unfiltered total mercury concentrations were at six monitoring stations - five that are downstream from urban and industrial wastewater discharges and that have upstream drainage areas more than 1,960 square miles and one that is downstream from active and abandoned mine lands and that has an upstream drainage area of 602 square miles. Total mercury concentrations in unfiltered samples ranged from 0.24 to 26.9 nanograms per liter (ng/L), with a median of 2.35 ng/L. The highest concentrations of total mercury, those in the 90th percentile and above, were more than 9.05 ng/L, and most were in samples collected during winter and spring 2006 during changing streamflow hydrograph conditions. Seasonal medians for unfiltered total mercury were highest during winter and spring. Instantaneous streamflow and turbidity at the time of sample collection also were highest in winter and spring and potentially indicate conditions for the most particulate mercury transport. Samples with the highest total mercury concentrations were from water that had the highest turbidity at the time of sample collection. Unfiltered total mercury concentrations were significantly lower in samples collected at five stations downstream from dams. Values for particulate total mercury and streamflow also were significantly lower at these five stations. Total mercury concentrations equaled or exceeded the 2007 Indiana chronic aquatic criterion of 12 ng/L in 5.8 percent of samples and at 10 monitoring stations. Most of the total mercury in these 13 samples was estimated to be particulate. Most of the samples with mercury concentrations that equaled or exceeded the 12 ng/L criterion were collected

  15. What is developmental dyspraxia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewey, D

    1995-12-01

    The idea of developmental dyspraxia has been discussed in the research literature for almost 100 years. However, there continues to be a lack of consensus regarding both the definition and description of this disorder. This paper presents a neuropsychologically based operational definition of developmental dyspraxia that emphasizes that developmental dyspraxia is a disorder of gesture. Research that has investigated the development of praxis is discussed. Further, different types of gestural disorders displayed by children and different mechanisms that underlie developmental dyspraxia are compared to and contrasted with adult acquired apraxia. The impact of perceptual-motor, language, and cognitive impairments on children's gestural development and the possible associations between these developmental disorders and developmental dyspraxia are also examined. Also, the relationship among limb, orofacial, and verbal dyspraxia is discussed. Finally, problems that exist in the neuropsychological assessment of developmental dyspraxia are discussed and recommendations concerning what should be included in such an assessment are presented.

  16. Overexpression of MsDREB6.2 results in cytokinin-deficient developmental phenotypes and enhances drought tolerance in transgenic apple plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Xiong; Guo, Xiao; Wang, Qi; Wang, Yantao; Zhao, Di; Yao, Liping; Wang, Shuang; Liu, Guojie; Li, Tianhong

    2017-02-01

    Dehydration-responsive element binding factors (DREBs) play important roles in plant growth, development, and stress signaling pathways in model plants. However, little is known about the function of DREBs in apple (Malus × domestica), a widely cultivated crop that is frequently threatened by drought. We isolated a DREB gene from Malus sieversii (Ledeb.) Roem., MsDREB6.2, and investigated its functions using overexpression analysis and chimeric repressor gene-silencing technology (CRES-T). We identified possible target genes of the protein encoded by MsDREB6.2 using electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Overexpression of MsDREB6.2 increased the expression of a key cytokinin (CK) catabolism gene, MdCKX4a, which led to a significant reduction in endogenous CK levels, and caused a decrease in shoot:root ratio in transgenic apple plants. Overexpression of MsDREB6.2 resulted in a decrease in stomatal aperture and density and an increase in root hydraulic conductance (L0 ), and thereby enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic plants. Furthermore, manipulating the level of MsDREB6.2 expression altered the expression of two aquaporin (AQP) genes. The effect of the two AQP genes on L0 was further characterized using the AQP inhibitor HgCl2 . Based on these observations, we conclude that MsDREB6.2 enhances drought tolerance and that its function may be due, at least in part, to its influence on stomatal opening, root growth, and AQP expression. These results may have applications in apple rootstock breeding programs aimed at developing drought-resistant apple varieties.

  17. Intraperitoneal injections as a possible means of generating varied levels of methylmercury in the eggs of birds in field studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2010-05-01

    The ideal study of the effects of methylmercury on the reproductive success of a species of bird would be one in which eggs contained mercury concentrations ranging from controls to very heavily contaminated, all at the same site. Such a study cannot be realized at a Hg-contaminated area or under laboratory conditions but could be achieved by introducing methylmercury into breeding females and allowing them to deposit Hg in their eggs. Female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were intraperitoneally injected with solutions of methylmercury chloride dissolved in corn oil, propylene glycol, dimethyl sulfoxide, mineral oil, Olestra, Crisco, lard, hard paraffin, and a combination of hard and soft paraffin. In some cases, egg laying was delayed, as a result of either the solvent itself (in the case of Olestra, Crisco, and lard) or the highest concentration of methylmercury chloride (500 microg/g) in some of the solvents. Mercury in eggs ranged from a control level (<0.1 microg/g) to approximately 14 microg/g on a wet weight basis, which more than covers the range of concentrations reported in wild bird eggs. Mercury concentrations in a series of eggs from the same female declined mostly as a result of excretion of Hg in prior eggs and not because of the length of time since the injection. Intraperitoneal injections hold promise in field studies in which one would like to study the reproductive effects of a wide range of methylmercury levels in the eggs of a wild bird and under the natural conditions that exist in the field. Copyright (c) 2010 SETAC.

  18. Cardiovascular responses to lead are biphasic, while methylmercury, but not inorganic mercury, monotonically increases blood pressure in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildemann, Tanja M; Mirhosseini, Naghmeh; Siciliano, Steven D; Weber, Lynn P

    2015-02-01

    Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are the major cause of death worldwide. It is well known that a high number of environmental and physiological risk factors contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Although risk factors are additive, increased blood pressure (hypertension) is the greatest risk factor. Over the last two decades, a growing number of epidemiological studies associate environmental exposure to lead or mercury species with hypertension. However, cardiovascular effects beyond blood pressure are rarely studied and thresholds for effect are not yet clear. To explore effects of lead or mercury species on the cardiovascular system, normal male Wistar rats were exposed to a range of doses of lead, inorganic mercury or methylmercury through the drinking water for four weeks. High-resolution ultrasound was used to measure heart and vascular function (carotid artery blood flow) at baseline and at the end of the exposure, while blood pressure was measured directly in the femoral artery at the end of the 4-week exposure. After 4 weeks, blood pressure responses to lead were biphasic. Low lead levels decreased blood pressure, dilated the carotid artery and increased cardiac output. At higher lead doses, rats had increased blood pressure. In contrast, methylmercury-exposed rats had increased blood pressure at all doses despite dilated carotid arteries. Inorganic mercury did not show any significant cardiovascular effects. Based on the current study, the benchmark dose level 10% (BMDL10s) for systolic blood pressure for lead, inorganic mercury and methylmercury are 1.1, 1.3 and 1.0 μg/kg-bw/d, respectively. However, similar total mercury blood levels attributed to inorganic mercury or methylmercury produced strikingly different results with inorganic mercury having no observable effect on the cardiovascular system but methylmercury increasing systolic and pulse pressures. Therefore, adverse cardiovascular effects cannot be

  19. Total Mercury and Methylmercury Response in Water, Sediment, and Biota to Destratification of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdes, Carla; Black, Frank J; Stringham, Blair; Collins, Jeffrey N; Goodman, James R; Saxton, Heidi J; Mansfield, Christopher R; Schmidt, Joshua N; Yang, Shu; Johnson, William P

    2017-05-02

    Measurements of chemical and physical parameters made before and after sealing of culverts in the railroad causeway spanning the Great Salt Lake in late 2013 documented dramatic alterations in the system in response to the elimination of flow between the Great Salt Lake's north and south arms. The flow of denser, more-saline water through the culverts from the north arm (Gunnison Bay) to the south arm (Gilbert Bay) previously drove the perennial stratification of the south arm and the existence of oxic shallow brine and anoxic deep brine layers. Closure of the causeway culverts occurred concurrently with a multiyear drought that resulted in a decrease in the lake elevation and a concomitant increase in top-down erosion of the upper surface of the deep brine layer by wind-forced mixing. The combination of these events resulted in the replacement of the formerly stratified water column in the south arm with one that was vertically homogeneous and oxic. Total mercury concentrations in the deep waters of the south arm decreased by approximately 81% and methylmercury concentrations in deep waters decreased by roughly 86% due to destratification. Methylmercury concentrations decreased by 77% in underlying surficial sediment, whereas there was no change observed in total mercury. The dramatic mercury loss from deep waters and methylmercury loss from underlying sediment in response to causeway sealing provides new understanding of the potential role of the deep brine layer in the accumulation and persistence of methylmercury in the Great Salt Lake. Additional mercury measurements in biota appear to contradict the previously implied connection between elevated methylmercury concentrations in the deep brine layer and elevated mercury in avian species reported prior to causeway sealing.

  20. Mobility and transport of mercury and methylmercury in peat as a function of changes in water table regime and plant functional groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, Kristine M.; Kane, Evan S.; Potvin, Lynette; Lilleskov, Erik A.; Kolka, Randall K.; Mitchell, Carl P. J.

    2017-02-01

    Climate change is likely to significantly affect the hydrology, ecology, and ecosystem function of peatlands, with potentially important but unclear impacts on mercury mobility within and transport from peatlands. Using a full-factorial mesocosm approach, we investigated the potential impacts on mercury mobility of water table regime changes (high and low) and vegetation community shifts (sedge-dominated, Ericaceae-dominated, or unmanipulated control) in peat monoliths at the PEATcosm mesocosm facility in Houghton, Michigan. Lower and more variable water table regimes and the loss of Ericaceae shrubs act significantly and independently to increase both total Hg and methylmercury concentrations in peat pore water and in spring snowmelt runoff. These differences are related to enhanced peat decomposition and internal regeneration of electron acceptors which are more strongly related to water table regime than to plant community changes. Loss of Ericaceae shrubs and an increase in sedge cover may also affect Hg concentrations and mobility via oxygen shuttling and/or the provision of labile root exudates. Altered hydrological regimes and shifting vegetation communities, as a result of global climate change, are likely to enhance Hg transport from peatlands to downstream aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Varying coefficient function models to explore interactions between maternal nutritional status and prenatal methylmercury toxicity in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lynch, Miranda L., E-mail: Miranda_Lynch@urmc.rochester.edu [University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642 (United States); Huang, Li-Shan [University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642 (United States); Cox, Christopher [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (United States); Strain, J.J. [University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Myers, Gary J. [University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642 (United States); Bonham, Maxine P. [University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Shamlaye, Conrad F. [Ministry of Health, Republic of Seychelles (Seychelles); Stokes-Riner, Abbie [University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642 (United States); Wallace, Julie M.W.; Duffy, Emeir M. [University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Clarkson, Thomas W.; Davidson, Philip W. [University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Maternal consumption of fish during the gestational period exposes the fetus to both nutrients, especially the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), believed to be beneficial for fetal brain development, as well as to the neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHg). We recently reported that nutrients present in fish may modify MeHg neurotoxicity. Understanding the apparent interaction of MeHg exposure and nutrients present in fish is complicated by the limitations of modeling methods. In this study we fit varying coefficient function models to data from the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study (SCDNS) cohort to assess the association of dietary nutrients and children's development. This cohort of mother-child pairs in the Republic of Seychelles had fish consumption averaging 9 meals per week. Maternal nutritional status was assessed for five different nutritional components known to be present in fish (n-3 LCPUFA, n-6 LCPUFA, iron status, iodine status, and choline) and associated with children's neurological development. We also included prenatal MeHg exposure (measured in maternal hair). We examined two child neurodevelopmental outcomes (Bayley Scales Infant Development-II (BSID-II) Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI)), each administered at 9 and at 30 months. The varying coefficient models allow the possible interactions between each nutritional component and MeHg to be modeled as a smoothly varying function of MeHg as an effect modifier. Iron, iodine, choline, and n-6 LCPUFA had little or no observable modulation at different MeHg exposures. In contrast the n-3 LCPUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had beneficial effects on the BSID-II PDI that were reduced or absent at higher MeHg exposures. This study presents a useful modeling method that can be brought to bear on questions involving interactions between covariates, and illustrates the continuing importance of viewing fish consumption during pregnancy

  2. Superoxide anion radical (O2(-)) degrades methylmercury to inorganic mercury in human astrocytoma cell line (CCF-STTG1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mailloux, Ryan J; Yumvihoze, Emmanuel; Chan, Hing Man

    2015-09-05

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a global pollutant that is affecting the health of millions of people worldwide. However, the mechanism of MeHg toxicity still remains somewhat elusive and there is no treatment. It has been known for some time that MeHg can be progressively converted to inorganic mercury (iHg) in various tissues including the brain. Recent work has suggested that cleavage of the carbon-metal bond in MeHg in a biological environment is facilitated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the oxyradical species that actually mediates this process has not been identified. Here, we provide evidence that superoxide anion radical (O2(-)) can convert MeHg to iHg. The calculated second-order rate constant for the degradation of 1μM MeHg by O2(-) generated by xanthine/xanthine oxidase was calculated to be 2×10(5)M(-1)s(-1). We were also able to show that this bioconversion can proceed in intact CCF-STTG1 human astrocytoma cells exposed to paraquat (PQ), a O2(-) generating viologen. Notably, exposure of cells to increasing amounts of PQ led to a dose dependent increase in both MeHg and iHg. Indeed, a 24h exposure to 500μM PQ induced a ∼13-fold and ∼18-fold increase in intracellular MeHg and iHg respectively. These effects were inhibited by superoxide dismutase mimetic MnTBAP. In addition, we also observed that a 24h exposure to a biologically relevant concentration of MeHg (1μM) did not induce cell death, oxidative stress, or even changes in cellular O2(-) and H2O2. However, co-exposure to PQ enhanced MeHg toxicity which was associated with a robust increase in cell death and oxidative stress. Collectively our results show that O2(-) can bioconvert MeHg to iHg in vitro and in intact cells exposed to conditions that simulate high intracellular O2(-) production. In addition, we show for the first time that O2(-) mediated degradation of MeHg to iHg enhances the toxicity of MeHg by facilitating an accumulation of both MeHg and iHg in the intracellular

  3. Expression of human oxoguanine glycosylase 1 or formamidopyrimidine glycosylase in human embryonic kidney 293 cells exacerbates methylmercury toxicity in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ondovcik, Stephanie L.; Preston, Thomas J.; McCallum, Gordon P. [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3M2 (Canada); Wells, Peter G., E-mail: pg.wells@utoronto.ca [Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3M2 (Canada); Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8 (Canada)

    2013-08-15

    Exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) acutely at high levels, or via chronic low-level dietary exposure from daily fish consumption, can lead to adverse neurological effects in both the adult and developing conceptus. To determine the impact of variable DNA repair capacity, and the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidatively damaged DNA in the mechanism of toxicity, transgenic human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells that stably express either human oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (hOgg1) or its bacterial homolog, formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (Fpg), which primarily repair the oxidative lesion 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), were used to assess the in vitro effects of MeHg. Western blotting confirmed the expression of hOgg1 or Fpg in both the nuclear and mitochondrial compartments of their respective cell lines. Following acute (1–2 h) incubations with 0–10 μM MeHg, concentration-dependent decreases in clonogenic survival and cell growth accompanied concentration-dependent increases in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, ROS formation, 8-oxodG levels and apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites, consistent with the onset of cytotoxicity. Paradoxically, hOgg1- and Fpg-expressing HEK 293 cells were more sensitive than wild-type cells stably transfected with the empty vector control to MeHg across all cellular and biochemical parameters, exhibiting reduced clonogenic survival and cell growth, and increased LDH release and DNA damage. Accordingly, upregulation of specific components of the base excision repair (BER) pathway may prove deleterious potentially due to the absence of compensatory enhancement of downstream processes to repair toxic intermediary abasic sites. Thus, interindividual variability in DNA repair activity may constitute an important risk factor for environmentally-initiated, oxidatively damaged DNA and its pathological consequences. - Highlights: • hOgg1 and Fpg repair oxidatively damaged DNA. • hOgg1- and Fpg-expressing cells are more

  4. Mercury and methylmercury in water and sediment of the Sacramento River Basin, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, J.

    2001-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (CH3Hg+) concentrations in streambed sediment and water were determined at 27 locations throughout the Sacramento River Basin, CA. Mercury in sediment was elevated at locations downstream of either Hg mining or Au mining activities where Hg was used in the recovery of Au. Methylmercury in sediment was highest (2.84 ng/g) at a location with the greatest wetland land cover, in spite of lower total Hg at that site relative to other river sites. Mercury in unfiltered water was measured at 4 locations on the Sacramento River and at tributaries draining the mining regions, as well as agricultural regions. The highest levels of Hg in unfiltered water (2248 ng/l) were measured at a site downstream of a historic Hg mining area, and the highest levels at all sites were measured in samples collected during high streamflow when the levels of suspended sediment were also elevated. Mercury in unfiltered water exceeded the current federal and state recommended criterion for protection of aquatic life (50 ng/l as total Hg in unfiltered water) only during high streamflow conditions. The highest loading of Hg to the San Francisco Bay system was attributed to sources within the Cache Creek watershed, which are downstream of historic Hg mines, and to an unknown source or sources to the mainstem of the Sacramento River upstream of historic Au mining regions. That unknown source is possibly associated with a volcanic deposit. Methylmercury concentrations also were dependent on season and hydrologic conditions. The highest levels (1.98 ng/l) in the Sacramento River, during the period of study, were measured during a major flood event. The reactivity of Hg in unfiltered water was assessed by measuring the amount available for reaction by a strong reducing agent. Although most Hg was found to be nonreactive, the highest reactivity (7.8% of the total Hg in water) was measured in the sample collected from the same site with high CH3Hg+ in sediment, and during

  5. Wetlands as principal zones of methylmercury production in southern Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, B.D. [Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Department of Biology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, S4S 0A2 (Canada)], E-mail: britt.hall@uregina.ca; Aiken, G.R. [United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, CO 80303 (United States); Krabbenhoft, D.P. [United States Geological Survey, 8505 Research Way, Middleton, WI 53562 (United States); Marvin-DiPasquale, M. [United States Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Swarzenski, C.M. [United States Geological Survey, Suite 120, 3535 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816 (United States)

    2008-07-15

    It is widely recognized that wetlands, especially those rich in organic matter and receiving appreciable atmospheric mercury (Hg) inputs, are important sites of methylmercury (MeHg) production. Extensive wetlands in the southeastern United States have many ecosystem attributes ideal for promoting high MeHg production rates; however, relatively few mercury cycling studies have been conducted in these environments. We conducted a landscape scale study examining Hg cycling in coastal Louisiana (USA) including four field trips conducted between August 2003 and May 2005. Sites were chosen to represent different ecosystem types, including: a large shallow eutrophic estuarine lake (Lake Pontchartrain), three rivers draining into the lake, a cypress-tupelo dominated freshwater swamp, and six emergent marshes ranging from a freshwater marsh dominated by Panicum hemitomon to a Spartina alterniflora dominated salt marsh close to the Gulf of Mexico. We measured MeHg and total Hg (THg) concentrations, and ancillary chemical characteristics, in whole and filtered surface water, and filtered porewater. Overall, MeHg concentrations were greatest in surface water of freshwater wetlands and lowest in the profundal (non-vegetated) regions of the lake and river mainstems. Concentrations of THg and MeHg in filtered surface water were positively correlated with the highly reactive, aromatic (hydrophobic organic acid) fraction of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). These results suggest that DOC plays an important role in promoting the mobility, transport and bioavailability of inorganic Hg in these environments. Further, elevated porewater concentrations in marine and brackish wetlands suggest coastal wetlands along the Gulf Coast are key sites for MeHg production and may be a principal source of MeHg to foodwebs in the Gulf of Mexico. Examining the relationships among MeHg, THg, and DOC across these multiple landscape types is a first step in evaluating possible links between key zones for

  6. Risk assessment for methylmercury in fish from the Songhua River, China: 30 years after mercury-containing wastewater outfalls were eliminated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Yan, Baixing; Cao, Huicong; Wang, Lixia

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the methylmercury contamination of fish from the Songhua River, China. A total of 328 fish representing various trophic levels were captured from ten reaches of the river and determined for methylmercury by gas chromatography method. Total mercury in fish, water and sediments from three typical reaches were analyzed simultaneously. Methylmercury concentrations in fish from the Second Songhua River and the mainstream of the Songhua River were 0.024 ± 0.016 and 0.015 ± 0.007 mg/kg fresh weight, respectively. The proportion of methylmercury to total mercury ranged from 21.8% to 69.7%, with the mean value of 42.6%. The observed methylmercury concentrations were much lower than the historical values and were generally within the reported literature range, and health hazard assessment showed no health risk from exposure to methylmercury by consuming fish from this river, demonstrating that mercury contamination of the Songhua River has been effectively controlled by nearly 30 years of environmental governance and natural purification.

  7. Evolutionary developmental psychology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-01-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection...

  8. Reproductive and developmental toxicology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gupta, Ramesh C

    2011-01-01

    .... Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology is a comprehensive and authoritative resource providing the latest literature enriched with relevant references describing every aspect of this area of science...

  9. Developmental Prosopagnosia: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Kress

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews the published literature on developmental prosopagnosia, a condition in which the ability to recognize other persons by facial information alone has never been acquired. Due to the very low incidence of this syndrome, case reports are sparse. We review the available data and suggest assessment strategies for patients suffering from developmental prosopagnosia. It is suggested that developmental prosopagnosia is not a unitary condition but rather consists of different subforms that can be dissociated on the grounds of functional impairments. On the basis of the available evidence, hypotheses about the aetiology of developmental prosopagnosia as well as about the selectivity of deficits related to face recognition are discussed.

  10. Low-Dose Methylmercury-Induced Genes Regulate Mitochondrial Biogenesis via miR-25 in Immortalized Human Embryonic Neural Progenitor Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinjin Wang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria are essential organelles and important targets for environmental pollutants. The detection of mitochondrial biogenesis and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS and p53 levels following low-dose methylmercury (MeHg exposure could expand our understanding of underlying mechanisms. Here, the sensitivity of immortalized human neural progenitor cells (ihNPCs upon exposure to MeHg was investigated. We found that MeHg altered cell viability and the number of 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU-positive cells. We also observed that low-dose MeHg exposure increased the mRNA expression of cell cycle regulators. We observed that MeHg induced ROS production in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, mRNA levels of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gammacoactivator-1α (PGC-1α, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM and p53-controlled ribonucleotide reductase (p53R2 were significantly elevated, which were correlated with the increase of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA copy number at a concentration as low as 10 nM. Moreover, we examined the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs known as regulatory miRNAs of p53 (i.e., miR-30d, miR-1285, miR-25. We found that the expression of these miRNAs was significantly downregulated upon MeHg treatment. Furthermore, the overexpression of miR-25 resulted in significantly reducted p53 protein levels and decreased mRNA expression of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis regulation. Taken together, these results demonstrated that MeHg could induce developmental neurotoxicity in ihNPCs through altering mitochondrial functions and the expression of miRNA.

  11. Total mercury and methylmercury in high altitude surface snow from the French Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusczak, Nicolas; Larose, Catherine; Dommergue, Aurélien; Yumvihoze, Emmanuel; Lean, David; Nedjai, Rachid; Ferrari, Christophe

    2011-09-01

    Surface snow samples were collected weekly from the 31st of December 2008 to the 21st of June 2009 from Lake Bramant in the French Alps. Total mercury (THg), total dissolved mercury (THgD), methylmercury (MeHg) and particle distributions in surface snow were analyzed. Results showed that THg concentrations, MeHg concentrations and particle load increased with snow surface temperature, which is an indicator of rising temperatures as the season progresses. Significant correlations between MeHg and snow surface temperature and MeHg and total particles greater than 10 μm were observed. This suggests that the MeHg found in the snow originates from atmospheric deposition processes rather than in situ snowpack sources. This study suggests that an important post-winter atmospheric deposition of MeHg and THg occurs on summital zones of the French Alps and it is likely that this contamination originates from the surrounding valleys.

  12. Methylmercury cycling, bioaccumulation, and export from agricultural and non-agricultural wetlands in the Yolo Bypass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Fleck, Jacob; Alpers, Charles N.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Stricker, Craig; Stephenson, Mark; Feliz, David; Gill, Gary; Bachand, Philip; Brice, Ann; Kulakow, Robin

    2010-01-01

    This 18-month field study addresses the seasonal and spatial patterns and processes controlling methylmercury (MeHg) production, bioaccumulation, and export from natural and agricultural wetlands of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA). The data were collected in conjuntion with a Proposition 40 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board in support of the development of Best Management Practices (BMP's) for reducing MeHg loading from agricultural lands in the wetland-dominated Yolo Bypass to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The four managemenr-based questions addressed in this study were: 1. Is there a different among agricultural and managfed wetland types in terms of Me Hg dynamic (production, degradation, bioaccumulation, or export)?

  13. Mercury residues in tissues of dead and surviving birds fed methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, M.T.; Stickel, W.H.; Christensen, R.E.

    1979-01-01

    Concentrations of mercury in passerine birds fed diets containing 40 ppm methylmercury were similar in tissues of birds that died from mercury poisoning and in those that were sacrificed after half the group had died. Residues were higher in tissues of birds that died, but the differences were not statistically significant. Residue levels were highest in livers, followed by kidneys and brains. Levels of mercury were similar in breast muscle, carcass, and whole body. Mercury levels were highest in redwinged blackbirds, lowest in grackles, and intermediate in starlings and cowbirds. Mercury concentrations exceeded 20 ppm in all tissues of all species and were similar to levels reported in wild birds known to have died of mercury poisoning.

  14. PILOT STUDY: CCQM-P39.1: As, Hg, Pb, Se and methylmercury in salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aregbe, Y.; Taylor, P. D. P.

    2006-01-01

    CCQM-P39.1 was organized as a follow-up pilot study in parallel to the key comparison CCQM-K43 after the previous pilot study on tuna fish. CCQM-P39.1 was an activity of the Inorganic Analysis Working Group (IAWG) of CCQM and was coordinated by the Joint Research Centre-Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM, Geel, Belgium) of the European Commission (EC). In CCQM-P39.1 the amount contents of As, Hg, Pb, Se and methylmercury (CH3Hg) in salmon (muscle and skin) were the measurands under investigation. Besides the national metrology institutes (NMIs) also non-IAWG members, expert laboratories for mercury and methylmercury measurements, were invited to participate in this pilot study. Results were reported by six IAWG members and six expert laboratories. During the CCQM-IAWG autumn meeting in Berlin, October 2005, it was agreed that in CCQM-K43 the KCRV is calculated as the mixture model median (MM-median) of all reported results. Therefore in CCQM-P39.1 the reported results are presented graphically with the KCRV from CCQM-K43. The reported results of the IAWG members fall within a range of +/-4% for arsenic and lead relative to the CCQM-K43 KCRV. For mercury, the spread was +/-2%, but one IAWG member reported a very large uncertainty on the measurement result. For selenium the spread of IAGW members is +/-2% deviation from the CCQM-K43 KCRV. Including the reported results from the invited expert laboratories, the spread of results increased for arsenic, lead and mercury to +/-8%. The reported results including the experts fall within a range of +/-20% for selenium and +/-30% for methylmercury. The methods applied were isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) using sector field or quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), external calibration or standard addition using ICP-MS, atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS), atomic emission detection (AED) and electron capture detection (ECD

  15. Acute toxic responses of the freshwater planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, to methylmercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Best, J.B.; Morita, M.; Ragin, J.; Best, J. Jr.

    1981-07-01

    Toxic responses of planaria to various aquatic habitat concentrations of methylmercury chloride (MMC) were investigated. One hundred percent lethality occurred within 5 h in 2 ppM MMC, 24 h in 1 ppM MMC, and 5 days in 0.5 ppM MMC. No deaths occurred in 0.2 ppM MMC over a 10 day period, however, non-lethal toxic responses were observed. Varying degrees of head resorption, progressing caudally from the snout were observed. With continuing exposure, partial head regeneration and recovery toward more normal appearance occurred by 10 days. Teratogenic effects were observed in surgical decapitation experiments. Head regeneration was retarded in 0.1 and 0.2 ppM MMC. Malformations, visible lesions, or gross behavioral abnormalities were produced by 2 week exposure of planaria to concentrations of 20 ppB MMC or lower. (RJC)

  16. Spatial and temporal distribution of mercury and methylmercury in bivalves from the French coastline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briant, N; Chouvelon, T; Martinez, L; Brach-Papa, C; Chiffoleau, J F; Savoye, N; Sonke, J; Knoery, J

    2017-01-30

    Marine mercury (Hg) concentrations have been monitored in the French coastline for the last half a century using bivalves. The analyses presented in this study concerned 192 samples of bivalves (mussels: Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis and oysters: Crassostrea gigas and Isognomon alatus) from 77 sampling stations along the French coast and in the French Antilles sea. The goals of this study were to assess MeHg levels in various common bivalves from French coastline, and to identify possible geographic, taxonomic or temporal variations of concentrations. We show that the evolution of methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations covary with total mercury (HgT) concentrations. Moreover, in most of the study sites, HgT concentrations have not decreased since 1987, despite regulations to decrease or ban mercury used for anthropic activities.

  17. Accumulation of total mercury and methylmercury in rice plants collected from different mining areas in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Mei; Li, Bing; Shao, Jun-juan; Wang, Thanh; He, Bin; Shi, Jian-bo; Ye, Zhi-hong; Jiang, Gui-bin

    2014-01-01

    A total of 155 rice plants were collected from ten mining areas in three provinces of China (Hunan, Guizhou and Guangdong), where most of mercury (Hg) mining takes place in China. During the harvest season, whole rice plants were sampled and divided into root, stalk & leaf, husk and seed (brown rice), together with soil from root zone. Although the degree of Hg contamination varied significantly among different mining areas, rice seed showed the highest ability for methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation. Both concentrations of total mercury (THg) and MeHg in rice plants were significantly correlated with Hg levels in soil, indicating soil is still an important source for both inorganic mercury (IHg) and MeHg in rice plants. The obvious discrepancy between the distribution patterns of THg and MeHg reflected different pathways of IHg and MeHg accumulation. Water soluble Hg may play more important role in MeHg accumulation in rice plants.

  18. Lead, Manganese, and Methylmercury as Risk Factors for Neurobehavioral Impairment in Advanced Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard Weiss

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Contamination of the environment by metals is recognized as a threat to health. One of their targets is the brain, and the adverse functional effects they induce are reflected by neurobehavioral assessments. Lead, manganese, and methylmercury are the metal contaminants linked most comprehensively to such disorders. Because many of these adverse effects can appear later in life, clues to the role of metals as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders should be sought in the exposure histories of aging populations. A review of the available literature offers evidence that all three metals can produce, in advanced age, manifestations of neurobehavioral dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative disease. Among the critical unresolved questions is timing; that is, during which periods of the lifespan, including early development, do environmental exposures lay the foundations for their ultimate effects?

  19. Methylmercury in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea: From Microbial Sources to Seafood Consumers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark E. Hines

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic Sea is one of the most mercury-polluted areas in the Mediterranean and in the world due to the past mining activity in the Idrija region (western Slovenia. The link between microbial production of toxic methylmercury (MeHg, and its bioaccumulation and biomagnification in marine food webs of the gulf is at present rather poorly characterized but is critical to understanding the links between sources and higher trophic levels, such as fish, that are ultimately vectors of human and wildlife exposure. This overview explores three major topics: (i the microbial biogeochemical cycling of Hg in the area, (ii the trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of MeHg in pelagic and benthic marine food webs, and (iii human exposure to Hg through marine fish and shellfish consumption. These are important goals since the Gulf of Trieste is an area of great economical importance.

  20. Toxic effects of dietary methylmercury on immune system development in nestling American kestrels (Falco sparverius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallacara, Dawn M; Halbrook, Richard S; French, John B

    2011-06-01

    This study evaluated the effects of dietary methylmercury (MeHg) on immune system development in captive-reared nestling American kestrels (Falco sparverius) to determine whether T cell-mediated and antibody-mediated adaptive immunity are targets for MeHg toxicity at environmentally relevant concentrations. Nestlings received various diets, including 0 (control), 0.6, and 3.9 µg/g (dry wt) MeHg for up to 18 d posthatch. Immunotoxicity endpoints included cell-mediated immunity (CMI) using the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin-swelling assay and antibody-mediated immune response via the sheep red blood cell (SRBC) hemagglutination assay. T cell- and B cell-dependent histological parameters in the spleen, thymus, and bursa of Fabricius were correlated with the functional assays. For nestlings in the 0.6 and 3.9 µg/g MeHg groups, CMI was suppressed by 73 and 62%, respectively, at 11 d of age. Results of this functional assay were correlated with T cell-dependent components of the spleen and thymus. Dose-dependent lymphoid depletion in spleen tissue directly affected the proliferation of T-lymphocyte populations, insofar as lower stimulation indexes from the PHA assay occurred in nestlings with lower proportions of splenic white pulp and higher THg concentrations. Nestlings in the 3.9 µg/g group also exhibited lymphoid depletion and a lack of macrophage activity in the thymus. Methylmercury did not have a noticeable effect on antibody-mediated immune function or B cell-dependent histological correlates. We conclude that T cell-mediated immunosuppression is the primary target of MeHg toward adaptive immunity in developing kestrels. This study provides evidence that environmentally relevant concentrations of MeHg may compromise immunocompetence in a developing terrestrial predator and raises concern regarding the long-term health effects of kestrels that were exposed to dietary MeHg during early avian development.

  1. Toxic effects of dietary methylmercury on immune system development in nestling American kestrels (Falco sparverius)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallacara, Dawn M.; Halbrook, Richard S.; French, John B.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of dietary methylmercury (MeHg) on immune system development in captive-reared nestling American kestrels (Falco sparverius) to determine whether T cell–mediated and antibody-mediated adaptive immunity are targets for MeHg toxicity at environmentally relevant concentrations. Nestlings received various diets, including 0 (control), 0.6, and 3.9 μg/g (dry wt) MeHg for up to 18 d posthatch. Immunotoxicity endpoints included cell-mediated immunity (CMI) using the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin-swelling assay and antibody-mediated immune response via the sheep red blood cell (SRBC) hemagglutination assay. T cell– and B cell–dependent histological parameters in the spleen, thymus, and bursa of Fabricius were correlated with the functional assays. For nestlings in the 0.6 and 3.9 μg/g MeHg groups, CMI was suppressed by 73 and 62%, respectively, at 11 d of age. Results of this functional assay were correlated with T cell–dependent components of the spleen and thymus. Dose-dependent lymphoid depletion in spleen tissue directly affected the proliferation of T-lymphocyte populations, insofar as lower stimulation indexes from the PHA assay occurred in nestlings with lower proportions of splenic white pulp and higher THg concentrations. Nestlings in the 3.9 μg/g group also exhibited lymphoid depletion and a lack of macrophage activity in the thymus. Methylmercury did not have a noticeable effect on antibody-mediated immune function or B cell–dependent histological correlates. We conclude that T cell–mediated immunosuppression is the primary target of MeHg toward adaptive immunity in developing kestrels. This study provides evidence that environmentally relevant concentrations of MeHg may compromise immunocompetence in a developing terrestrial predator and raises concern regarding the long-term health effects of kestrels that were exposed to dietary MeHg during early avian development.

  2. Accumulation, subcellular distribution and toxicity of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in marine phytoplankton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu Yun [Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong); Wang Wenxiong, E-mail: wwang@ust.hk [Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2011-10-15

    We examined the accumulation, subcellular distribution, and toxicity of Hg(II) and MeHg in three marine phytoplankton (the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, the green alga Chlorella autotrophica, and the flagellate Isochrysis galbana). For MeHg, the inter-species toxic difference could be best interpreted by the total cellular or intracellular accumulation. For Hg(II), both I. galbana and T. pseudonana exhibited similar sensitivity, but they each accumulated a different level of Hg(II). A higher percentage of Hg(II) was bound to the cellular debris fraction in T. pseudonana than in I. galbana, implying that the cellular debris may play an important role in Hg(II) detoxification. Furthermore, heat-stable proteins were a major binding pool for MeHg, while the cellular debris was an important binding pool for Hg(II). Elucidating the different subcellular fates of Hg(II) and MeHg may help us understand their toxicity in marine phytoplankton at the bottom of aquatic food chains. - Highlights: > The inter-species toxic difference of methylmercury in marine phytoplankton can be explained by its total cellular or intracellular accumulation. > The inter-species toxic difference of inorganic mercury in marine phytoplankton can be explained by its subcellular distribution. > Heat-stable protein was a major binding pool for MeHg, while the cellular debris was an important binding pool for Hg(II). - The inter-species difference in methylmercury and inorganic mercury toxicity in phytoplankton can be explained by cellular accumulation and subcellular distribution.

  3. Educating Pediatric Residents about Developmental and Social-Emotional Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Sarah C.; Smith, Peter J.; Chien, Alyna T.; Berry, Anita D.; Msall, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC) is a formal didactic curriculum based on Healthy Steps materials that is designed to improve practicing pediatricians' knowledge and confidence in developmental screening within the medical home. We modified the EDOPC program to provide a formal curriculum to pediatric residents serving…

  4. Genetics and Developmental Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomin, Robert

    2004-01-01

    One of the major changes in developmental psychology during the past 50 years has been the acceptance of the important role of nature (genetics) as well as nurture (environment). Past research consisting of twin and adoption studies has shown that genetic influence is substantial for most domains of developmental psychology. Present research…

  5. Genetics and Developmental Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomin, Robert

    2004-01-01

    One of the major changes in developmental psychology during the past 50 years has been the acceptance of the important role of nature (genetics) as well as nurture (environment). Past research consisting of twin and adoption studies has shown that genetic influence is substantial for most domains of developmental psychology. Present research…

  6. Methylmercury, an environmental electrophile capable of activation and disruption of the Akt/CREB/Bcl-2 signal transduction pathway in SH-SY5Y cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unoki, Takamitsu; Abiko, Yumi; Toyama, Takashi; Uehara, Takashi; Tsuboi, Koji; Nishida, Motohiro; Kaji, Toshiyuki; Kumagai, Yoshito

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) modifies cellular proteins via their thiol groups in a process referred to as “S-mercuration”, potentially resulting in modulation of the cellular signal transduction pathway. We examined whether low-dose MeHg could affect Akt signaling involved in cell survival. Exposure of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells of up to 2 μM MeHg phosphorylated Akt and its downstream signal molecule CREB, presumably due to inactivation of PTEN through S-mercuration. As a result, the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was up-regulated by MeHg. The activation of Akt/CREB/Bcl-2 signaling mediated by MeHg was, at least in part, linked to cellular defence because either pretreatment with wortmannin to block PI3K/Akt signaling or knockdown of Bcl-2 enhanced MeHg-mediated cytotoxicity. In contrast, increasing concentrations of MeHg disrupted Akt/CREB/Bcl-2 signaling. This phenomenon was attributed to S-mercuration of CREB through Cys286 rather than Akt. These results suggest that although MeHg is an apoptosis-inducing toxicant, this environmental electrophile is able to activate the cell survival signal transduction pathway at lower concentrations prior to apoptotic cell death. PMID:27357941

  7. Variation in terrestrial and aquatic sources of methylmercury in stream predators as revealed by stable mercury isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsui, Martin Tsz-Ki; Blum, Joel D; Finlay, Jacques C; Balogh, Steven J; Nollet, Yabing H; Palen, Wendy J; Power, Mary E

    2014-09-02

    Mercury (Hg) is widely distributed in the environment, and its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg), can extensively bioaccumulate and biomagnify in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Concentrations of MeHg in organisms are highly variable, and the sources in natural food webs are often not well understood. This study examined stable isotope ratios of MeHg (mass-dependent fractionation, as δ(202)HgMeHg; and mass-independent fractionation, as Δ(199)HgMeHg) in benthic invertebrates, juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and water striders (Gerris remigis) along a stream productivity gradient, as well as carnivorous terrestrial invertebrates, in a forested watershed at the headwater of South Fork Eel River in northern California. Throughout the sampling sites, δ(202)HgMeHg (after correction due to the effect of MeHg photodegradation) was significantly different between benthic (median = -1.40‰; range, -2.34 to -0.78‰; total number of samples = 29) and terrestrial invertebrates (median = +0.51‰; range, -0.37 to +1.40‰; total number of samples = 9), but no major difference between these two groups was found for Δ(199)HgMeHg. Steelhead trout (52 individual fishes) have MeHg of predominantly aquatic origins, with a few exceptions at the upstream locations (e.g., 1 fish collected in a tributary had a purely terrestrial MeHg source and 4 fishes had mixed aquatic and terrestrial MeHg sources). Water striders (seven pooled samples) derive MeHg largely from terrestrial sources throughout headwater sections. These data suggest that direct terrestrial subsidy (e.g., terrestrial invertebrates falling into water) can be important for some stream predators in headwater streams and could represent an important means of transfer of terrestrially derived MeHg (e.g., in situ methylation within forests, atmospheric sources) to aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, these findings show that terrestrial subsidies can enhance MeHg bioaccumulation of consumers in headwater

  8. Epidemiological studies of neurological signs and symptoms and blood pressure in populations near the industrial methylmercury contamination at Minamata, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide

    2016-07-03

    Severe methylmercury exposure occurred in Minamata, Japan. Only a limited number of epidemiological studies related to that exposure have been carried out. The evidence that methylmercury is cardiotoxic is very limited, and these studies provide only minimal support for that hypothesis. We therefore analyzed the data both from an investigation in Minamata and neighboring communities in 1971 and an investigation in 1974 in another area simultaneously. We included a total of 3,751 participants. We examined the association of residential area with neurological signs or blood pressure using logistic regression or multiple linear regression models, adjusting for sex and age. We found that the prevalence of neurological signs and symptoms was elevated in the Minamata area (high-exposure), followed by the Goshonoura area (medium-exposure). Moreover, blood pressure was elevated in residents of the Minamata area.

  9. Methylmercury poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... grain that was treated with this from of mercury. Poisoning from eating fish from water that is contaminated ... into the body. Many of the symptoms of mercury poisoning are similar to symptoms of cerebral palsy . In ...

  10. Temporal modulation visual fields, normal aging, Parkinson's disease and methyl-mercury in the James Bay Cree: a feasibility study

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    We assessed temporal modulation visual fields (TMFs) for 91 observers including controls, Parkinson patients and members of the James Bay Cree community of Northern Québec suspected of being chronically exposed to relatively low levels of methyl-mercury. The main goal was to establish the feasibility of using such procedures to rapidly evaluate visual function in a large field study with the James Bay Cree community. The results show clear normal aging effects on TMFs and the pattern of loss ...

  11. Comparison of Methylmercury Production and Accumulation in Sediments of the Congaree and Edisto River Basins, South Carolina, 2004-06

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Paul M.; Chapelle, Francis H.; Journey, Celeste

    2009-01-01

    Fish-tissue mercury concentrations (approximately 2 micrograms per gram) in the Edisto River basin of South Carolina are among the highest recorded in the United States. Substantially lower mercury concentrations (approximately 0.2 microgram per gram) are reported in fish from the adjacent (about 30 kilometer) Congaree River basin and the Congaree National Park. In contrast, concentrations of total mercury were statistically higher in sediments from the Congaree River compared with those in sediments from the Edisto River. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference was observed in concentrations of methylmercury or net methylation potential in sediments collected from various Edisto and Congaree hydrologic settings. In both systems, the net methylation potential was low (0-0.17 nanogram per gram per day) for in-stream sediments exposed to continuously flowing water but substantially higher (about 1.8 nanograms per gram per day) in wetland sediments exposed to standing water. These results are not consistent with the hypothesis that differences in fish-tissue mercury between the Edisto and Congaree basins reflect fundamental differences in the potential for each system to methylate mercury. Rather, the significantly higher ratios of methylmercury to total mercury observed in the Edisto system suggest that the net accumulation and(or) preservation of methylmercury are greater in the Edisto system. The marked differences in net methylation potential observed between the wetland and in-stream settings suggest the hypothesis that methylmercury transport from zones of production (wetlands) to points of entry into the food chain (channels) may contribute to the observed differences in fish-tissue mercury concentrations between the two river systems.

  12. Public health benefits of hair-mercury analysis and dietary advice in lowering methylmercury exposure in pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Line E; Jørgensen, Jan S; Nielsen, Flemming; Grandjean, Philippe

    2017-06-01

    To evaluate whether a public health intervention using focused dietary advice combined with a hair-mercury analysis can lower neurotoxic methylmercury exposure among pregnant women without decreasing their overall intake of seafood. A total of 146 pregnant women were consecutively recruited from the antenatal clinic at a Danish university hospital at their initial ultrasound scan. Dietary advice was provided on avoiding methylmercury exposure from large predatory fish and a hair sample from each participant was analysed for mercury, with the results being communicated shortly thereafter to the women. A dietary questionnaire was filled in. Follow-up three months later included a dietary questionnaire and a repeat hair-mercury analysis. In the follow-up group, 22% of the women had hair-mercury concentrations above a safe limit of 0.58 µg/g at enrolment, decreasing to 8% three months later. Average hair-mercury concentrations decreased by 21%. However, the total seafood intake remained at the same level after three months. Increased exposure to methylmercury among pregnant women is an important public health concern in Denmark. The observed lowering of hair-mercury concentrations associated with dietary advice corresponds to a substantial public health benefit that probably makes such an intervention highly profitable.

  13. The impact of methylmercury on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-induced transcriptomic responses in dolphin skin cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Blake C; Gattoni-Celli, Sebastiano; Kindy, Mark S

    2010-01-01

    The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin has been the focus of much attention owing to the considerable impact of environmental stress on its health and the associated implications for human health. Here, we used skin cells from the dolphin to investigate the protective role of the vitamin D pathway against environmental stressors. We previously reported that dolphin skin cells respond to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), the bioactive metabolite of vitamin D3, by upregulation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and expression of several genes. Methylmercury is a highly bioaccumulative environmental stressor of relevance to the dolphin. We currently report that in dolphin cells sublethal concentrations of methylmercury compromise the ability of 1,25D3 to upregulate VDR, to transactivate a vitamin D-sensitive promoter, and to express specific target genes. These results help elucidate the effects of vitamin D and methylmercury on innate immunity in dolphin skin and potentially in human skin as well, considering similarities in the vitamin D pathway between the two species.

  14. Varying coefficient function models to explore interactions between maternal nutritional status and prenatal methylmercury toxicity in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Miranda L; Huang, Li-Shan; Cox, Christopher; Strain, J J; Myers, Gary J; Bonham, Maxine P; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Stokes-Riner, Abbie; Wallace, Julie M W; Duffy, Emeir M; Clarkson, Thomas W; Davidson, Philip W

    2011-01-01

    Maternal consumption of fish during the gestational period exposes the fetus to both nutrients, especially the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), believed to be beneficial for fetal brain development, as well as to the neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHg). We recently reported that nutrients present in fish may modify MeHg neurotoxicity. Understanding the apparent interaction of MeHg exposure and nutrients present in fish is complicated by the limitations of modeling methods. In this study we fit varying coefficient function models to data from the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study (SCDNS) cohort to assess the association of dietary nutrients and children's development. This cohort of mother-child pairs in the Republic of Seychelles had fish consumption averaging 9 meals per week. Maternal nutritional status was assessed for five different nutritional components known to be present in fish (n-3 LCPUFA, n-6 LCPUFA, iron status, iodine status, and choline) and associated with children's neurological development. We also included prenatal MeHg exposure (measured in maternal hair). We examined two child neurodevelopmental outcomes (Bayley Scales Infant Development-II (BSID-II) Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI)), each administered at 9 and at 30 months. The varying coefficient models allow the possible interactions between each nutritional component and MeHg to be modeled as a smoothly varying function of MeHg as an effect modifier. Iron, iodine, choline, and n-6 LCPUFA had little or no observable modulation at different MeHg exposures. In contrast the n-3 LCPUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had beneficial effects on the BSID-II PDI that were reduced or absent at higher MeHg exposures. This study presents a useful modeling method that can be brought to bear on questions involving interactions between covariates, and illustrates the continuing importance of viewing fish consumption during pregnancy as a case

  15. Life Span Developmental Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Eryilmaz

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The Life Span Developmental Approach examines development of individuals which occurs from birth to death. Life span developmental approach is a multi-disciplinary approach related with disciplines like psychology, psychiatry, sociology, anthropology and geriatrics that indicates the fact that development is not completed in adulthood, it continues during the life course. Development is a complex process that consists of dying and death. This approach carefully investigates the development of individuals with respect to developmental stages. This developmental approach suggests that scientific disciplines should not explain developmental facts only with age changes. Along with aging, cognitive, biological, and socioemotional development throughout life should also be considered to provide a reasonable and acceptable context, guideposts, and reasonable expectations for the person. There are three important subjects whom life span developmental approach deals with. These are nature vs nurture, continuity vs discontinuity, and change vs stability. Researchers using life span developmental approach gather and produce knowledge on these three most important domains of individual development with their unique scientific methodology.

  16. Microbial Oxidation of Hg(0) - Its Effect on Hg Stable Isotope Fractionation and Methylmercury Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yee, Nathan [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Barkay, Tamar [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Reinfelder, John [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States)

    2016-06-28

    Mercury (Hg) associated with mixed waste generated by nuclear weapons manufacturing has contaminated vast areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) has been formed from the inorganic Hg wastes discharged into headwaters of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC). Thus, understanding the processes and mechanisms that lead to Hg methylation along the flow path of EFPC is critical to predicting the impacts of the contamination and the design of remedial action at the ORR. In part I of our project, we investigated Hg(0) oxidation and methylation by anaerobic bacteria. We discovered that the anaerobic bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 can oxidize elemental mercury [Hg(0)]. When provided with dissolved elemental mercury, D. desulfuricans ND132 converts Hg(0) to Hg(II) and neurotoxic methylmercury [MeHg]. We also demonstrated that diverse species of subsurface bacteria oxidizes dissolved elemental mercury under anoxic conditions. The obligate anaerobic bacterium Geothrix fermentans H5, and the facultative anaerobic bacteria Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and Cupriavidus metallidurans AE104 can oxidize Hg(0) to Hg(II) under anaerobic conditions. In part II of our project, we established anaerobic enrichment cultures and obtained new bacterial strains from the DOE Oak Ridge site. We isolated three new bacterial strains from subsurface sediments collected from Oak Ridge. These isolates are Bradyrhizobium sp. strain FRC01, Clostridium sp. strain FGH, and a novel Negativicutes strain RU4. Strain RU4 is a completely new genus and species of bacteria. We also demonstrated that syntrophic interactions between fermentative bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria in Oak Ridge saprolite mediate iron reduction via multiple mechanisms. Finally, we tested the impact of Hg on denitrification in nitrate reducing enrichment cultures derived from subsurface sediments from the Oak Ridge site, where nitrate is a major contaminant. We showed that there is an inverse

  17. Microbial Oxidation of Hg(0) - Its Effect on Hg Stable Isotope Fractionation and Methylmercury Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yee, Nathan [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Barkay, Tamar [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Reinfelder, John [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States)

    2016-06-28

    Mercury (Hg) associated with mixed waste generated by nuclear weapons manufacturing has contaminated vast areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) has been formed from the inorganic Hg wastes discharged into headwaters of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC). Thus, understanding the processes and mechanisms that lead to Hg methylation along the flow path of EFPC is critical to predicting the impacts of the contamination and the design of remedial action at the ORR. In part I of our project, we investigated Hg(0) oxidation and methylation by anaerobic bacteria. We discovered that the anaerobic bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 can oxidize elemental mercury [Hg(0)]. When provided with dissolved elemental mercury, D. desulfuricans ND132 converts Hg(0) to Hg(II) and neurotoxic methylmercury [MeHg]. We also demonstrated that diverse species of subsurface bacteria oxidizes dissolved elemental mercury under anoxic conditions. The obligate anaerobic bacterium Geothrix fermentans H5, and the facultative anaerobic bacteria Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and Cupriavidus metallidurans AE104 can oxidize Hg(0) to Hg(II) under anaerobic conditions. In part II of our project, we established anaerobic enrichment cultures and obtained new bacterial strains from the DOE Oak Ridge site. We isolated three new bacterial strains from subsurface sediments collected from Oak Ridge. These isolates are Bradyrhizobium sp. strain FRC01, Clostridium sp. strain FGH, and a novel Negativicutes strain RU4. Strain RU4 is a completely new genus and species of bacteria. We also demonstrated that syntrophic interactions between fermentative bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria in Oak Ridge saprolite mediate iron reduction via multiple mechanisms. Finally, we tested the impact of Hg on denitrification in nitrate reducing enrichment cultures derived from subsurface sediments from the Oak Ridge site, where nitrate is a major contaminant. We showed that there is an inverse

  18. Facts about Developmental Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Sets MADDS Case Definitions Articles & Key Findings Free Materials Multimedia & ... Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during ...

  19. Socialization and Developmental Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccoby, E. E.

    1984-01-01

    Considers the divergent paths taken by research in cognitive development and research in social-emotional development, arguing that studies of socialization need to become more developmental. Discusses meanings of development that may affect the socialization process. (Author/CI)

  20. Comparison of mercury accumulation among the brain, liver, kidney, and the brain regions of rats administered methylmercury in various phases of postnatal development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, M.; Nakano, A. [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto (Japan)

    1995-10-01

    Several animal studies have indicated that a developing organism in its prenatal and early postnatal stage may be at higher risk in toxic metal exposure than in adult stage. Many infants were congenitally affected by methylmercury in the epidemics in Japan and Iraq. The infants reported from Minamata, Japan, had severe cerebral palsy, whereas their mothers had mild or no manifestations of poisoning. Some of the high susceptibility in infants may resulted from the specific features of the methylmercury metabolism in the developing organisms. Prenatal or postnatal development is characterized by functional immaturity of organs, which may affect the mercury (Hg) accumulation among organs. It seems possible that the Hg distribution might, in fact, reflect the toxic effects of methylmercury during a given developing phase. Thus, its distribution deserves closer examination. In our previous study, when a toxic level of methylmercury was administered, the Hg distribution and its effects on body weight gain and neurological disorders were found to be different among the rat postnatal developing phases. In the present study the Hg distribution among organs and brain regions was investigated during the several development phases with a nontoxic level of methylmercury treatment. 24 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  1. Potentiation of Methylmercury-Induced Death in Rat Cerebellar Granular Neurons Occurs by Further Decrease of Total Intracellular GSH with BDNF via TrkB in Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaue, Motoharu; Maki, Takehiro; Kaneko, Takuya; Hemmi, Natsuko; Sekiguchi, Hitomi; Horio, Tomoyo; Kadowaki, Erina; Ozawa, Aisa; Yamamoto, Masako

    2016-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a principal factor for neurogenesis, neurodevelopment and neural survival through a BDNF receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) B, while BDNF can also cause a decrease in the intracellular glutathione (GSH) level. We investigated the exacerbation of methylmercury-induced death of rat cerebellar granular neurons (CGNs) by BDNF in vitro. Since methylmercury can decrease intracellular GSH levels, we hypothesized that a further decrease of the intracellular GSH level is involved in the process of the exacerbation of neuronal cell death. In the present study, we established that in CGN culture, a decrease of the intracellular GSH level was further potentiated with BDNF in the process of the methylmercury-induced neuronal death and also in GSH reducer-induced neuronal death. BDNF treatment promoted the decrease in GSH levels induced by methylmercury and also by L-buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) and diethyl maleate (DEM). The promoting effect of BDNF was observed in a TrkB-vector transformant of the rat neuroblastoma B35 cell line but not in the mock-vector transformant. These results indicate that the exacerbating effect of BDNF on methylmercury-induced neuronal death in cultures of CGNs includes a further decrease of intracellular GSH levels, for which TrkB is essential.

  2. Developmental Idealism in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Arland; Xie, Yu

    2016-10-01

    This paper examines the intersection of developmental idealism with China. It discusses how developmental idealism has been widely disseminated within China and has had enormous effects on public policy and programs, on social institutions, and on the lives of individuals and their families. This dissemination of developmental idealism to China began in the 19(th) century, when China met with several military defeats that led many in the country to question the place of China in the world. By the beginning of the 20(th) century, substantial numbers of Chinese had reacted to the country's defeats by exploring developmental idealism as a route to independence, international respect, and prosperity. Then, with important but brief aberrations, the country began to implement many of the elements of developmental idealism, a movement that became especially important following the assumption of power by the Communist Party of China in 1949. This movement has played a substantial role in politics, in the economy, and in family life. The beliefs and values of developmental idealism have also been directly disseminated to the grassroots in China, where substantial majorities of Chinese citizens have assimilated them. These ideas are both known and endorsed by very large numbers in China today.

  3. Developmental origins of adult diseases and neurotoxicity: epidemiological and experimental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Donald A; Grandjean, Philippe; de Groot, Didima; Paule, Merle G

    2012-08-01

    To date, only a small number of commercial chemicals have been tested and documented as developmental neurotoxicants. Moreover, an increasing number of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies suggest an association between toxicant or drug exposure during the perinatal period and the development of metabolic-related diseases and neurotoxicity later in life. The four speakers at this symposium presented their research results on different neurotoxic chemicals relating to the developmental origins of health and adult disease (DOHaD). Philippe Grandjean presented epidemiological data on children exposed to inorganic mercury and methylmercury, and discussed the behavioral outcome measures as they relate to age and stage of brain development. Donald A. Fox presented data that low-dose human equivalent gestational lead exposure produces late-onset obesity only in male mice that is associated with neurodegeneration. Didima de Groot presented results on prenatal exposure of rats to methylazoxymethanol and discussed the results in light of the etiology of western Pacific amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson-dementia complex. Merle G. Paule addressed the long-term changes in learning, motivation and short-term memory in aged Rhesus monkeys following acute 24 h exposure to ketamine during early development. Overall, these presentations addressed fundamental issues in the emerging areas of lifetime neurotoxicity testing, differential vulnerable periods of exposure, nonmonotonic dose-response effects and neurotoxic risk assessment. The results indicate that developmental neurotoxicity results in permanent changes, thus emphasizing the need to prevent such toxicity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Transgenerational developmental programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiken, Catherine E; Ozanne, Susan E

    2014-01-01

    The concept of developmental programming suggests that the early life environment influences offspring characteristics in later life, including the propensity to develop diseases such as the metabolic syndrome. There is now growing evidence that the effects of developmental programming may also manifest in further generations without further suboptimal exposure. This review considers the evidence, primarily from rodent models, for effects persisting to subsequent generations, and evaluates the mechanisms by which developmental programming may be transmitted to further generations. In particular, we focus on the potential role of the intrauterine environment in contributing to a developmentally programmed phenotype in subsequent generations. The literature was systematically searched at http://pubmed.org and http://scholar.google.com to identify published findings regarding transgenerational (F2 and beyond) developmental programming effects in human populations and animal models. Transmission of programming effects is often viewed as a form of epigenetic inheritance, either via the maternal or paternal line. Evidence exists for both germline and somatic inheritance of epigenetic modifications which may be responsible for phenotypic changes in further generations. However, there is increasing evidence for the role of both extra-genomic components of the zygote and the interaction of the developing conceptus with the intrauterine environment in propagating programming effects. The contribution of a suboptimal reproductive tract environment or maternal adaptations to pregnancy may be critical to inheritance of programming effects via the maternal line. As the effects of age exacerbate the programmed metabolic phenotype, advancing maternal age may increase the likelihood of developmental programming effects being transmitted to further generations. We suggest that developmental programming effects could be propagated through the maternal line de novo in generations

  5. Effects of experimental thermocline and oxycline deepening on methylmercury bioaccumulation in a Canadian shield lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Tania; Chételat, John; Gunn, John; Beisner, Beatrix E; Amyot, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Environmental disturbances like deforestation or climate change may influence lake thermal and oxic stratification, thereby modifying cycles of contaminants such as mercury (Hg). In a lake naturally separated into three basins, the thermocline and oxycline of an experimental basin were deepened by 4 and 3 m, respectively, to study the effect on the methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation. This treatment decreased hypolimnetic MeHg concentration by approximately 90%, zooplankton concentrations by 30 to 50%, and in some fish by 45%. A multiple linear regression indicated that oxycline depth significantly influenced hypolimnetic MeHg concentrations, with no significant effect of thermocline depth, anoxic water volume, interface area of oxic-anoxic water, and sediment area in contact with anoxic water. Fish MeHg decline varied, with a greater response by low oxygen-tolerant bullhead. Increased pelagic primary and secondary production likely caused zooplankton and fish MeHg decreases via algal and growth dilution. Environmental changes leading to oxycline deepening are therefore predicted to cause a decrease in MeHg bioaccumulation in similar Canadian Shield lakes. If associated ecosystem impacts related to the deepening treatment are deemed acceptable, then this experiment provides a potential remediation method for small lakes confronted with MeHg accumulation.

  6. Low in situ expression of antioxidative enzymes in rat cerebellar granular cells susceptible to methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimura, M; Usuki, F

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg), an environmental neurotoxicant, induces site-specific toxicity in the brain. Although oxidative stress has been demonstrated with MeHg toxicity, the site-specific toxicity is not completely understood. Among the cerebellar neurons, cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) appear vulnerable to MeHg, whereas Purkinje cells and molecular layer neurons are resistant. Here, we use a MeHg-intoxicated rat model to investigate these cerebellar neurons for the different causes of susceptibility to MeHg. Rats were exposed to 20 ppm MeHg for 4 weeks and subsequently exhibited neuropathological changes in the cerebellum that were similar to those observed in humans. We first isolated the three cerebellar neuron types using a microdissection system and then performed real-time PCR analyses for antioxidative enzymes. We observed that expression of manganese-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1), and thioredoxin reductase 1 (TRxR1) was significantly higher in Purkinje cells and molecular layer neurons than in CGCs. Finally, we performed immunohistochemical analyses on the cerebellum. Immunohistochemistry showed increased expression of Mn-SOD, GPx1, and TRxR1 in Purkinje cells and molecular layer neurons, which was coincident with the mRNA expression patterns. Considering Mn-SOD, GPx1, and TRxR1 are critical for protecting cells against MeHg intoxication, the results indicate that low expression of these antioxidative enzymes increases CGCs vulnerability to MeHg toxicity.

  7. Methylmercury level in umbilical cords from patients with congenital Minamata disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, M; Akagi, H; Tsuda, T; Kizaki, T; Ohno, H

    1999-08-30

    A total of 151 umbilical cords during the period from 1950 to 1969 were collected from the residents of the Minamata area (including 25 patients with congenital Minamata disease) for methylmercury (MeHg) analysis. When the MeHg discharge from the Chisso Company's Minamata factory into the Minamata Bay is compared with the incidence of congenital Minamata disease, the abrupt increase of the former in 1952 [Nishimura H. Chem. Today 1998;323:60-66] was found to precede that of the latter by approximately 2 years, thereby indicating that MeHg is the cause of the disaster. This was confirmed by the elevated levels of MeHg in the umbilical cords from residents of the Minamata area [from 0.35 +/- 0.30 (S.D.) ppm in 1952 to 0.96 +/- 0.75 ppm in 1955], the MeHg levels (1.60 +/- 1.00 ppm) in the cords from patients with congenital Minamata disease showing the highest values [P Minamata disease (0.72 +/- 0.65 ppm), mental retardation (0.74 +/- 0.64 ppm), other diseases (0.22 +/- 0.15 ppm), and no symptoms (0.28 +/- 0.20 ppm), respectively]. Thus, in order to fill a gap, which extends over a long period of time, in studies on environmental Hg pollution, umbilical cord samples were considered to be a useful tool.

  8. [Methylmercury causes diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex: how to diagnose Minamata disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekino, Shigeo; Ninomiya, Tadashi; Imamura, Keiko; Susa, Mari

    2007-01-01

    The first acute case of methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning by the consumption of fish arose in Minamata, Japan, in 1953. It was officially recognized and called Minamata disease (MD) in 1956. There are still arguments about the definition of MD in terms of its associated clinical symptoms and lesions even 50 years after the initial recognition of MD. Studies on this MD epidemic are reviewed along with its historical background. Since MeHg dispersed from Minamata to the Shiranui Sea, residents living around the sea had been exposed to low-dose MeHg through fish consumption for about 20 years (at least from 1950 to 1968). These chronic MeHg poisoning patients complained of paresthesia at the distal parts of their extremities and around the lips even 30 years after the cessation of exposure to MeHg of anthropogenic origin. The persisting somatosensory disorders after the discontinuation of exposure to MeHg were induced by diffuse damage to the somatosensory cortex, but not by damage to the peripheral nervous system, as previously believed. Based on these findings, symptoms and lesions in MeHg poisoning are reappraised.

  9. Aeshnid dragonfly larvae as bioindicators of methylmercury contamination in aquatic systems impacted by elevated sulfate loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremiason, Jeffrey D.; Reiser, T. K.; Weitz, R. A.; Berndt, M.E.; Aiken, George R.

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) levels in dragonfly larvae and water were measured over two years in aquatic systems impacted to varying degrees by sulfate releases related to iron mining activity. This study examined the impact of elevated sulfate loads on MeHg concentrations and tested the use of MeHg in dragonfly larvae as an indicator of MeHg levels in a range of aquatic systems including 16 river/stream sites and two lakes. MeHg concentrations in aeshnid dragonfly larvae were positively correlated (R2 = 0.46, p  0.05). MeHg in dragonfly larvae were not elevated at the highest sulfate sites, but rather the reverse was generally observed. Record rainfall events in 2012 and above average rainfall in 2013 likely delivered the majority of Hg and MeHg to these systems via interflow and activated groundwater flow through reduced sediments. As a result, the impacts of elevated sulfate releases due to mining activities were not apparent in these systems where little of the sulfate is reduced. Lower bioaccumulation factors for MeHg in aeshnid dragonfly larvae were observed with increasing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. This finding is consistent with previous studies showing that MeHg in high DOC systems is less bioavailable; an equilibrium model shows that more MeHg being associated with DOC rather than algae at the base of the food chain readily explains the lower bioaccumulation factors.

  10. Gene expression changes in female zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain in response to acute exposure to methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Catherine A.; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Martyniuk, Chris; Knoebl, Iris; Pope, Marie; Wright-Osment, Maureen K.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxicant and endocrine disruptor that accumulates in aquatic systems. Previous studies have shown suppression of hormone levels in both male and female fish, suggesting effects on gonadotropin regulation in the brain. The gene expression profile in adult female zebrafish whole brain induced by acute (96 h) MeHg exposure was investigated. Fish were exposed by injection to 0 or 0.5(mu or u)g MeHg/g. Gene expression changes in the brain were examined using a 22,000-feature zebrafish microarray. At a significance level of pgenes were up-regulated and 76 genes were down-regulated in response to MeHg exposure. Individual genes exhibiting altered expression in response to MeHg exposure implicate effects on glutathione metabolism in the mechanism of MeHg neurotoxicity. Gene ontology (GO) terms significantly enriched among altered genes included protein folding, cell redox homeostasis, and steroid biosynthetic process. The most affected biological functions were related to nervous system development and function, as well as lipid metabolism and molecular transport. These results support the involvement of oxidative stress and effects on protein structure in the mechanism of action of MeHg in the female brain. Future studies will compare the gene expression profile induced in response to MeHg with that induced by other toxicants and will investigate responsive genes as potential biomarkers of MeHg exposure.

  11. Distributions of total mercury and methylmercury in surface sediments and fishes in Lake Shihwa, Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Sehee; Kim, Moon-Kyung; Yi, Seung-Muk; Zoh, Kyung-Duk

    2010-02-01

    The concentrations of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in the sediments of Lake Shihwa, an artificial salt lake in Korea located near two large industrial complexes, were determined to investigate the state of Hg contamination in the lake sediments and the effect of local Hg source. THg and MeHg concentrations in the sediments, monitored for 2 years, ranged from 0.02 to 0.28 microg g(-1) and rain events and water gate operation may be additional important factors regulating Hg level and distribution in lake sediments. The levels of THg in fish species in this lake ranged from 9.8 to 35 ng g(-1), suggesting that the bioavailability of sediment Hg in the lake may be low. Although the THg concentrations in Lake Shihwa sediment were lower than those in other foreign study sites, they were higher than in neighboring coastal regions, and are constantly increasing. This result indicates that the nearby industrial complexes may be the major source of Hg found in the sediments of Lake Shihwa. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Methylmercury Induced Neurotoxicity and the Influence of Selenium in the Brains of Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio

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    Josef Daniel Rasinger

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxicity of methylmercury (MeHg is well characterised, and the ameliorating effects of selenium have been described. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this contaminant-nutrient interaction. We investigated the influence of selenium (as selenomethionine, SeMet and MeHg on mercury accumulation and protein expression in the brain of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio. Fish were fed diets containing elevated levels of MeHg and/or SeMet in a 2 × 2 full factorial design for eight weeks. Mercury concentrations were highest in the brain tissue of MeHg-exposed fish compared to the controls, whereas lower levels of mercury were found in the brain of zebrafish fed both MeHg and SeMet compared with the fish fed MeHg alone. The expression levels of proteins associated with gap junction signalling, oxidative phosphorylation, and mitochondrial dysfunction were significantly (p < 0.05 altered in the brain of zebrafish after exposure to MeHg and SeMet alone or in combination. Analysis of upstream regulators indicated that these changes were linked to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR pathways, which were activated by MeHg and inhibited by SeMet, possibly through a reactive oxygen species mediated differential activation of RICTOR, the rapamycin-insensitive binding partner of mTOR.

  13. Spatial and seasonal variability of dissolved methylmercury in two stream basins in the Eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Paul M.; Burns, Douglas A.; Riva-Murray, Karen; Brigham, Mark E.; Button, Daniel T.; Chasar, Lia C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Lowery, Mark A.; Journey, Celeste

    2011-01-01

    We assessed methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations across multiple ecological scales in the Edisto (South Carolina) and Upper Hudson (New York) River basins. Out-of-channel wetland/floodplain environments were primary sources of filtered MeHg (F-MeHg) to the stream habitat in both systems. Shallow, open-water areas in both basins exhibited low F-MeHg concentrations and decreasing F-MeHg mass flux. Downstream increases in out-of-channel wetlands/floodplains and the absence of impoundments result in high MeHg throughout the Edisto. Despite substantial wetlands coverage and elevated F-MeHg concentrations at the headwater margins, numerous impoundments on primary stream channels favor spatial variability and lower F-MeHg concentrations in the Upper Hudson. The results indicated that, even in geographically, climatically, and ecologically diverse streams, production in wetland/floodplain areas, hydrologic transport to the stream aquatic environment, and conservative/nonconservative attenuation processes in open water areas are fundamental controls on dissolved MeHg concentrations and, by extension, MeHg availability for potential biotic uptake.

  14. Methylmercury: Second-year feeding effects on mallard reproduction and duckling behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.

    1976-01-01

    For 2 consecutive years mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) hens were fed a control diet or a diet that contained 0.5 or 3 ppm mercury as methylmercury (about 0.1 and 0.6 ppm mercury on the basis of a natural succulent diet). During the fifth egg-collection period, levels of mercury in eggs of hens fed 0.5 and 3 ppm mercury averaged 0.79 and 5.46 ppm, respectively; on a dry-weight basis, the concentration of mercury in eggs was 4.88 times as great as that in the feed of ducks fed 0.5 ppm mercury and 5.64 times as great for ducks fed 3 ppm mercury. There were no significant differences in egg production or hatching success among controls and groups fed mercury. Ducklings from hens fed 3 ppm mercury were less likely to survive to 1 week of age than were controls or ducklings from parents fed 0.5 ppm mercury. There were no significant differences in approach behavior among the offspring of controls and groups fed mercury. In avoidance behavior, ducklings whose parents were fed 3 ppm mercury were hyper-responsive compared with controls and ducklings from parents fed 0.5 ppm mercury.

  15. Effects of methylmercury on the motor and sensory innervation of the rat extensor digitorum longus muscle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yip, R.K.; Riley, D.A.

    1987-06-01

    The histochemical study examined the effects of chronic methylmercury (MeHg) intoxication on the motor and sensory innervation of extensor digitorum longus muscles. Light microscopic examination of silver-stained axons in the intramuscular nerve bundles of MeHg-treated rats showed Wallerian-like degeneration and a reduction in the number of nerve fibers. Disrupted axons were predominantly sensory because 22.2% of spindle afferents (I/sub a/) and 90.0% of Golgi tendon organ (I/sub b/) sensory fibers were completely degenerated whereas less than 1% of motor ending were totally destroyed. Partial disruption occurred in the cholinesterase and motor terminals of 13.7% of endplates. Their results demonstrated greater vulnerability of sensory nerves than of motor nerves to MeHg-induced degeneration. Thus, the abnormal reflexes, ataxia, and muscle weakness following MeHg poisoning appear related to reduction of proprioceptive feedback from muscles and tendons irradiation to the documented lesions in the central nervous system.

  16. Protective Effect of Prolactin against Methylmercury-Induced Mutagenicity and Cytotoxicity on Human Lymphocytes

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    Liz Carmem Silva-Pereira

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Mercury exhibits cytotoxic and mutagenic properties as a result of its effect on tubulin. This toxicity mechanism is related to the production of free radicals that can cause DNA damage. Methylmercury (MeHg is one of the most toxic of the mercury compounds. It accumulates in the aquatic food chain, eventually reaching the human diet. Several studies have demonstrated that prolactin (PRL may be differently affected by inorganic and organic mercury based on interference with various neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of PRL secretion. This study evaluated the cytoprotective effect of PRL on human lymphocytes exposed to MeHg in vitro, including observation of the kinetics of HL-60 cells (an acute myeloid leukemia lineage treated with MeHg and PRL at different concentrations, with both treatments with the individual compounds and combined treatments. All treatments with MeHg produced a significant increase in the frequency of chromatid gaps, however, no significant difference was observed in the chromosomal breaks with any treatment. A dose-dependent increase in the mitotic index was observed for treatments with PRL, which also acts as a co-mitogenic factor, regulating proliferation by modulating the expression of genes that are essential for cell cycle progression and cytoskeleton organization. These properties contribute to the protective action of PRL against the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of MeHg.

  17. The effect of a low iron diet and early life methylmercury exposure in Daphnia pulex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Sherri L.; Doke, Dzigbodi A.; Gohlke, Julia M.

    2016-01-01

    Iron (Fe) deficiency increases risk for adverse health outcomes in humans; however little is known about the potential interaction with methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. Studies testing multiple stressor hypotheses are expensive and time consuming in mammalian model systems; therefore, determining relevance of alternative models is important. Daphnia pulex were fed standard or low-Fe diets of freshwater algae, Ankistrodesmus falcatus. MeHgCl (1600 ng/L) or vehicle was added to culture media for 24 h during early life, and the combinatorial effects of a low-Fe diet and MeHg exposure on lifespan, maturation time, and reproduction were evaluated. Lipid storage effects were measured using image analysis of Oil Red O staining and triacylglyceride quantification. Our results show a dose-dependent reduction in lifespan in D. pulex fed low Fe diets. Lipid analysis suggests an interactive effect of diet and MeHg exposure, with MeHg exposure increasing lipid storage in D. pulex fed a low-Fe diet. These findings suggest the effects of dietary iron intake and early life MeHg exposure in D. pulex may be mediated by changes in energetics that result in differential lipid storage. Therefore, lipid storage in D. pulex may be a useful screen for detecting long-term effects of multiple stressors early in life. PMID:26806633

  18. Assessing exposure risks for freshwater tilapia species posed by mercury and methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yi-Hsien; Lin, Yi-Jun; You, Shu-Han; Yang, Ying-Fei; How, Chun Ming; Tseng, Yi-Ting; Chen, Wei-Yu; Liao, Chung-Min

    2016-08-01

    Waterborne and dietborne exposures of freshwater fish to mercury (Hg) in the forms of inorganic (Hg(II)) and organic (methylmercury or MeHg) affect their growth, development, and reproduction. However, an integrated mechanistic risk model framework to predict the impact of Hg(II)/MeHg on freshwater fish is lacking. Here, we integrated biokinetic, physiological and biogeographic data to calibrate and then establish key risk indices-hazardous quotient and exceedance risk-for freshwater tilapia species across geographic ranges of several major rivers in Taiwan. We found that Hg(II) burden was highest in kidney followed by gill, intestine, liver, blood, and muscle. Our results showed that Hg was less likely to pose mortality risk (mortality rate less than 5 %) for freshwater tilapia species. However, Hg is likely to pose the potential hazard to aquatic environments constrained by safety levels for aquatic organisms. Sensitivity analysis showed that amount of Hg accumulated in tilapia was most influenced by sediment uptake rate. Our approach opens up new possibilities for predicting future fish population health with the impacts of continued Hg exposure to provide information on which fish are deemed safe for human consumption.

  19. Changes in circadian sleep-waking rhythms of rats following administration of methylmercury chloride

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arito, H. (National Institute of Industrial Health, Kawasaki, Japan); Sudo, A.; Hara, N.; Nakagaki, K.; Torii, S.

    1982-01-01

    Polygraphic recordings of circadian sleep-waking rhythms of rats were made before and after oral administration of methylmercury chloride (MMC). MMC-dosed rats exhibited an increase in both dark-phase slow wave sleep (SWS) and paradoxical sleep (PS) and a decrease in light-phase PS. There was no difference in the amounts of both light-phase SWS and wakefulness (W) before and after MMC administration. A phase of the circadian PS rhythm was dissociated after MMC administration, whereas the circadian SWS rhythm was still entrained synchronously to a light/dark cycle. The MMC-induced sleep disorder returned to the original sleep patterns by Days 35-55 after MMC administration. Possible mechanisms underlying the sleep disorder are discussed in light of the reported cholinergic dysfunctions of the central nervous system. The appearance of sleep disorder is compared with that of neurological signs of motor incoordination and changes in brain Hg concentrations with time. The onset of neurological signs of staggering gait of MMC-dosed rats coincided with the time when brain Hg concentrations reached maximum levels.

  20. Contribution of coexisting sulfate and iron reducing bacteria to methylmercury production in freshwater river sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ri-Qing; Flanders, J R; Mack, E Erin; Turner, Ralph; Mirza, M Bilal; Barkay, Tamar

    2012-03-06

    We investigated microbial methylmercury (CH(3)Hg) production in sediments from the South River (SR), VA, an ecosystem contaminated with industrial mercury (Hg). Potential Hg methylation rates in samples collected at nine sites were low in late spring and significantly higher in late summer. Demethylation of (14)CH(3)Hg was dominated by (14)CH(4) production in spring, but switched to producing mostly (14)CO(2) in the summer. Fine-grained sediments originating from the erosion of river banks had the highest CH(3)Hg concentrations and were potential hot spots for both methylation and demethylation activities. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes of cDNA recovered from sediment RNA extracts indicated that at least three groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and one group of iron-reducing bacteria (IRB), potential Hg methylators, were active in SR sediments. SRB were confirmed as a methylating guild by amendment experiments showing significant sulfate stimulation and molybdate inhibition of methylation in SR sediments. The addition of low levels of amorphous iron(III) oxyhydroxide significantly stimulated methylation rates, suggesting a role for IRB in CH(3)Hg synthesis. Overall, our studies suggest that coexisting SRB and IRB populations in river sediments contribute to Hg methylation, possibly by temporally and spatially separated processes.

  1. Methylmercury varies more than one order of magnitude in commercial European rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brombach, Christoph-Cornelius; Manorut, Parinda; Kolambage-Dona, Piumi P P; Ezzeldin, Mohammed Farouk; Chen, Bin; Corns, Warren T; Feldmann, Jörg; Krupp, Eva M

    2017-01-01

    Rice is known to accumulate methylmercury (MeHg) in the rice grains. MeHg as a neurotoxin impacts on the human central nervous systems and especially on the developing brain. In this exploratory study, 87 commercial rice products sold in Europe, including nine baby-rice products, were analyzed for total Hg and MeHg content. MeHg concentration in all rice products investigated range from 0.11 to 6.45μgkg(-1) with an average value of 1.91±1.07μgkg(-1) and baby-rice is not significantly different from other rice products. Total Hg ranges from 0.53 to 11.1μgkg(-1) with an average of 3.04±2.07μgkg(-1). MeHg concentrations in all rice products studied in this work would not exceed the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). 30% of all commercial market rice products exceeded 10% of the PTWI calculated for toddlers or 13% of products for adults with rice based diet.

  2. Bioaccumulation of methylmercury in fish tissue from the Roosevelt River, Southwestern Amazon basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Rodrigues dos Anjos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is a major pollutant in the Amazon River system, and its levels in fish and human hair are usually above the limit recommended by health agencies. The objective of this study was to analyze the methylmercury (MeHg concentration in fish tissue from the Roosevelt River. The river's water velocity, depth, pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen and substrate type were measured, and fifty specimens distributed in 14 fish species were collected. A total of 64.3% of the sampled species were of the order Characiform and 71.4% of the species were carnivores. Fifty percent of the species had MeHg concentrations above threshold limit (Hg-T 0.5 mg kg-1 established for food by the World Health Organization. Cichla monoculus had the highest value of MeHg (2.45 mg kg-1. The MeHg concentration in fish varied according to dietary habits. The study also found bioaccumulation of MeHg in fish tissue in the following descending order: carnivorous > detritivorous > frugivore. Low significant correlations were found between fish weight or length and MeHg. Further studies on MeHg contamination are recommended in tissues of fish consumed in human riverine communities in the Roosevelt River Basin.

  3. Methylmercury cycling in High Arctic wetland ponds: controls on sedimentary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnherr, Igor; St Louis, Vincent L; Kirk, Jane L

    2012-10-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that has been demonstrated to biomagnify in Arctic freshwater foodwebs to levels that may be of concern to Inuit peoples subsisting on freshwater fish, for example. The key process initiating the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of MeHg in foodwebs is the methylation of inorganic Hg(II) to form MeHg, and ultimately how much MeHg enters foodwebs is controlled by the production and availability of MeHg in a particular water body. We used isotopically enriched Hg stable isotope tracers in sediment core incubations to measure potential rates of Hg(II) methylation and investigate the controls on MeHg production in High Arctic wetland ponds in the Lake Hazen region of northern Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, Canada). We show here that MeHg concentrations in sediments are primarily controlled by the sediment methylation potential and the quantity of Hg(II) available for methylation, but not by sediment demethylation potential. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in pond waters are controlled by MeHg production in sediments, overall anaerobic microbial activity, and photodemethylation in the water column.

  4. Dietary selenium protect against redox-mediated immune suppression induced by methylmercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuan; Yin, Daqiang; Yin, Jiaoyang; Chen, Qiqing; Wang, Rui

    2014-10-01

    The antagonism between selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) has been widely recognized, however, the protective role of Se against methylmercury (MeHg) induced immunotoxicity and the underlying mechanism is still unclear. In the current study, MeHg exposure (0.01 mM via drinking water) significantly inhibited the lymphoproliferation and NK cells functions of the female Balb/c mice, while dietary Se supplementation (as Se-rich yeast) partly or fully recovered the observed immunotoxicity, indicating the protective role of Se against MeHg-induced immune suppression in mice. Besides, MeHg exposure promoted the generation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS), reduced the levels of nonenzymic and enzymic antioxidants in target organs, while dietary Se administration significantly diminished the MeHg-induced oxidative stress and subsequent cellular dysfunctions (lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation). Two possible mechanisms of Se's protective effects were further revealed. Firstly, the reduction of mercury concentrations (less than 25%, modulated by Se supplementation) in the target organs might contribute, but not fully explain the alleviated immune suppression. Secondly and more importantly, Se could help to maintain/or elevate the activities of several key antioxidants, therefore protect the immune cells against MeHg-induced oxidative damage.

  5. Mercury and methylmercury dynamics in a coastal plain watershed, New Jersey, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barringer, J.L.; Riskin, M.L.; Szabo, Z.; Reilly, P.A.; Rosman, R.; Bonin, J.L.; Fischer, J.M.; Heckathorn, H.A.

    2010-01-01

    The upper Great Egg Harbor River watershed in New Jersey's Coastal Plain is urbanized but extensive freshwater wetlands are present downstream. In 2006-2007, studies to assess levels of total mercury (THg) found concentrations in unfiltered streamwater to range as high as 187 ng/L in urbanized areas. THg concentrations were water with THg that exceeds the drinking water standard (2,000 ng/L). THg concentrations were lower (Methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in unfiltered streamwater ranged from 0.17 ng/L at a forest/wetlands site to 2.94 ng/L at an urban site. The percentage of THg present as MeHg increased as the percentage of forest + wetlands increased, but also was high in some urban areas. MeHg was detected only in groundwater water/sediment interface. Atmospheric deposition is presumed to be the main source of Hg to the wetlands and also may be a source to groundwater, where wastewater inputs in urban areas are hypothesized to mobilize Hg deposited to soils. ?? 2010 US Government.

  6. Differentiated availability of geochemical mercury pools controls methylmercury levels in estuarine sediment and biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Sofi; Skyllberg, Ulf; Nilsson, Mats B; Lundberg, Erik; Andersson, Agneta; Björn, Erik

    2014-08-20

    Neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg) formed from inorganic divalent mercury (Hg(II)) accumulates in aquatic biota and remains at high levels worldwide. It is poorly understood to what extent different geochemical Hg pools contribute to these levels. Here we report quantitative data on MeHg formation and bioaccumulation, in mesocosm water-sediment model ecosystems, using five Hg(II) and MeHg isotope tracers simulating recent Hg inputs to the water phase and Hg stored in sediment as bound to natural organic matter or as metacinnabar. Calculations for an estuarine ecosystem suggest that the chemical speciation of Hg(II) solid/adsorbed phases control the sediment Hg pool's contribution to MeHg, but that input of MeHg from terrestrial and atmospheric sources bioaccumulates to a substantially greater extent than MeHg formed in situ in sediment. Our findings emphasize the importance of MeHg loadings from catchment runoff to MeHg content in estuarine biota and we suggest that this contribution has been underestimated.

  7. Methylmercury bioaccumulation in stream food webs declines with increasing primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, David; D.F. Raikow,; C.R. Hammerschmidt,; M.G. Mehling,; A. Kovach,; J.T. Oris,

    2015-01-01

    Opposing hypotheses posit that increasing primary productivity should result in either greater or lesser contaminant accumulation in stream food webs. We conducted an experiment to evaluate primary productivity effects on MeHg accumulation in stream consumers. We varied light for 16 artificial streams creating a productivity gradient (oxygen production =0.048–0.71 mg O2 L–1 d–1) among streams. Two-level food webs were established consisting of phytoplankton/filter feeding clam, periphyton/grazing snail, and leaves/shredding amphipod (Hyalella azteca). Phytoplankton and periphyton biomass, along with MeHg removal from the water column, increased significantly with productivity, but MeHg concentrations in these primary producers declined. Methylmercury concentrations in clams and snails also declined with productivity, and consumer concentrations were strongly correlated with MeHg concentrations in primary producers. Heterotroph biomass on leaves, MeHg in leaves, and MeHg in Hyalella were unrelated to stream productivity. Our results support the hypothesis that contaminant bioaccumulation declines with stream primary production via the mechanism of bloom dilution (MeHg burden per cell decreases in algal blooms), extending patterns of contaminant accumulation documented in lakes to lotic systems.

  8. Spatial and temporal variation of total mercury and methylmercury in lacustrine wetland in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Moon-Kyung; Lee, Young-Min; Zoh, Kyung-Duk

    2015-05-01

    The spatial and temporal variations of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations (n = 120, respectively) in water and sediments of the Yangsuri lacustrine wetland in Korea were measured. The average concentrations of THg and MeHg in surface water were 2.04 ± 1.97 and 0.05 ± 0.05 ng L(-1), respectively. The concentrations of THg and MeHg in sediments ranged from 1.28 to 85.83 and ≤0.01 to 0.35 ng g(-1), respectively, and varied depending on the location. In the vegetated zone located near residential areas, the highest concentrations of THg and MeHg in both surface water and sediments were obtained near the residential areas, especially during the fall season. This result might be due to increased methylation rate of Hg by water turnover in the fall season. While THg and MeHg concentrations in water were not correlated, they were significantly correlated in sediment (r = 0.75; P levels of mercury, especially MeHg in the wetlands, and freshwater fish species in Korea.

  9. Methylmercury Exposure and Health Effects from Rice and Fish Consumption: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Li

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Methylmercury (MeHg is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in humans is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. The general population is primarily exposed to MeHg through consumption of contaminated fish and marine mammals, but recent studies have reported high levels of MeHg in rice and confirmed that in China the main human exposure to MeHg is related to frequent rice consumption in mercury (Hg polluted areas. This article reviews the progress in the research on MeHg accumulation in rice, human exposure and health effects, and nutrient and co-contaminant interactions. Compared with fish, rice is of poor nutritional quality and lacks specific micronutrients identified as having health benefits (e.g., n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, selenium, essential amino acids. The effects of these nutrients on the toxicity of MeHg should be better addressed in future epidemiologic and clinical studies. More emphasis should be given to assessing the health effects of low level MeHg exposure in the long term, with appropriate recommendations, as needed, to reduce MeHg exposure in the rice-eating population.

  10. Factors affecting the bioaccessibility of methylmercury in several marine fish species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Mei; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2011-07-13

    Bioaccessibility refers to the maximum bioavailability of pollutant ingested with food, and its measurements can lead to a more accurate risk assessment as compared to the measurements of total concentrations of pollutant in food. This study examined the factors affecting the bioaccessibility of methylmercury (MeHg) in nine species of marine fish with an aim to identify ways of reducing MeHg bioaccessibility. MeHg bioaccessibility without any treatment in the nine species of marine fish ranged from 16.0 to 67.7%. Steaming, grilling, and frying reduced MeHg bioaccessibility by 29.4-77.4% for rabbitfish and 74.6-95.8% for grouper. Co-consumption of phytochemical-rich foods such as green tea decreased the bioaccessibility of MeHg by 72.2% for rabbitfish and 74.0% for grouper, whereas meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid increased it by 39.2-108% for rabbitfish and 45.3-75.7% for grouper. The bioaccessibilities of both MeHg and inorganic mercury were independent of the total Hg concentration and the exposure route (dietary vs dissolved). In eight of the nine species studied, bioaccessibility was negatively correlated with the extent to which MeHg was partitioned into the metal-rich granule fraction and the trophically available fraction. It was positively correlated with partitioning into the cellular debris fraction. This study demonstrated the important control of subcellular distribution in MeHg bioaccessibility.

  11. Protective effects of niacin against methylmercury-induced genotoxicity and alterations in antioxidant status in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva de Paula, Eloisa; Carneiro, Maria Fernanda Hornos; Grotto, Denise; Hernandes, Lívia Cristina; Antunes, Lusânia Maria Greggi; Barbosa, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the potential beneficial effects of niacin (NA; vitamin B3) supplementation in rats chronically exposed to methylmercury (MeHg). Animals were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups (n = 6): Group I, control, received distilled water by gavage; Group II, received MeHg (100 µg/kg/d) by gavage; Group III, received NA (50 mg/kg/d) in drinking water; Group IV, received MeHg (100 µg/kg/d) by gavage + NA (50 mg/kg/d) in drinking water. Biochemical parameters levels of glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol and fractions, and enzyme activities aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were determined. Further, oxidative stress markers activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) activity, as well as levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and nitric oxide, were examined, and the comet assay was performed, using blood/plasma. Hg levels were measured in blood, brain, and kidneys of animals. Our results demonstrated that NA reduced adverse effects produced by MeHg. The mechanism underlying these effects appears to be related to the intrinsic antioxidant potential of NA. Considering the beneficial effects attributed to NA following MeHg exposure and that fish are the main source of both NA and MeHg, future studies need to evaluate the potential counteractive effect of NA against the adverse consequences of MeHg exposure in fish-eating populations.

  12. Absence of fractionation of mercury isotopes during trophic transfer of methylmercury to freshwater fish in captivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Sae Yun; Blum, Joel D.; Carvan, Michael J.; Basu, Niladri; Head, Jessica A.; Madenjian, Charles P.; David, Solomon R.

    2012-01-01

    We performed two controlled experiments to determine the amount of mass-dependent and mass-independent fractionation (MDF and MIF) of methylmercury (MeHg) during trophic transfer into fish. In experiment 1, juvenile yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were raised in captivity on commercial food pellets and then their diet was either maintained on unamended food pellets (0.1 μg/g MeHg) or was switched to food pellets with 1.0 μg/g or 4.0 μg/g of added MeHg, for a period of 2 months. The difference in δ202Hg (MDF) and Δ199Hg (MIF) between fish tissues and food pellets with added MeHg was within the analytical uncertainty (δ202Hg, 0.07 ‰; Δ199Hg, 0.06 ‰), indicating no isotope fractionation. In experiment 2, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) were raised in captivity on food pellets and then shifted to a diet of bloater (Coregonus hoyi) for 6 months. The δ202Hg and Δ199Hg of the lake trout equaled the isotopic composition of the bloater after 6 months, reflecting reequilibration of the Hg isotopic composition of the fish to new food sources and a lack of isotope fractionation during trophic transfer. We suggest that the stable Hg isotope ratios in fish can be used to trace environmental sources of Hg in aquatic ecosystems.

  13. Uptake dynamics of inorganic mercury and methylmercury by the earthworm Pheretima guillemi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Fei; Zhao, Jie; Zhou, Dongmei

    2016-02-01

    Mercury uptake dynamics in the earthworm Pheretima guillemi, including the dissolved uptake rate constant (ku) from pore-water and assimilation efficiencies (AEs) from mercury-contaminated soil, was quantified in this study. Dissolved uptake rate constants were 0.087 and 0.553 L g(-1) d(-1) for inorganic mercury (IHg) and methylmercury (MeHg), respectively. Assimilation efficiency of IHg in field-contaminated soil was 7.2%, lower than 15.4% of spiked soil. In contrast, MeHg exhibited comparable AEs for both field-contaminated and spiked soil (82.4-87.2%). Within the framework of biodynamic model, we further modelled the exposure pathways (dissolved exposure vs soil ingestion) to source the accumulated mercury in Pheretima guillemi. The model showed that the relative importance of soil ingestion to mercury bioaccumulation depended largely on mercury partitioning coefficients (K(d)), and was also influenced by soil ingestion rate of earthworms. In the examined field-contaminated soil, almost (>99%) accumulated IHg and MeHg was predicted to derive from soil ingestion. Therefore, soil ingestion should be carefully considered when assessing mercury exposure risk to earthworms.

  14. Speciation of methylmercury in market seafood by thermal degradation, amalgamation and atomic absorption spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-de-Cenzano, Manuela; Rochina-Marco, Arancha; Cervera, M Luisa; de la Guardia, Miguel

    2014-09-01

    Sample thermal decomposition followed by mercury amalgamation and atomic absorption has been employed for the determination of methylmercury (MeHg) in fish. The method involves HBr leaching of MeHg, extraction into toluene, and back-extraction into an aqueous l-cysteine solution. Preliminary studies were focused on the extraction efficiency, losses, contaminations, and species interconversion prevention. The limit of detection was 0.018µgg(-1) (dry weight). The intraday precision for three replicate analysis at a concentration of 4.2µgg(-1) (dry weight) was 3.5 percent, similar to the interday precision according to analysis of variance (ANOVA). The accuracy was guaranteed by the use of fortified samples involving 83-105 percent recoveries, and certified reference materials TORT-2 (lobster hepatopancreas) and DORM-3 (dogfish liver), providing 107 and 98 percent recovery of certified values. The greenness of the method was also evaluated with the analytical eco-scale being obtained a final score of 73 points which means an acceptable green analysis. The method was applied to fifty-seven market samples of different fish acquired from local markets in several sampling campaigns. The content of MeHg found varied between 0.0311 and 1.24µgg(-1) (wet weight), with values that involve 33-129 percent of the total mercury content. Some considerations about food safety were also done taking into account data about Spanish fish consume and Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) established for MeHg.

  15. Aeshnid dragonfly larvae as bioindicators of methylmercury contamination in aquatic systems impacted by elevated sulfate loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremiason, J D; Reiser, T K; Weitz, R A; Berndt, M E; Aiken, G R

    2016-04-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) levels in dragonfly larvae and water were measured over two years in aquatic systems impacted to varying degrees by sulfate releases related to iron mining activity. This study examined the impact of elevated sulfate loads on MeHg concentrations and tested the use of MeHg in dragonfly larvae as an indicator of MeHg levels in a range of aquatic systems including 16 river/stream sites and two lakes. MeHg concentrations in aeshnid dragonfly larvae were positively correlated (R(2) = 0.46, p 0.05). MeHg in dragonfly larvae were not elevated at the highest sulfate sites, but rather the reverse was generally observed. Record rainfall events in 2012 and above average rainfall in 2013 likely delivered the majority of Hg and MeHg to these systems via interflow and activated groundwater flow through reduced sediments. As a result, the impacts of elevated sulfate releases due to mining activities were not apparent in these systems where little of the sulfate is reduced. Lower bioaccumulation factors for MeHg in aeshnid dragonfly larvae were observed with increasing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. This finding is consistent with previous studies showing that MeHg in high DOC systems is less bioavailable; an equilibrium model shows that more MeHg being associated with DOC rather than algae at the base of the food chain readily explains the lower bioaccumulation factors.

  16. Environmental impacts of the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston coal ash spill. 2. Effect of coal ash on methylmercury in historically contaminated river sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deonarine, Amrika; Bartov, Gideon; Johnson, Thomas M; Ruhl, Laura; Vengosh, Avner; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2013-02-19

    The Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston coal ash spill in December 2008 deposited approximately 4.1 million m(3) of fly ash and bottom ash into the Emory and Clinch River system (Harriman, Tennessee, U.S.A.). The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of the ash on surface water and sediment quality over an eighteen month period after the spill, with a specific focus on mercury and methylmercury in sediments. Our results indicated that surface water quality was not impaired with respect to total mercury concentrations. However, in the sediments of the Emory River near the coal ash spill, total mercury concentrations were 3- to 4-times greater than sediments several miles upstream of the ash spill. Similarly, methylmercury content in the Emory and Clinch River sediments near the ash spill were slightly elevated (up to a factor of 3) at certain locations compared to upstream sediments. Up to 2% of the total mercury in sediments containing coal ash was present as methylmercury. Mercury isotope composition and sediment geochemical data suggested that elevated methylmercury concentrations occurred in regions where native sediments were mixed with coal ash (e.g., less than 28% as coal ash in the Emory River). This coal ash may have provided substrates (such as sulfate) that stimulated biomethylation of mercury. The production of methylmercury in these areas is a concern because this neurotoxic organomercury compound can be highly bioaccumulative. Future risk assessments of coal ash spills should consider not only the leaching potential of mercury from the wastes but also the potential for methylmercury production in receiving waters.

  17. Developmental disorders of vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galaburda, Albert M; Duchaine, Bradley C

    2003-08-01

    This review of developmental disorders of vision focuses on only a few of the many disorders that disrupt visual development. Given the enormity of the human visual system in the primate brain and complexity of visual development, however, there are likely hundreds or thousands of types of disorders affecting high-level vision. The rapid progress seen in developmental dyslexia and WMS demonstrates the possibilities and difficulties inherent in researching such disorders, and the authors hope that similar progress will be made for congenital prosopagnosia and other disorders in the near future.

  18. Mercury and methylmercury contents in mine-waste calcine, water, and sediment collected from the Palawan Quicksilver mine, Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, J.E.; Greaves, I.A.; Bustos, D.M.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2003-01-01

    The Palawan Quicksilver mine, Philippines, produced about 2,900 t of mercury during mining of cinnabar ore from 1953 to 1976. More than 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining, much of which were used to construct a jetty in nearby Honda Bay. Since 1995, high Hg contents have been found in several people living near the mine, and 21 of these people were treated for mercury poisoning. Samples of mine-waste calcine contain high total Hg concentrations ranging from 43-660 ??g/g, whereas total Hg concentrations in sediment samples collected from a mine pit lake and local stream vary from 3.7-400 ??g/g. Mine water flowing through the calcines is acidic, pH 3.1-4.3, and total Hg concentrations ranging from 18-31 ??g/l in this water significantly exceed the 1.0-??g/l drinking water standard for Hg recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Total Hg contents are generally lower in water samples collected from surrounding domestic wells, the mine pit lake, Honda Bay, and the nearby stream, varying from 0.008-1.4 ??g/l. Methylmercury concentrations in water draining mine calcines range from <0.02-1.4 ng/l, but methylmercury is highest in the pit lake water, ranging from 1.7-3.1 ng/l. Mercury methylation at the Palawan mine is similar to or higher than that found in other mercury mines worldwide. Much of the methylmercury generated in Palawan mine-waste calcines and those in Honda Bay is transferred to water, and then to marine fish and seafood. A food source pathway of Hg to humans is most likely in this coastal, high fish-consuming population.

  19. The Notch target E(spl)mδ is a muscle-specific gene involved in methylmercury toxicity in motor neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Gregory L; Rand, Matthew D

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a ubiquitous environmental toxin that has a selective and potent impact on the nervous system, particularly during neural development yet, the mechanisms for its apparent neurodevelopmental specificity are unknown. The Notch receptor pathway has been implicated as a MeHg target in several studies. Notch signaling mediates cell-cell signals in a number of developmental contexts including neurogenesis and myogenesis, where it fundamentally acts to repress differentiation. Previous work in our lab has shown that MeHg causes preferential upregulation of a canonical Notch response gene, E(spl)mδ, in Drosophila embryos. In parallel, MeHg is seen to disrupt outgrowth of embryonic intersegmental motor nerves (ISN), which can be mimicked by expression of activated Notch in embryonic neurons. However, overexpression of E(spl)mδ in developing neurons fails to elicit motor neuron outgrowth defects, pointing to a non-autonomous role for E(spl)mδ in motor axon development. In this study we investigate a role for E(spl)mδ in conveying the toxicity of MeHg in the embryo. We find that endogenous expression of the E(spl)mδ gene localizes to developing somatic muscles in embryos. Notably, E(spl)mδ expression is seen in several muscles that are known synaptic targets for both the ISN and the segmental motor nerve (SN). We also demonstrate that the SN, similar to the ISN, exhibits disrupted axon outgrowth in response to MeHg. E(spl)mδ can induce a SN motor neuron phenotype, similar to MeHg treatment; but, only when E(spl)mδ expression is targeted to developing muscles. E(spl)mδ overexpression in developing muscles also results in aberrant muscle morphology, which is not apparent with expression of the closely related E(spl)mγ in developing muscles. Our data point to a role for the Notch target E(spl)mδ in mediating MeHg toxicity in embryonic development by disrupting the coordinated targeting of motor neurons to their muscle targets.

  20. The effects of methylmercury on motor activity are sex- and age-dependent, and modulated by genetic deletion of adenosine receptors and caffeine administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Olga; Kahlström, Johan; Salmi, Peter; Ogren, Sven Ove; Vahter, Marie; Chen, Jiang-Fan; Fredholm, Bertil B; Daré, Elisabetta

    2007-11-30

    Adenosine and its receptors are, as part of the brain stress response, potential targets for neuroprotective drugs. We have investigated if the adenosine receptor system affects the developmental neurotoxicity caused by the fish pollutant methylmercury (MeHg). Behavioral outcomes of low dose perinatal MeHg exposure were studied in mice where the A(1) and A(2A) adenosine receptors were either partially blocked by caffeine treatment or eliminated by genetic modification (A(1)R and A(2A)R knock-out mice). From gestational day 7 to day 7 of lactation dams were administered doses that mimic human intake via normal diet, i.e. 1microM MeHg and/or 0.3g/l caffeine in the drinking water. This exposure to MeHg resulted in a doubling of brain Hg levels in wild type females and males at postnatal day 21 (PND21). Open field analysis was performed at PND21 and 2 months of age. MeHg caused time-dependent behavioral alterations preferentially in male mice. A decreased response to amphetamine in 2-month-old males pointed to disturbances in dopaminergic functions. Maternal caffeine intake induced long-lasting changes in the offspring evidenced by an increased motor activity and a modified response to psychostimulants in adult age, irrespectively of sex. Similar alterations were observed in A(1)R knock-out mice, suggesting that adenosine A(1) receptors are involved in the alterations triggered by caffeine exposure during development. Perinatal caffeine treatment and, to some extent, genetic elimination of adenosine A(1) receptors, attenuated the behavioral consequences of MeHg in males. Importantly, also deletion of the A(2A) adenosine receptor reduced the vulnerability to MeHg, consistent with the neuroprotective effects of adenosine A(2A) receptor inactivation observed in hypoxia and Parkinson's disease. Thus, the consequences of MeHg toxicity during gestation and lactation can be reduced by adenosine A(1) and A(2A) receptor inactivation, either via their genetic deletion or by

  1. Comparative study of activities in reactive oxygen species production/defense system in mitochondria of rat brain and liver, and their susceptibility to methylmercury toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mori, N.; Hirayama, K. [Kumamoto University, School of Health Science, Kumamoto (Japan); Yasutake, A. [National Institute for Minamata Disease, Minamata (Japan)

    2007-11-15

    The involvement of oxidative stress has been suggested as a mechanism for neurotoxicity caused by methylmercury (MeHg), but the mechanism for MeHg selective toxicity in the central nervous system is still unclear. In this research, to clarify the mechanism of selective neurotoxicity caused by MeHg, the oxygen consumption levels, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production rates and several antioxidant levels in mitochondria were compared among the cerebrum, cerebellum and liver of male Wistar rats. In addition, the alterations of these indexes were examined in MeHg-intoxicated rats (oral administration of 10 mg/kg day, for 5 days). Although the cerebrum and cerebellum in intact rats showed higher mitochondrial oxygen consumption levels and ROS production rates than the liver, glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were much lower in the cerebrum and cerebellum than in the liver. Especially, the cerebellum showed the highest oxygen consumption and ROS production rate and the lowest mitochondrial glutathione (GSH) levels among the tissues examined. In the MeHg-treated rats, decrease in the oxygen consumption and increase in the ROS generation were found only in the cerebellum mitochondria, despite a lower Hg accumulation in the mitochondrial fraction compared to the liver. Since MeHg treatment produced an enhancement of ROS generation in cerebellum mitochondria supplemented with succinate substrates, MeHg-induced oxidative stress might affect the complex II-III mediated pathway in the electron transfer chain in the cerebellum mitochondria. Our study suggested that inborn factors, high production system activity and low defense system activity of ROS in the brain, would relate to the high susceptibility of the central nervous system to MeHg toxicity. (orig.)

  2. Hippocampal neurons exposed to the environmental contaminants methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls undergo cell death via parallel activation of calpains and lysosomal proteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tofighi, Roshan; Johansson, Carolina; Goldoni, Matteo; Ibrahim, Wan Norhamidah Wan; Gogvadze, Vladimir; Mutti, Antonio; Ceccatelli, Sandra

    2011-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread environmental pollutants commonly found as contaminants in the same food sources. Even though their neurotoxic effects are established, the mechanisms of action are not fully understood. In the present study, we have used the mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line HT22 to investigate the mechanisms of neuronal death induced by MeHg, PCB 153, and PCB 126, alone or in combination. All chemicals induced cell death with morphological changes compatible with either apoptosis or necrosis. Mitochondrial functions were impaired as shown by the significant decrease in mitochondrial Ca²+ uptake capacity and ATP levels. MeHg, but not the PCBs, induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. Also, pre-treatment with the antioxidant MnTBAP was protective only against cell death induced by MeHg. While caspase activation was absent, the Ca²+-dependent proteases calpains were activated after exposure to MeHg or the selected PCBs. Furthermore, lysosomal disruption was observed in the exposed cells. Accordingly, pre-treatment with the calpain specific inhibitor PD150606 and/or the cathepsin D inhibitor Pepstatin protected against the cytotoxicity of MeHg and PCBs, and the protection was significantly enhanced when the two inhibitors were combined. Simultaneous exposures to lower doses of MeHg and PCBs suggested mostly antagonistic interactions. Taken together, these data indicate that MeHg and PCBs induce caspase-independent cell death via parallel activation of calpains and lysosomal proteases, and that in this model oxidative stress does not play a major role in PCB toxicity.

  3. Methylmercury production and export from a restored tidal marsh: Crissy Field, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windham-Myers, L.; Ward, K.; Marvin-Dipasquale, M. C.; Agee, J.; Kieu, L.; Kakouros, E.

    2009-12-01

    Well-mixed surface water in the restored salt marsh at Crissy Field, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, was found to have high aqueous methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations (>1 ng MeHg / L), despite its sandy substrate and low sediment total mercury (THg) concentrations. We sought to determine a) the extent to which the marsh was a source or a sink of MeHg to San Francisco Bay, b) where and when MeHg is produced within the marsh, and c) the extent to which MeHg concentrations in sediment and water varied with extended multi-week flooding events, impoundments caused by periodic sediment accumulation in the narrow inlet. Because Crissy Marsh is small in size, has a single inlet slough channel, and has a tidally-dominated water budget, we had a unique opportunity to construct a THg and MeHg flux budget for this single well-constrained wetland. A 24-hour sampling event was conducted over a full diurnal tidal cycle during August 2008. Particulate and filter-passing (0.45μm) THg and MeHg concentrations were assessed, in addition to concentrations of chlorophyll-a and total suspended solids. These measurements were coupled to water flux calculations from a USGS-derived hydrodynamic model based on tidal prism relationships at this site. The resulting Hg load calculations demonstrated that for this 24-hour period, the marsh was a net source of dissolved MeHg to the bay and a net sink of particulate THg from the bay. To determine where and when Hg was being methylated within the marsh environment, sediment percent (%) MeHg (a surrogate measure of MeHg production efficiency) was examined for 2 years along 8 transects, seasonally and across three marsh elevations (subtidal, low-intertidal, and high-intertidal). The low-intertidal zone (cordgrass-dominated) had higher sediment %MeHg than the other two elevations. Sediment %MeHg was also higher during summer than during winter, highest at the sediment surface (0-2cm), correlated with sediment organic content, and elevated

  4. Developmental paediatric anaesthetic pharmacology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Tom Giedsing

    2015-01-01

    Safe and effective drug therapy in neonates, infants and children require detailed knowledge about the ontogeny of drug disposition and action as well how these interact with genetics and co-morbidity of children. Recent advances in developmental pharmacology in children follow the increased...

  5. Learning Developmental Coaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, James M.; Weintraub, Joseph R.

    2004-01-01

    This article describes an educational intervention designed to promote the ability and willingness of MBA students to lead through coaching. MBA leadership students are trained to serve as coaches for undergraduate business students in a developmental assessment center. In this compelling context, their main source of influence is the ability to…

  6. Arguments from Developmental Order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöckle-Schobel, Richard

    2016-01-01

    In this article, I investigate a special type of argument regarding the role of development in theorizing about psychological processes and cognitive capacities. Among the issues that developmental psychologists study, discovering the ontogenetic trajectory of mechanisms or capacities underpinning our cognitive functions ranks highly. The order in which functions are developed or capacities are acquired is a matter of debate between competing psychological theories, and also philosophical conceptions of the mind - getting the role and the significance of the different steps in this order right could be seen as an important virtue of such theories. Thus, a special kind of strategy in arguments between competing philosophical or psychological theories is using developmental order in arguing for or against a given psychological claim. In this article, I will introduce an analysis of arguments from developmental order, which come in two general types: arguments emphasizing the importance of the early cognitive processes and arguments emphasizing the late cognitive processes. I will discuss their role in one of the central tools for evaluating scientific theories, namely in making inferences to the best explanation. I will argue that appeal to developmental order is, by itself, an insufficient criterion for theory choice and has to be part of an argument based on other core explanatory or empirical virtues. I will end by proposing a more concerted study of philosophical issues concerning (cognitive) development, and I will present some topics that also pertain to a full-fledged 'philosophy of development.'

  7. Qualitative methodology in developmental psychology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demuth, Carolin; Mey, Günter

    2015-01-01

    Qualitative methodology presently is gaining increasing recognition in developmental psychology. Although the founders of developmental psychology to a large extent already used qualitative procedures, the field was long dominated by a (post) positivistic quantitative paradigm. The increasing...

  8. Developmental Purposes of Commercial Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Practical Pointers, 1977

    1977-01-01

    Listed are 45 table, target, manipulative, active, and creative games with such developmental purposes as associative learning, tactile discrimination, and visual motor integration. Information includes the name of the item, distributor, price, description, and developmental purpose. (JYC)

  9. Benthic and pelagic pathways of methylmercury bioaccumulation in estuarine food webs of the northeast United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Celia Y; Borsuk, Mark E; Bugge, Deenie M; Hollweg, Terill; Balcom, Prentiss H; Ward, Darren M; Williams, Jason; Mason, Robert P

    2014-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a contaminant of global concern that bioaccumulates and bioamagnifies in marine food webs. Lower trophic level fauna are important conduits of MeHg from sediment and water to estuarine and coastal fish harvested for human consumption. However, the sources and pathways of MeHg to these coastal fisheries are poorly known particularly the potential for transfer of MeHg from the sediment to biotic compartments. Across a broad gradient of human land impacts, we analyzed MeHg concentrations in food webs at ten estuarine sites in the Northeast US (from the Hackensack Meadowlands, NJ to the Gulf of Maine). MeHg concentrations in water column particulate material, but not in sediments, were predictive of MeHg concentrations in fish (killifish and Atlantic silversides). Moreover, MeHg concentrations were higher in pelagic fauna than in benthic-feeding fauna suggesting that MeHg delivery to the water column from methylation sites from within or outside of the estuary may be an important driver of MeHg bioaccumulation in estuarine pelagic food webs. In contrast, bulk sediment MeHg concentrations were only predictive of concentrations of MeHg in the infaunal worms. Our results across a broad gradient of sites demonstrate that the pathways of MeHg to lower trophic level estuarine organisms are distinctly different between benthic deposit feeders and forage fish. Thus, even in systems with contaminated sediments, transfer of MeHg into estuarine food webs maybe driven more by the efficiency of processes that determine MeHg input and bioavailability in the water column.

  10. Benthic and pelagic pathways of methylmercury bioaccumulation in estuarine food webs of the northeast United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia Y Chen

    Full Text Available Methylmercury (MeHg is a contaminant of global concern that bioaccumulates and bioamagnifies in marine food webs. Lower trophic level fauna are important conduits of MeHg from sediment and water to estuarine and coastal fish harvested for human consumption. However, the sources and pathways of MeHg to these coastal fisheries are poorly known particularly the potential for transfer of MeHg from the sediment to biotic compartments. Across a broad gradient of human land impacts, we analyzed MeHg concentrations in food webs at ten estuarine sites in the Northeast US (from the Hackensack Meadowlands, NJ to the Gulf of Maine. MeHg concentrations in water column particulate material, but not in sediments, were predictive of MeHg concentrations in fish (killifish and Atlantic silversides. Moreover, MeHg concentrations were higher in pelagic fauna than in benthic-feeding fauna suggesting that MeHg delivery to the water column from methylation sites from within or outside of the estuary may be an important driver of MeHg bioaccumulation in estuarine pelagic food webs. In contrast, bulk sediment MeHg concentrations were only predictive of concentrations of MeHg in the infaunal worms. Our results across a broad gradient of sites demonstrate that the pathways of MeHg to lower trophic level estuarine organisms are distinctly different between benthic deposit feeders and forage fish. Thus, even in systems with contaminated sediments, transfer of MeHg into estuarine food webs maybe driven more by the efficiency of processes that determine MeHg input and bioavailability in the water column.

  11. Methylmercury-induced changes in gene transcription associated with neuroendocrine disruption in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Catherine A.; Martyniuk, Christopher J.; Annis, Mandy L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Chasar, Lia C.; Denslow, Nancy D.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    Methyl-mercury (MeHg) is a potent neuroendocrine disruptor that impairs reproductive processes in fish. The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize transcriptomic changes induced by MeHg exposure in the female largemouth bass (LMB) hypothalamus under controlled laboratory conditions, (2) investigate the health and reproductive impacts of MeHg exposure on male and female largemouth bass (LMB) in the natural environment, and (3) identify MeHg-associated gene expression patterns in whole brain of female LMB from MeHg-contaminated habitats. The laboratory experiment was a single injection of 2.5 μg MeHg/g body weight for 96 h exposure. The field survey compared river systems in Florida, USA with comparably lower concentrations of MeHg (Wekiva, Santa Fe, and St. Johns Rivers) in fish and one river system with LMB that contained elevated concentrations of MeHg (St. Marys River). Microarray analysis was used to quantify transcriptomic responses to MeHg exposure. Although fish at the high-MeHg site did not show overt health or reproductive impairment, there were MeHg-responsive genes and pathways identified in the laboratory study that were also altered in fish from the high-MeHg site relative to fish at the low-MeHg sites. Gene network analysis suggested that MeHg regulated the expression targets of neuropeptide receptor and steroid signaling, as well as structural components of the cell. Disease-associated gene networks related to MeHg exposure, based upon expression data, included cerebellum ataxia, movement disorders, and hypercalcemia. Gene responses in the CNS are consistent with the documented neurotoxicological and neuroendocrine disrupting effects of MeHg in vertebrates.

  12. A systems approach to risk assessment: Application to methylmercury from coal combustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saroff, L. [Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States); Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)

    1995-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) asked Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to perform a probabilistic assessment of the health risks associated with Hg from coal-fired power plants. The objective of the assessment is to estimate the incremental health risks that might ensue from a typical coal-fired power plant, together with their uncertainties, taking into account existing background levels and the actual adverse health effects that have previously been associated with exposure to various Hg species. Mercury has a long history of association with adverse neurological effects at high exposure levels. The most important current exposure pathway has been found to be ingestion of fish containing methylmercury (MeHg), which is the end product of bioconcentration moving up the aquatic food chain. Mercury can enter natural waters from either industrial discharges or from atmospheric deposition of various inorganic Ho. compounds. Because of the worldwide background and the existence of local emissions sources, Hg deposition must be considered on local, regional and global scales. The regulatory technical challenge presented by methy1mercury is to protect public health without foreclosing an appreciable a portion of the food supply or impacting on the lifestyles of North American native populations. This paper presents an abbreviated account of the DOE/BNL risk assessment, as viewed from a systems perspective. We review the structure of the model, the sources of data used, the assumptions that were made, and the interpretation of the findings. Since publication of the first risk assessment report, we have refined our estimates of local atmospheric dispersion and deposition and {open_quotes}calibrated{close_quotes} the pharmacokinetic portion of the model against observations.

  13. A physiologically based toxicokinetic model for methylmercury in female American kestrels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, J.W.; Bennett, R.S.; Rossmann, R.; French, J.B.; Sappington, K.G.

    2010-01-01

    A physiologically based toxicokinetic (PBTK) model was developed to describe the uptake, distribution, and elimination of methylmercury (CH 3Hg) in female American kestrels. The model consists of six tissue compartments corresponding to the brain, liver, kidney, gut, red blood cells, and remaining carcass. Additional compartments describe the elimination of CH3Hg to eggs and growing feathers. Dietary uptake of CH 3Hg was modeled as a diffusion-limited process, and the distribution of CH3Hg among compartments was assumed to be mediated by the flow of blood plasma. To the extent possible, model parameters were developed using information from American kestrels. Additional parameters were based on measured values for closely related species and allometric relationships for birds. The model was calibrated using data from dietary dosing studies with American kestrels. Good agreement between model simulations and measured CH3Hg concentrations in blood and tissues during the loading phase of these studies was obtained by fitting model parameters that control dietary uptake of CH 3Hg and possible hepatic demethylation. Modeled results tended to underestimate the observed effect of egg production on circulating levels of CH3Hg. In general, however, simulations were consistent with observed patterns of CH3Hg uptake and elimination in birds, including the dominant role of feather molt. This model could be used to extrapolate CH 3Hg kinetics from American kestrels to other bird species by appropriate reassignment of parameter values. Alternatively, when combined with a bioenergetics-based description, the model could be used to simulate CH 3Hg kinetics in a long-term environmental exposure. ?? 2010 SETAC.

  14. Proteome profiling reveals regional protein alteration in cerebrum of common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) exposed to methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Yueting; Yamamoto, Megumi; Figeys, Daniel; Ning, Zhibin; Chan, Hing Man

    2016-03-10

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is known to selectively damage the calcarine and precentral cortices along deep sulci and fissures in adult cases, but the detailed mechanism is still unclear. This study aims to identify and analyze the differential proteome expression in two regions of the cerebrum (the frontal lobe and the occipital lobe including the calcarine sulcus) of the common marmoset exposed to MeHg using a shot-gun proteomic approach. A total of 1045 and 1062 proteins were identified in the frontal lobe (FL) and occipital lobe (OL), of which, 62 and 89 proteins were found significantly changed with MeHg exposure. Functional enrichment/depletion analysis showed that the lipid metabolic process and proteolysis were affected in both two lobes. Functional changes in FL were characterized in cell cycle and cell division, sulfur compound metabolic process, microtubule-based process and glycerolipid metabolic process. In comparison, proteins were enriched in the functions of transport, carbohydrate metabolic process, chemical caused homeostasis and regulation of body fluid levels in OL. Pathway analysis predicted that vasopressin-regulated water reabsorption was disturbed in MeHg-treated FL. Our results showed that MeHg induced regional specific protein changes in FL and OL but with similar endpoint effects such as energy diminish and disruption of water transport. APOE and GPX1 were shown to be possible key proteins targeted by MeHg leading to multiple functional changes in OL. This is the first report of the whole proteome changes of primate cerebrum for MeHg neurotoxicity, and the results will contribute to the understanding of molecular basis of MeHg intoxication in humans. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Dietary exposure of Hong Kong secondary school students to total mercury and methylmercury from fish intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Anna Shiu Ping; Kwong, Ka Ping; Chung, Stephen Wai Cheung; Ho, Yuk Yin; Xiao, Ying

    2009-01-01

    Fish is the main source of dietary exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), which is a public health concern owing to its potential neurotoxicity. To evaluate the public health risk, this study estimated the total mercury (tHg) and MeHg exposure from fish intake in Hong Kong secondary school students. Median tHg and MeHg concentrations of 280 samples purchased from different commercial outlets (covering 89 species of whole fish and three types of canned tuna), together with the local food consumption data of secondary school students obtained by semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire in 2000, were used to estimate dietary exposure from fish intake for the average and high consumer (95th percentile exposure). For tHg, the median concentration was 63 µg kg(-1) (range 3-1370 µg kg(-1)) and estimated exposures ranged 0.5-0.6 µg kg(-1) body weight (bw) week(-1) for an average consumer and 1.6-1.9 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for a high consumer. For MeHg, median concentration was 48 µg kg(-1) (range 3-1010 µg kg(-1)) and estimated dietary exposures were 0.4-0.5 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for an average consumer and 1.2-1.4 µg kg(-1) bw week(-1) for a high consumer. These values are below the respective provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) established by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The health risk is greater for high consumers since MeHg exposures may approach or exceed the PTWI when other dietary sources are taken into account.

  16. An empirical approach to modeling methylmercury concentrations in an Adirondack stream watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Douglas A.; Nystrom, Elizabeth A.; Wolock, David M.; Bradley, Paul M.; Riva-Murray, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Inverse empirical models can inform and improve more complex process-based models by quantifying the principal factors that control water quality variation. Here we developed a multiple regression model that explains 81% of the variation in filtered methylmercury (FMeHg) concentrations in Fishing Brook, a fourth-order stream in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, a known “hot spot” of Hg bioaccumulation. This model builds on previous observations that wetland-dominated riparian areas are the principal source of MeHg to this stream and were based on 43 samples collected during a 33 month period in 2007–2009. Explanatory variables include those that represent the effects of water temperature, streamflow, and modeled riparian water table depth on seasonal and annual patterns of FMeHg concentrations. An additional variable represents the effects of an upstream pond on decreasing FMeHg concentrations. Model results suggest that temperature-driven effects on net Hg methylation rates are the principal control on annual FMeHg concentration patterns. Additionally, streamflow dilutes FMeHg concentrations during the cold dormant season. The model further indicates that depth and persistence of the riparian water table as simulated by TOPMODEL are dominant controls on FMeHg concentration patterns during the warm growing season, especially evident when concentrations during the dry summer of 2007 were less than half of those in the wetter summers of 2008 and 2009. This modeling approach may help identify the principal factors that control variation in surface water FMeHg concentrations in other settings, which can guide the appropriate application of process-based models.

  17. Effects of methylmercury on muscarinic receptors in the mouse brain: A quantitative autoradiographic study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Haesung; Yee, S.; Geddes, J.; Choi, Byung, H. (Ewha Women' s Univ., Seoul (Korea) Univ. of California, Irvine (United States))

    1991-03-11

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is reported to inhibit several stages of cholinergic neurotransmission in brain tissue in-vitro and in-vivo. To examine whether or not behavioral disturbances and/or selective vulnerability of specific neuronal groups in MeHg poisoning may be related to MeHg effects on cholinergic receptors in specific regions of the brain, the density and distribution of muscarinic receptors in the brains of C57BL/6J mice were determined following repeated injections of 5 mg/kg of methylmercuric chloride (MMC). The receptor densities in six cortical laminae of seven cerebral cortical regions, hippocampus and striatum were quantitated by computer-assisted imaging system following in-vitro labeling with ({sup 3}H)-pirenzepine (M1) and ({sup 3}H)N-methyl scopolamine (M2). The results showed heterogeneous distribution of M1 and M2 sites in different regions of the brain, and significant reduction in the density of both receptor subtypes following MeHg poisoning in many cortical and subcortical regions. However, the changes in the density were variable in different laminae even in the same cortical regions. Prominent reductions in M1 densities were noted in the temporal and entorhinal cortices, CA3 and hilar regions of the hippocampus as compared to control, whereas the reduction in M2 receptor density was most prominently noted in the frontal, perirhinal and entorhinal cortices, and CA1 and hilar regions of the hippocampus. Thus, it is apparent that MeHg significantly affects muscarinic receptors in the mouse brain, and that these data when used in conjunction with immunocytochemical and other morphological studies would provide further insights into the mechanisms of neurotoxic effects of MeHg.

  18. Identification and prioritization of management practices to reduce methylmercury exports from wetlands and irrigated agricultural lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, Stephen A; Heim, Wesley A

    2015-03-01

    The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta's (Delta) beneficial uses for humans and wildlife are impaired by elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish. MeHg is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs. The total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan aimed at reducing MeHg in Delta fish obligates dischargers to conduct MeHg control studies. Over 150 stakeholders collaborated to identify 24 management practices (MPs) addressing MeHg nonpoint sources (NPS) in three categories: biogeochemistry (6), hydrology (14), and soil/vegetation (4). Land uses were divided into six categories: permanently and seasonally flooded wetlands, flooded and irrigated agricultural lands, floodplains, and brackish-fresh tidal marshes. Stakeholders scored MPs based on seven criteria: scientific certainty, costs, MeHg reduction potential, spatial applicability, technical capacity to implement, negative impacts to beneficial uses, and conflicting requirements. Semi-quantitative scoring for MPs applicable to each land use (totaling >400 individual scores) led to consensus-based prioritization. This process relied on practical experience from diverse and accomplished NPS stakeholders and synthesis of 17 previous studies. Results provide a comprehensive, stakeholder-driven prioritization of MPs for wetland and irrigated agricultural land managers. Final prioritization highlights the most promising MPs for practical application and control study, and a secondary set of MPs warranting further evaluation. MPs that address hydrology and soil/vegetation were prioritized because experiences were positive and implementation appeared more feasible. MeHg control studies will need to address the TMDL conundrum that MPs effective at reducing MeHg exports could both exacerbate MeHg exposure and contend with other management objectives on site.

  19. Effects of methylmercury on approach and avoidance behavior of mallard ducklings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.

    1975-01-01

    Mallard ducks were fed a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 or 3 ppm mercury (as methylmercury dicyandiamide) based on the dry feed. These mercury diets are approximately equivalent to 0.1 and 0.6 ppm mercury in a natural succulent diet. I measured for the ducklings the approach behavior in response to a tape-recorded maternal call and the avoidance of a frightening stimulus....There were no significant differences among controls and ducklings from mercury-treated parents in the percentage of ducklings that approached the tape-recorded call. Control ducklings, however, moved back and forth toward the call more than ducklings from mercury-treated parents and also spent more time in the end of the runway near the loudspeaker than ducklings whose parents were fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury....Compared to control ducklings, ducklings from parents fed a diet containing 0.5 or 3 ppm mercury were hyper-responsive in the test of avoidance of a frightening stimulus....Mallard eggs collected in the wild have been found to contain levels of mercury exceeding the 1 ppm (wet-weight) found in the eggs of hens fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm, but there are no reports of mallard eggs collected in the wild that were found to contain as much mercury (6 to 9 ppm) as eggs from hens fed a diet containing 3 ppm mercury. On a dry-weight basis, the concentration of mercury in the eggs was about 6 times as great as that in the feed for ducks fed the 0.5 ppm mercury diet and about 6 to 9 times as great for ducks fed the 3 ppm mercury diet.

  20. Methylmercury production and accumulation in urban stormwater ponds and habitat wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickman, R J; Mitchell, C P J

    2017-02-01

    Stormwater management ponds and created habitat wetlands effectively manage erosion, flooding, and pollutant loadings while providing biodiversity and aesthetic benefits, but these structures are also potential sources of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin. While MeHg accumulation has been confirmed in habitat wetlands, the extent of MeHg production and accumulation in stormwater ponds is unknown. Additionally, the fine-scale spatial variation in MeHg in these wetlands has never been explored despite the possibility that cycles of wetting and drying, and the presence of aquatic plants may stimulate methylation at their margins. To address these knowledge gaps, we compared MeHg and inorganic mercury concentrations, the percent of total mercury present as MeHg (%MeHg), and potential mercury methylation rate constants (Kmeth) in the sediments of terrestrial-aquatic transects through several stormwater and habitat wetlands. We present novel evidence confirming the in situ production of MeHg in both stormwater ponds and habitat wetlands, but observe no systematic differences across the terrestrial-aquatic gradient, suggesting that routine variations in water level do not alter MeHg production and accumulation. Stormwater ponds effectively trap mercury while converting relatively little to MeHg, as evidenced by lower MeHg concentrations, %-MeHg, and Kmeth values than habitat wetlands, but often greater inorganic Hg concentrations. The relationship of aquatic vegetation to MeHg accumulation is weak and ambiguous, suggesting plants are not strong drivers of MeHg biogeochemistry in these systems. Although the MeHg hazard associated with individual artificial wetlands is low, they may be important sources of MeHg at the landscape level. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Coupled mercury-cell sorption, reduction, and oxidation on methylmercury production by Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hui; Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L; Rao, Balaji; Liang, Liyuan; Gu, Baohua

    2014-10-21

    G. sulfurreducens PCA cells have been shown to reduce, sorb, and methylate Hg(II) species, but it is unclear whether this organism can oxidize and methylate dissolved elemental Hg(0) as shown for Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132. Using Hg(II) and Hg(0) separately as Hg sources in washed cell assays in phosphate buffered saline (pH 7.4), we report how cell-mediated Hg reduction and oxidation compete or synergize with sorption, thus affecting the production of toxic methylmercury by PCA cells. Methylation is found to be positively correlated to Hg sorption (r = 0.73) but negatively correlated to Hg reduction (r = -0.62). These reactions depend on the Hg and cell concentrations or the ratio of Hg to cellular thiols (-SH). Oxidation and methylation of Hg(0) are favored at relatively low Hg to cell-SH molar ratios (e.g., <1). Increasing Hg to cell ratios from 0.25 × 10(-19) to 25 × 10(-19) moles-Hg/cell (equivalent to Hg/cell-SH of 0.71 to 71) shifts the major reaction from oxidation to reduction. In the absence of five outer membrane c-type cytochromes, mutant ΔomcBESTZ also shows decreases in Hg reduction and increases in methylation. However, the presence of competing thiol-binding ions such as Zn(2+) leads to increased Hg reduction and decreased methylation. These results suggest that the coupled cell-Hg sorption and redox transformations are important in controlling the rates of Hg uptake and methylation by G. sulfurreducens PCA in anoxic environments.

  2. Identification and Prioritization of Management Practices to Reduce Methylmercury Exports from Wetlands and Irrigated Agricultural Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, Stephen A.; Heim, Wesley A.

    2015-03-01

    The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta's (Delta) beneficial uses for humans and wildlife are impaired by elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish. MeHg is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs. The total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan aimed at reducing MeHg in Delta fish obligates dischargers to conduct MeHg control studies. Over 150 stakeholders collaborated to identify 24 management practices (MPs) addressing MeHg nonpoint sources (NPS) in three categories: biogeochemistry (6), hydrology (14), and soil/vegetation (4). Land uses were divided into six categories: permanently and seasonally flooded wetlands, flooded and irrigated agricultural lands, floodplains, and brackish-fresh tidal marshes. Stakeholders scored MPs based on seven criteria: scientific certainty, costs, MeHg reduction potential, spatial applicability, technical capacity to implement, negative impacts to beneficial uses, and conflicting requirements. Semi-quantitative scoring for MPs applicable to each land use (totaling >400 individual scores) led to consensus-based prioritization. This process relied on practical experience from diverse and accomplished NPS stakeholders and synthesis of 17 previous studies. Results provide a comprehensive, stakeholder-driven prioritization of MPs for wetland and irrigated agricultural land managers. Final prioritization highlights the most promising MPs for practical application and control study, and a secondary set of MPs warranting further evaluation. MPs that address hydrology and soil/vegetation were prioritized because experiences were positive and implementation appeared more feasible. MeHg control studies will need to address the TMDL conundrum that MPs effective at reducing MeHg exports could both exacerbate MeHg exposure and contend with other management objectives on site.

  3. Methylmercury and sulfate-reducing bacteria in mangrove sediments from Jiulong River Estuary, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hao Wu; Haoliang Lu; Zhenhua Ding; Yang Liu; Jinling Liu; Haiyu Yan; Jiayong Pan; Liuqiang Li; Huina Lin; Guanghui Lin

    2011-01-01

    Estuaries are important sites for mercury (Hg) methylation, with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) thought to be the main Hg methylators. Distributions of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in mangrove sediment and sediment core from Jiulong River Estuary Provincial Mangrove Reserve, China were determined and the possible mechanisms of Hg methylation and their controlling factors in mangrove sediments were investigated. Microbiological and geochemical parameters were also determined.Results showed that SRB constitute a small fraction of total bacteria (TB) in both surface sediments and the profile of sediments. The content ofTHg, MeHg, TB, and SRB were (350± 150) rig/g, (0.47 ± 0.11) ng/g, (1.4 ×1011 ± 4.1 × 109) cfu/g dry weight (dw), and (5.0 × 106 ± 2.7 × 106) cfu/g dw in surficial sediments, respectively, and (240 ± 24) ng/g, (0.30 ± 0.15) ng/g, (1.9 × 1011± 4.2 × 1010) cfu/g dw, and (1.3× 106 ± 2.0 × 106) cfu/g dw in sediment core, respectively. Results showed that THg, MeHg, TB, MeHg/THg, salinity and total sulfur (TS) increased with depth, but total organic matter (TOM), SRB, and pH decreased with depth. Concentrations of MeHg in sediments showed significant positive correlation with THg, salinity, TS, and MeHg/THg, and significant negative correlation with SRB, TOM, and pH. It was concluded that other microbes, rather than SRB, may also act as main Hg methylators in mangrove sediments.

  4. Eicosanoid signaling and vascular dysfunction: methylmercury-induced phospholipase D activation in vascular endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwani, Shariq I; Pabon, Sheila; Patel, Rishi B; Sayyid, Muzzammil M; Hagele, Thomas; Kotha, Sainath R; Magalang, Ulysses J; Maddipati, Krishna R; Parinandi, Narasimham L

    2013-11-01

    Mercury, especially methylmercury (MeHg), is implicated in the etiology of cardiovascular diseases. Earlier, we have reported that MeHg induces phospholipase D (PLD) activation through oxidative stress and thiol-redox alteration. Hence, we investigated the mechanism of the MeHg-induced PLD activation through the upstream regulation by phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and lipid oxygenases such as cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) in the bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells (BPAECs). Our results showed that MeHg significantly activated both PLA2 (release of [(3)H]arachidonic acid, AA) and PLD (formation of [(32)P]phosphatidylbutanol) in BPAECs in dose- (0-10 μM) and time-dependent (0-60 min) fashion. The cPLA2-specific inhibitor, arachidonyl trifluoromethyl ketone (AACOCF3), significantly attenuated the MeHg-induced [(3)H]AA release in ECs. MeHg-induced PLD activation was also inhibited by AACOCF3 and the COX- and LOX-specific inhibitors. MeHg also induced the formation of COX- and LOX-catalyzed eicosanoids in ECs. MeHg-induced cytotoxicity (based on lactate dehydrogenase release) was protected by PLA2-, COX-, and LOX-specific inhibitors and 1-butanol, the PLD-generated PA quencher. For the first time, our studies showed that MeHg activated PLD in vascular ECs through the upstream action of cPLA2 and the COX- and LOX-generated eicosanoids. These results offered insights into the mechanism(s) of the MeHg-mediated vascular endothelial cell lipid signaling as an underlying cause of mercury-induced cardiovascular diseases.

  5. Simple analysis of total mercury and methylmercury in seafood using heating vaporization atomic absorption spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimoto, Keisuke; Anh, Hoang Thi Van; Yamamoto, Atsushi; Koriyama, Chihaya; Ishibashi, Yasuhiro; Tabata, Masaaki; Nakano, Atsuhiro; Yamamoto, Megumi

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to develop a simpler method for determining total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in biological samples by using methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) in the degreasing step. The fat in the samples was extracted by MIBK to the upper phase. T-Hg transferred into the water phase. This was followed by the extraction of MeHg from the water phase using HBr, CuCl2 and toluene. The MeHg fraction was reverse-extracted into L-cysteine-sodium acetate solution from toluene. The concentrations of T-Hg and MeHg were determined by heating vaporization atomic absorption spectrometry. Certified reference materials for T-Hg and MeHg in hair and fish were accurately measured using this method. This method was then applied to determine T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in the muscle, liver and gonads of seafood for the risk assessment of MeHg exposure. The mean T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in squid eggs were 0.023 and 0.022 µg/g, and in squid nidamental glands 0.052 and 0.049 µg/g, respectively. The MeHg/T-Hg ratios in the eggs and nidamental glands of squid were 94.4% and 96.5%, respectively. The mean T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in the gonads of sea urchins were 0.043 and 0.001 µg/g, respectively, with a MeHg/T-Hg ratio of 3.5%. We developed an efficient analytical method for T-Hg and MeHg using MIBK in the degreasing step. The new information on MeHg concentration and MeHg/T-Hg ratios in the egg or nidamental glands of squid and gonads of sea urchin will also be useful for risk assessment of mercury in seafood.

  6. Toxicity reference values for methylmercury effects on avian reproduction: Critical review and analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchsman, Phyllis C; Brown, Lauren E; Henning, Miranda H; Bock, Michael J; Magar, Victor S

    2017-02-01

    Effects of mercury (Hg) on birds have been studied extensively and with increasing frequency in recent years. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of methylmercury (MeHg) effects on bird reproduction, evaluating laboratory and field studies in which observed effects could be attributed primarily to Hg. The review focuses on exposures via diet and maternal transfer in which observed effects (or lack thereof) were reported relative to Hg concentrations in diet, eggs, or adult blood. Applicable data were identified for 23 species. From this data set, the authors identified ranges of toxicity reference values suitable for risk-assessment applications. Typical ranges of Hg effect thresholds are approximately 0.2 mg/kg to >1.4 mg/kg in diet, 0.05 mg/kg/d to 0.5 mg/kg/d on a dose basis, 0.6 mg/kg to 2.7 mg/kg in eggs, and 2.1 mg/kg to >6.7 mg/kg in parental blood (all concentrations on a wet wt basis). For Hg in avian blood, the review represents the first broad compilation of relevant toxicity data. For dietary exposures, the current data support TRVs that are greater than older, commonly used TRVs. The older diet-based TRVs incorporate conservative assumptions and uncertainty factors that are no longer justified, although they generally were appropriate when originally derived, because of past data limitations. The egg-based TRVs identified from the review are more similar to other previously derived TRVs but have been updated to incorporate new information from recent studies. While important research needs remain, a key recommendation is that species not yet tested for MeHg toxicity should be evaluated using toxicity data from tested species with similar body weights. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:294-319. © 2016 SETAC.

  7. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations in two newly constructed reservoirs in the Wujiang River, Guizhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Heng; Feng, Xinbin; Guo, Yanna; Yan, Haiyu; Fu, Xuewu; Li, Zhonggen; Meng, Bo

    2011-03-01

    We studied the distribution of different mercury species in two newly created reservoirs (Hongjiadu [HJD] and Suofengying [SFY] Reservoir) within the Wujiang River, Guizhou Province, China. These reservoirs were sampled four times between January, 2007, and November, 2007. Water, soil, and fish tissue samples were collected and analyzed for organic (methylmercury) and total Hg. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content in water was measured as well. In both reservoirs, the DOC concentration was low (range 0.5-4.9 mg/L). Organic matter content in soil collected near the bank of both reservoirs was also low (range 0.4-6.9%). The total MeHg level did not increase significantly with depth in water column, nor did it exhibit a pronounced spatial pattern moving from upstream to the dam. The total MeHg level did not increase significantly with depth in water column, nor did it exhibit a pronounced spatial pattern moving from upstream to the dam. The total Hg content in fish tissue was on average 0.044 mg/kg wet weight, which is a very low content in an international comparison. It is suggested that the studied reservoirs were not active sites of net Hg methylating. Low levels of organic matter (OM) may constrict the evolution of the bulk Hg methylation process occurring in flooded soil. Therefore, we hypothesize that newly constructed reservoirs in the karstic region of Southwest China appear to be much less beset by the problems of MeHg pollution that have been reported for corresponding reservoirs in North America and Europe. However, further research is required to verify this finding.

  8. Mercury and Methylmercury Distributions Along a Longitudinal Transect of the North Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Maglio, M.; Ogorek, J.; Landing, W. M.; Morton, P. L.; Shelley, R.; Sunderland, E. M.

    2014-12-01

    From August 1 to September 23, 2013 the A16N Repeat Hydrography Cruise (US CLIVAR program) conducted a nearly longitudinal (~20-25°W) sampling transect of the Atlantic Ocean (63°N to 6°S) originating in Reykjavik, Iceland. Water column profiles were taken at 145 locations along this transect, and at 13 of these locations samples for total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) were also collected. Although profile depths for this cruise reached nearly 6000 m, Hg and MeHg sampling was limited to 12 discrete samples ranging from the surface to about the 1000 m. All samples were collected while observing strict adherence to trace-metal-free protocols. Upon collection from the rosette, each whole-water sample was immediately acidified to 1% HCl, thus our analysis of THg and MeHg includes both particulate and filter-passing fractions. For MeHg, our results represent a composite of both monomethyl and dimethyl mercury species. All samples were analyzed at the USGS Mercury Research Lab. Our results show several clear and interesting trends. First, an examination of THg versus MeHg reveals a bimodal distribution. Samples with THg > 0.03 pM show a highly correlated and linear distribution (R2=0.72) and a high mean percentage of MeHg (49%). On the other hand, samples with THg levels observed in profiles collected between 9 and 14°N. This region of the North Atlantic Ocean is associated with an oxygen minimum and PCO2 maximum zone both driven by degradation of sinking algal-derived organic matter. Last, the overall results from the Atlantic Ocean show a clear MeHg enrichment compared to similar data collected in the Pacific and Southern Indian Oceans.

  9. Evidences for a role of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) in methylmercury induced neurotoxicity in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemolin, A P P; Meinerz, D F; de Paula, M T; Mariano, D O C; Rocha, J B T; Pereira, A B; Posser, T; Franco, J L

    2012-12-01

    We evaluated the activity and expression of antioxidant enzymes in the cerebellum and cortex of Swiss adult male mice exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) in drinking water (40mg/L) during 21 days. The activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) were determined spectrophotometrically. The expression (protein levels) of GPx1 and GPx4 isoforms, TrxR1 as well as heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) were evaluated using specific antibodies and normalized by actin levels. The exposure of mice to MeHg caused a significant impairment in locomotors performance in the open field test (crossings and rearing). This result was followed by a significant reduction of GPx and TrxR activities in the cerebellum and cortex when compared to untreated animals. We also observed a substantial decrease in GPx1, GPx4 and TrxR1 protein levels in the cerebellum, while in the cerebral cortex, only GPx4 and TrxR1 were decreased after MeHg treatment. The activities of the antioxidant enzymes GR, GST, CAT and SOD were increased in the cerebellum after MeHg administration to mice. In contrast, only CAT was increased in the cerebral cortex of MeHg-treated animals. The expression of HSP70 was up-regulated only in the cerebellum where MeHg-exposed mice showed a significant increase in the immunocontent of HSP70 when compared to controls. This is the first report showing a role for GPx4 in the neurotoxicity induced by MeHg in vivo. In addition, our data indicates that the selenoproteins GPx and TrxR as main targets during MeHg exposure, which may be considered in biomarker studies.

  10. Human exposure to methylmercury through rice intake in mercury mining areas, Guizhou province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xinbin; Li, Ping; Qiu, Guangle; Wang, Shaofeng; Li, Guanghui; Shang, Lihai; Meng, Bo; Jiang, Hongmei; Bai, Weiyang; Li, Zhonggen; Fu, Xuewu

    2008-01-01

    The toxicity of methylmercury (Me-Hg) has caused widespread public human concern as a result of several widely publicized disasters. Me-Hg is highly toxic, and the nervous system is its principal target tissue for humans. Although the general population is primarily exposed to Me-Hg through contaminated fish and marine mammals, in Hg mining areas a long history of mining activities can produce serious Hg pollution to the local environment In a study of 98 persons from the Wanshan Hg mining area, hair Me-Hg levels indicated Me-Hg exposure. Rice, the staple food of the local inhabitants also showed high total Hg (T-Hg) and Me-Hg levels. The geometric mean concentration of T-Hg and mean concentration of Me-Hg in rice samples collected from 3 villages in Wanshan Hg mining area were 36.2 (ranging from 4.9 to 214.7), and 8.5 (ranging from 1.9 to 27.6) microg/kg, respectively, which were significantly elevated compared to the rice samples collected from a reference area, where the mean T-Hg and Me-Hg concentrations were 7.0 (3.2-15.1) and 2.5 (0.8-4.3) microg/kg, respectively. Pork meat, vegetable, and drinking water samples collected in Wanshan Hg mining area contained highly elevated T-Hg, but very low levels of Me-Hg. The relationships between the estimated rice Me-Hg intake and hair Me-Hg levels (r = 0.65, p levels indeed was the main route of Me-Hg exposure for the local residents in the Wanshan Hg mining area. From our study, we can conclude that the main human exposure to Me-Hg via food consumption is not restricted to fish, but in some cases in mining areas of China to frequent rice meals.

  11. Methylmercury in flood-control impoundments and natural waters of northwestern Minnesota, 1997-99

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigham, M.E.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Olson, M.L.; DeWild, J.F.

    2002-01-01

    We studied methylmercury (MeHg) and total mercury (HgT) in impounded and natural surface waters in northwestern Minnesota, in settings ranging from agricultural to undeveloped. In a recently constructed (1995) permanent-pool impoundment, MeHg levels typically increased from inflow to outflow during 1997; this trend broke down from late 1998 to early 1999. MeHg levels in the outflow reached seasonal maxima in mid-summer (maximum of 1.0 ng L−1 in July 1997) and late-winter (maximum of 6.6 ng L−1 in February 1999), and are comparable to high levels observed in new hydroelectric reservoirs in Canada. Spring and autumn MeHg levels were typically about 0.1–0.2 ng L−1. Overall, MeHg levels in both the inflow (a ditch that drains peatlands) and outflow were significantly higher than in three nearby reference natural lakes. Eleven older permanent-pool impoundments and six natural lakes in northwestern Minnesota were sampled five times. The impoundments typically had higher MeHg levels (0.071–8.36 ng L−1) than natural lakes. Five of six lakes MeHg levels typical of uncontaminated lakes (0.014–1.04 ng L−1) with highest levels in late winter, whereas a hypereutrophic lake had high levels (0.37–3.67 ng L−1) with highest levels in mid-summer. Seven temporary-pool impoundments were sampled during summer high-flow events. Temporary-pool impoundments that retained water for about 10–15 days after innundation yielded pronounced increases in MeHg from inflow to outflow, in one case reaching 4.6 ng L−1, which was about 2 ng L−1 greater than the mean inflow concentration during the runoff event.

  12. Whole-lake nitrate addition for control of methylmercury in mercury-contaminated Onondaga Lake, NY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, David A; Babcock, David B; Nolan, John G; Prestigiacomo, Anthony R; Effler, Steven W; Driscoll, Charles T; Todorova, Svetoslava G; Kuhr, Kenneth M

    2013-08-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) strongly bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs resulting in exposure to humans and wildlife through consumption of fish. Production of MeHg is promoted by anaerobic conditions and the supply of inorganic Hg (Hg(2+)), sulfate (SO4(2-)), and labile organic carbon. The anaerobic sediments of stratified lakes are particularly active zones for methylation of Hg(2+) and can be an important source of MeHg to the water column during summer anoxia and fall turnover. Nitrate (NO3(-)) addition has recently been proposed as a novel approach for the control of MeHg accumulation in the hypolimnia of Hg-contaminated lakes. In 2011, a whole-lake NO3(-) addition pilot test was conducted in Hg-contaminated Onondaga Lake, NY with the objective of limiting release of MeHg from the pelagic sediments to the hypolimnion through maintenance of NO3(-)-N concentrations >1mgN/L. A liquid calcium-nitrate solution was added to the hypolimnion as a neutrally buoyant plume approximately three times per week during the summer stratification interval. Maximum hypolimnetic concentrations of MeHg and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) decreased 94% and 95% from 2009 levels, suggesting increased sorption to Fe and Mn oxyhydroxides in surficial sediments as the regulating mechanism. Increased MeHg concentrations in the upper waters during fall turnover, which had been a generally recurring pattern, did not occur in 2011, resulting in decreased exposure of aquatic organisms to MeHg. Over the 1992-2011 interval, the hypolimnetic NO3(-) supply explained 85% and 95% of the interannual variations in hypolimnetic accumulations of SRP and MeHg, respectively.

  13. Influence of dissolved organic carbon on methylmercury bioavailability across Minnesota stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsui, Martin Tsz Ki; Finlay, Jacques C

    2011-07-15

    Stream ecosystems are widely contaminated by mercury (Hg) via atmospheric transport and deposition in watersheds. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is well-known to be the dominant ligand for aqueous methylmercury (MeHg), the bioaccumulative form of Hg in aquatic food webs. However, it is less clear if and how the concentration and character (e.g., aromaticity) of DOC influences the availability of dissolved MeHg to stream food webs. In this work, we analyzed total-Hg and/or MeHg concentrations in water, seston, and macroinvertebrates (filter-feeding hydropsychid caddisflies), and other physiochemical properties in 30 streams along a south-north geographic gradient in eastern Minnesota that corresponds to substantial changes in dominant land cover (i.e., agriculture, urban, wetland, and forest). In general, MeHg concentrations in seston and hydropsychids were higher in watersheds with more forest and wetland coverage, and increased with dissolved MeHg concentration. However, we found that the efficiency of MeHg incorporation into the stream food webs (i.e., bioconcentration factors of MeHg in both seston and hydropsychids, BCF(MeHg) = solid MeHg ÷ dissolved MeHg) decreased significantly with DOC concentration and aromaticity, suggesting that MeHg bioavailability to the base of food webs was attenuated at higher levels of terrestrial DOC. Therefore, our findings suggest that there is a dual role of DOC on MeHg cycling in streams: terrestrial DOC acts as the primary carrier ligand of dissolved MeHg for transport into surface waters, yet this aromatic DOC also attenuates dissolved MeHg uptake by aquatic food webs. Thus, consideration of MeHg bioavailability and its environmental regulation could help improve predictive models of MeHg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  14. Sub-chronic exposure to methylmercury at low levels decreases butyrylcholinesterase activity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentini, Juliana; Vicentini, Juliana; Grotto, Denise; Tonello, Raquel; Garcia, Solange C; Barbosa, Fernando

    2010-02-01

    In this study, we examined the effects of low levels and sub-chronic exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) on butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activity in rats. Moreover, we examined the relationship between BuChE activity and oxidative stress biomarkers [delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (delta-ALA-D) and malondialdehyde levels (MDA)] in the same animals. Rats were separated into three groups (eight animals per group): (Group I) received water by gavage; (Group II) received MeHg (30 microg/kg/day) by gavage; (Group III) received MeHg (100 microg/kg/day). The time of exposure was 90 days. BuChE and ALA-D activities were measured in serum and blood, respectively; whereas MDA levels were measured in plasma. We found BuChE and ALA-D activities decreased in groups II and III compared to the control group. Moreover, we found an interesting negative correlation between plasmatic BuChE activity and MDA (r = -0.85; p < 0.01) and a positive correlation between plasmatic BuChE activity and ALA-D activities (r = 0.78; p < 0.01), thus suggesting a possible relationship between oxidative damage promoted by MeHg exposure and the decrease of BuChE activity. In conclusion, long-term exposure to low doses of MeHg decreases plasmatic BuChE activity. Moreover, the decrease in the enzyme is strongly correlated with the oxidative stress promoted by the metal exposure. This preliminary finding highlights a possible mechanism for MeHg to reduce BuChE activity in plasma. Additionally, this enzyme could be an auxiliary biomarker on the evaluation of MeHg exposure.

  15. Beaver Ponds Increase Methylmercury and Nutrients Concentrations in Canadian Shield Streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, V.; Amyot, M.; Carignan, R.

    2007-12-01

    Beaver populations and the number of beaver dams are currently increasing in many Canadian regions. Since natural and anthropogenic impoundments have historically been identified as sources of the potent neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg), beaver dams could also increase MeHg levels in streams. During summer 2006, we collected water samples upstream and downstream from twenty beaver dams of the Laurentians, located on the Canadian Shield. Samples were analysed for total Hg, MeHg and other chemical variables including DOC, TP, TDP, TN, and major ions. Significant increases of nutrients (DOC, TP, TDP, TN) and ammonium concentrations and depletions of oxygen, nitrate and sulphate concentrations between inlet and outlet show that beaver ponds provide environmental conditions that can favour methylation of inorganic mercury. Heterogeneity of the ratio MeHg/THg at the outlet among our sites was well explained by the estimated age of the impoundment, with methylation capacity of beaver ponds decreasing with age. Further, the geographic location of beaver ponds influenced water chemistry at the outlet, as we observed a dichotomy between northern and southern sites; these differences were based mainly on forest composition. On average, beaver impoundments increased MeHg concentrations by 5.7 fold, total Hg concentrations by 1.6 fold and nutrients concentrations by 2-3 fold. Overall, our results suggest that beaver dams may considerably increase MeHg and nutrients levels in downstream ecosystems. The impact of beavers on the cycling of contaminants and nutrients in boreal watersheds should therefore be considered in the management of their populations.

  16. Atmospheric deposition of mercury and methylmercury to landscapes and waterbodies of the Athabasca oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Gleason, Amber; Wang, Xiaowa; Lawson, Greg; Frank, Richard A; Lehnherr, Igor; Wrona, Fred

    2014-07-01

    Atmospheric deposition of metals originating from a variety of sources, including bitumen upgrading facilities and blowing dusts from landscape disturbances, is of concern in the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, Canada. Mercury (Hg) is of particular interest as methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin which bioaccumulates through foodwebs, can reach levels in fish and wildlife that may pose health risks to human consumers. We used spring-time sampling of the accumulated snowpack at sites located varying distances from the major developments to estimate winter 2012 Hg loadings to a ∼20 000 km(2) area of the Athabasca oil sands region. Total Hg (THg; all forms of Hg in a sample) loads were predominantly particulate-bound (79 ± 12%) and increased with proximity to major developments, reaching up to 1000 ng m(-2). MeHg loads increased in a similar fashion, reaching up to 19 ng m(-2) and suggesting that oil sands developments are a direct source of MeHg to local landscapes and water bodies. Deposition maps, created by interpolation of measured Hg loads using geostatistical software, demonstrated that deposition resembled a bullseye pattern on the landscape, with areas of maximum THg and MeHg loadings located primarily between the Muskeg and Steepbank rivers. Snowpack concentrations of THg and MeHg were significantly correlated (r = 0.45-0.88, p < 0.01) with numerous parameters, including total suspended solids (TSS), metals known to be emitted in high quantities from the upgraders (vanadium, nickel, and zinc), and crustal elements (aluminum, iron, and lanthanum), which were also elevated in this region. Our results suggest that at snowmelt, a complex mixture of chemicals enters aquatic ecosystems that could impact biological communities of the oil sands region.

  17. Total mercury and methyl-mercury contents and accumulation in polar microbial mats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Antonio; Rochera, Carlos; Hennebelle, Raphaëlle; Ferrari, Christophe; Quesada, Antonio

    2015-03-15

    Although polar regions are considered isolated and pristine areas, the organisms that inhabit these zones are exposed to global pollution. Heavy metals, such as mercury, are global pollutants and can reach almost any location on Earth. Mercury may come from natural, volcanic or geological sources, or result from anthropogenic sources, in particular industrial or mining activities. In this study, we have investigated one of the most prominent biological non-marine communities in both polar regions, microbial mats, in terms of their Hg and methyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations and accumulation capacities. The main hypotheses posed argued on the importance of different factors, and to test them, we have measured Hg concentrations in microbial mats that were collected from 6 locations in different ecological situations. For this purpose, the direct anthropogenic impacts, volcanic influences, proximity to the seashore, latitudinal gradients and C contents were investigated. Our results show that, other than the direct anthropogenic influence, none of the other hypotheses alone satisfactorily explains the Hg content in microbial mats. In contrast, the MeHg contents were noticeably different between the investigated locations, with a higher proportion of MeHg on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (Antarctica) and a lower proportion on Ward Hunt Island (High Arctic). Furthermore, our results from in situ experiments indicated that the microbial mats from South Shetland Islands could quickly accumulate (48 h) Hg when Hg dissolved salts were supplied. Over short-term periods, these mats do not transform Hg into MeHg under field conditions.

  18. Evaluating the trophic transfer of cadmium, polonium, and methylmercury in an estuarine food chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Teresa; Fisher, Nicholas S

    2008-05-01

    We examined the transfer of Cd, methylmercury (MeHg), and Po in an estuarine food chain (from phytoplankton to zooplankton [Daphnia pulex] to killifish [Fundulus heteroclitus] and, finally, to juvenile striped bass [Morone saxatilis]) to better understand both the extent to which these elements may biomagnify and the underlying mechanisms governing this biomagnification. Among the phytoplankton examined (Cyclotella meneghiniana and Chlamdomonas reinhardtii), metal uptake was rapid, and volume concentration factors for all metals reached values between 10(4) and 10(5). The resulting assimilation efficiencies (AEs) of ingested metals in all animals were highest for MeHg, with values greater than 76%. The AEs of Cd were 21 to 33% in D. pulex, 1 to 16% in F. heteroclitus, and 38 to 56% in M. saxatilis. Polonium AEs were 69 to 87% in D. pulex, 25 to 41% in F. heteroclitus, and 9 to 21% in M. saxatilis. Loss rate constants (ke) of metals in D. pulex ranged from 0.04/d for MeHg to 0.39/d for Po; metal ke values for F. heteroclitus ranged from 0.01 to 0.02/d. Using a kinetic model, we showed that the trophic transfer factor, defined as the ratio of metal concentration in predatory animals to metal concentration in prey organisms, was greater than unity for all three metals in D. pulex feeding on phytoplankton, suggesting that these metals may be biomagnified at this trophic step. In killifish feeding on D. pulex, the trophic transfer factor was consistently greater than one for MeHg, consistently less than one for Cd, and from 0.1 to 1.4 for Po, suggesting that both MeHg and Po have the potential to biomagnify at this trophic step.

  19. A mass budget for mercury and methylmercury in the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soerensen, Anne L.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Schartup, Amina T.; Fisher, Jenny A.; Lehnherr, Igor; St. Louis, Vincent L.; Heimbürger, Lars-Eric; Sonke, Jeroen E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2016-04-01

    Elevated biological concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin, are observed throughout the Arctic Ocean, but major sources and degradation pathways in seawater are not well understood. We develop a mass budget for mercury species in the Arctic Ocean based on available data since 2004 and discuss implications and uncertainties. Our calculations show that high total mercury (Hg) in Arctic seawater relative to other basins reflect large freshwater inputs and sea ice cover that inhibits losses through evasion. We find that most net MeHg production (20 Mg a-1) occurs in the subsurface ocean (20-200 m). There it is converted to dimethylmercury (Me2Hg: 17 Mg a-1), which diffuses to the polar mixed layer and evades to the atmosphere (14 Mg a-1). Me2Hg has a short atmospheric lifetime and rapidly degrades back to MeHg. We postulate that most evaded Me2Hg is redeposited as MeHg and that atmospheric deposition is the largest net MeHg source (8 Mg a-1) to the biologically productive surface ocean. MeHg concentrations in Arctic Ocean seawater are elevated compared to lower latitudes. Riverine MeHg inputs account for approximately 15% of inputs to the surface ocean (2.5 Mg a-1) but greater importance in the future is likely given increasing freshwater discharges and permafrost melt. This may offset potential declines driven by increasing evasion from ice-free surface waters. Geochemical model simulations illustrate that for the most biologically relevant regions of the ocean, regulatory actions that decrease Hg inputs have the capacity to rapidly affect aquatic Hg concentrations.

  20. Chronic effects of methylmercury on the urinary excretion of catecholamines and their responses to hypoglycemic stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabuto, M. (Japan National Inst. of Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki (Japan). Dept. of Environmental Health)

    1991-02-01

    Five male Wistar rats were treated with methylmecury chloride (MMC) and compared with five agematched control rats. A dose of 10 mg/kg was given three times. The chronic effects of the MMC administration on the urinary output of catecholamines (norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E) and dopamine (DA)) were measured for 50 days. On the 69th day after MMC administration, the rats were examined for insulin-induced hypoglycemic stress. On the 90th day, the animals were decapitated and various organs were weighted and serum thyroid hormones (thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and total and free thyroxine (T4)) were measured. Decreases in DA excretion and DA response to stress were observed in the MMC-treated group. Inflammation of the kidney was also found, suggesting MMC-induced damage to the renal tubular region, the apparent site of renal DA synthesis. The MMC group and the control group showed differential NE and E response patterns. The lowered baseline excretion of NE appeared to continue even 70 days after MMC administration, while the difference in E excretion between the two groups disappeared 1 month after MMC administration. Both NE and E showed normal responsiveness to hypoglycemic stress induced by insulin. All serum TSH and total and free T4 baseline levels showed slight increases, and the thyroid gland weights in the MMC group were slightly heavier. These findings suggest a rather hyperthyroid state after the initial acute phase suppression, as suggested by the previous examinations. Thus, these findings suggest long-lasting effects of methylmercury administration, especially on renal DA synthesis. Baseline urinary excretion of NE and thyroid function could also be affected for a long time. (orig.).

  1. Decreasing Methylmercury Export from a Managed Wetland: A Landscape Manipulation Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.; Windham-Myers, L.; Fleck, J.; McQuillen, H.

    2015-12-01

    Wetlands are important areas for methylmercury (MeHg) production and export to adjacent water bodies, and yet are also critical for wildlife and healthy ecosystem function. Thus, preserving or restoring wetland habitat, while limiting MeHg export, provides a unique challenge to wetland managers. This study examined how wetland design and the use of strategically located deep cells could reduce MeHg export. The study area consisted of eight ~10 hectare leveed fields, annually flooded (4-20 cm) during mid-September thru late April to promote waterfowl habitat. In four 'treatment' fields, 20% of the area (~2 hectare) at the outflow end was excavated to a depth of ~1 m, while no elevation adjustments were made in the four remaining 'control' fields. We examined 3 potential mechanisms of MeHg removal in the deep cell areas of the treatment fields (particulate flux to the benthos, benthic demethylation, and photo-demethylation), and compared MeHg export between control and treatment fields. Particulate depositional flux was high across all deep cells (3.5-8.9 g particles/m2/d dry wt.; 25-75% quartile, n=211), as assessed with deposition pads deployed prior to and retrieved after flooding. This compared well to three separate short-term (24 hr) deposition experiments (1.6-4.7 g particles/m2/d dry wt.; 25-75% quartile, n=48) used to assess particulate MeHg depositional flux (7.6-25.5 ng MeHg/m2/d dry wt.; 25-75% quartile, n=48). With additional results pending, this presentation will describe the relative contribution of the above three MeHg removal processes, the MeHg export from treatment vs control fields, and the overall effectiveness of this wetland management option using deep water cells for reducing MeHg export from managed wetlands to adjacent water bodies.

  2. Investigating Methylmercury Exposure in North Atlantic Cetaceans Using Multiple Isotope Tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, M.; Mikkelsen, B.; Yin, R.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Sunderland, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    Anthropogenic emissions have substantially perturbed the global biogeochemical cycle of mercury (Hg) and high latitude ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to Hg pollution and climate change. We investigated temporal changes in methylmercury (MeHg) exposures of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas, n=59) between 1985-2015 using multiple isotopes (δ202Hg, Δ199Hg, Δ200Hg, Δ201Hg, δ13C, δ15N) as tracers of the physical environment and foraging ecology. Mass-independent fraction (MIF) of Hg (Δ199Hg, Δ201Hg) is mainly driven by photochemical demethylation in seawater. Enriched δ202Hg has been shown to result from demethylation. The ranges in Δ199Hg and Δ201Hg values in whales are similar across time periods with the exception of a few years following the 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland that may have affected light penetration in surface waters. The mean δ202Hg values of whale muscle samples are consistently 1.5 ‰ across the study period, which is 1 ‰ higher than their prey (squid, blue whiting, and greater argentine). This fractionation is consistent with in vivo demethylation as a detoxification mechanism in the whales. Individuals with the highest MeHg concentrations have the lowest δ202Hg values and we infer this may result from more limited MeHg demethylation. We find a linear relationship between Δ200Hg anomalies (-0.1 to 0.2‰) and Δ199Hg (R2=0.76) that has not previously been reported. Variability in Δ200Hg is thought to be driven by photochemical reactions in the tropopause and may provide an effective tracer for atmospheric Hg inputs to the ocean that are methylated and accumulated in aquatic biota.

  3. Ecological and biological determinants of methylmercury accumulation in tropical coastal fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seixas, Tércia G; Moreira, Isabel; Malm, Olaf; Kehrig, Helena A

    2013-02-01

    This research investigated whether environmental conditions, biological fish characteristics and anthropogenic impacts influenced mercury (Hg) assimilation into the muscle tissue of two fish species from two Brazilian bays, Ilha Grande Bay and Guanabara Bay. Fish and superficial water were collected in different periods. Hg was determined by CV-AAS. Methylmercury (MeHg) was identified and quantified by ECD-GC. Chlorophyll a concentrations in the water column indicated that Ilha Grande Bay and Guanabara Bay were oligotrophic and eutrophic, respectively. Hg in fish ranged from 2.10 to 870.17 μg kg(-1) dry wt. in Ilha Grande Bay and 40.90 to 809.24 μg kg(-1) dry wt. in Guanabara Bay. Slight differences were found between the length-normalized Hg concentrations and its percent of Hg in a voracious predator from the bays. In Guanabara Bay, where the presence of a chlor-alkali plant causes Hg input, the iliophagous fish species showed the highest length-normalized Hg concentrations and the voracious predator the lowest. Iliophagous fish is consumed by voracious predator and, consequently, acts as their MeHg food supply. Iliophagous fish from Ilha Grande Bay presented a higher percent of MeHg (80.0 %) than specimens from Guanabara Bay (54.5 %). This fact suggests that more MeHg was transferred from iliophagous fish to voracious predator in Ilha Grande Bay. At Guanabara Bay, the bioproduction is greater than that at Ilha Grande Bay, presenting the highest biomass in it ecosystem, which may subsequently dilute Hg and reduce its availability to the biota; i.e., influencing in Hg and MeHg availability throughout the food chain. Consequently, more MeHg is available in the aquatic environment of Ilha Grande Bay.

  4. SUB-ACUTE TREATMENT WITH METHYLMERCURY DURING DIFFERENTIATION OF PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA (PC12) CELLS DOES NOT ALTER BINDING OF ION CHANNEL LIGANDS OR CELL MORPHOLOGY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    We demonstrated recently that 6 days of exposure to nanomolar concentrations (3-10 nM) of methylmercury (MeHg) during nerve growth factor (NGF) induced PC12 cell differentiation reduced the amplitude and density of voltage-gated sodium and calcium currents. In the present study,...

  5. Use of advanced cluster analysis to characterize fish consumption patterns and methylmercury dietary exposures from fish and other sea foods among pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pouzaud, Francois; Ibbou, Assia; Blanchemanche, Sandrine

    2010-01-01

    On account of the interspecies variability in contamination and nutrient contents, consumers must balance the risks and benefits of fish consumption through their choice of species, meal size and frequency. The objectives of this study were to better characterize the risk of methylmercury (Me...

  6. Effects of embryonic exposure to methylmercury on larval prey-capture ability in the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weis, J.S. (Rutgers-the State Univ., Newark, NJ (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences); Weis, P. (New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ (United States). Dept. of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Injury Science)

    1995-01-01

    Embryos of the mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) were exposed to 2, 5, or 10 [mu]g/L methylmercury (meHg) throughout development; these are concentrations below those which cause teratological effects in this species. After hatching, larvae were maintained in clean seawater and tested for pre-capture ability, using Artemia salina nauplii. Larvae that had been exposed to 10 [mu]g/L methylmercury initially exhibited slower prey-capture ability than did the other groups. This is an indication of a subtle functional impairment due to the toxicant (behavioral teratology). However, the effect was transitory, and by about 1 week after hatching the pre capture of these larvae equaled that of the controls and the other treated groups. Growth of these larvae was also comparable to that of controls. The exposure may have caused retardation of neurological development, which was subsequently compensated for, and therefore no long-lasting effects were produced. In the field, however, embryos exposed to toxicants would probably continue to be exposed as larvae, and might not have the opportunity to recover from the deleterious effects, but rather might have them augmented.

  7. Determination of methylmercury in the tuna tissue by High performance liquid chromatography with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LV Lei; Jiang Zhi-gang; Li Qun; Zhang Shuai

    2009-01-01

    This study mainly applied one kind oftechnologies to determine the methylmercury in the tuna tissue with high performance liquid chromagraphy-inductively coupled plasma nlass spectrometry.We choosed the optmaum conditiom including that the mobile phase Was water with 5% methanol,2-mercaptoethanol,0.06mol/Lammomum acetate and pH6.8.The sample amount was 1OOuL and the flow rate was 0.4mL/min.The optimum checking conditions is that RF power was 1500W,integral time was 0.3s sampling depth Was 8.0mm,velocity of carrier gas Was 0.75L/min and velocity of auxiliary gas Was 0.40L/min.In this con~tiom.the calibration CUrVe was linear when the concentra tions od methylmercury was in the range of 0-4ug/mL(r=0.9996),the detection limit can achieve 9ng/L,RSD is 8.2%,and the addition recovery is 75%-97%.The results show this method is simple,rapid and sensitive and can be used for the daily analysis of tuna samples.

  8. Higher and more variable methylmercury biomagnification factors for floodplain than the contiguous river (South River, Virginia USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jincheng; Newman, Michael C; Xu, Xiaoyu; Liang, Lian

    2013-06-01

    Extending previous trophic transfer studies of the mercury-contaminated South River watershed, predictive models were built for mercury biomagnification in floodplain food webs at two more locations (North Park and Grand Cavern). Four of five models built to date based on methylmercury and δ(15)N met the a priori requirement for useful prediction (prediction r(2)≈0.80). An additional factor included in models was organism thermoregulatory strategy (poikilothermy or homeothermy). The methylmercury food web biomagnification factors (FWMFs, fold increase per trophic level) for the North Park and Grand Cavern locations were 17.4 (95% CI of 9.5-31.6) and 6.2 (95% CI of 3.5-11.0) respectively. FWMF calculated in 2009 were 9.3 (95% CI of 5.4-16.2) for the Augusta Forestry Center and 25.1 (95% CI of 12.6-50.1) for Grottoes Town Park. The overall South River floodplain FWMF generated by meta-analysis of the four locations was 12.4 (95% CI of 6.8-22.3). These results supported previous findings that the South River floodplain food webs had higher biomagnification factors than the contiguous aquatic food web (4.6, 95% CI of 3.6-5.7). Floodplain FWMFs were also more variable than those of the river.

  9. Habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury in invertebrates of small mid-latitude lakes in North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chetelat, John, E-mail: john.chetelat@ec.gc.c [Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie, Departement de sciences biologiques, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada); Amyot, Marc; Garcia, Edenise [Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie, Departement de sciences biologiques, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2011-01-15

    We examined habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic food webs by comparing concentrations in pelagic zooplankton to those in littoral macroinvertebrates from 52 mid-latitude lakes in North America. Invertebrate MeHg concentrations were primarily correlated with water pH, and after controlling for this influence, pelagic zooplankton had significantly higher MeHg concentrations than littoral primary consumers but lower MeHg than littoral secondary consumers. Littoral primary consumers and pelagic zooplankton are two dominant prey for fish, and greater MeHg in zooplankton is likely sufficient to increase bioaccumulation in pelagic feeders. Intensive sampling of 8 lakes indicated that habitat-specific bioaccumulation in invertebrates (of similar trophic level) may result from spatial variation in aqueous MeHg concentration or from more efficient uptake of aqueous MeHg into the pelagic food web. Our findings demonstrate that littoral-pelagic differences in MeHg bioaccumulation are widespread in small mid-latitude lakes. - Methylmercury levels in dominant invertebrate prey for fish differ between littoral and pelagic habitats within a lake.

  10. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations in high altitude lakes and fish (Arctic charr) from the French Alps related to watershed characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusczak, Nicolas; Larose, Catherine; Dommergue, Aurélien; Paquet, Serge; Beaulne, Jean-Sébastien; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Lucotte, Marc; Nedjai, Rachid; Ferrari, Christophe P

    2011-04-15

    Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were measured in the muscle of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and in the water column of 4 lakes that are located in the French Alps. Watershed characteristics were determined (6 coverage classes) for each lake in order to evaluate the influence of watershed composition on mercury and methylmercury concentrations in fish muscle and in the water column. THg and MeHg concentrations in surface water were relatively low and similar among lakes and watershed characteristics play a major role in determining water column Hg and MeHg levels. THg muscle concentrations for fish with either a standardized length of 220mm, a standardized age of 5 years or for individualuals did not exceed the 0.5mg kg(-1) fish consumption advisory limit established for Hg by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1990). These relatively low THg concentrations can be explained by watershed characteristics, which lead to short Hg residence time in the water column, and also by the short trophic chain that is characteristic of mountain lakes. Growth rate did not seem to influence THg concentrations in fish muscles of these lakes and we observed no relationship between fish Hg concentrations and altitude. This study shows that in the French Alps, high altitude lakes have relatively low THg and MeHg concentrations in both the water column and in Arctic charr populations. Therefore, Hg does not appear to present a danger for local populations and the fishermen of these lakes.

  11. Accumulation of dietary methylmercury in the testes of the adult brown norway rat: Impaired testicular and epididymal function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedmann, A.S.; Chen, H.; Zirkin, B.R. [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). School of Health and Public Hygiene; Rabuck, L.D. [Univ. of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI (United States)

    1998-05-01

    The widespread consumption of fish containing elevated concentrations of methylmercury has prompted concern over the health effects of such a diet. Previous studies with rodents have indicated that exposure to dietary mercury (Hg) impairs male reproductive health. However, adverse effects were observed following doses in the range of milligrams per kilogram of body weight, whereas typical human consumption in the United States is in the range of micrograms per kilogram of body weight. This study examined the effects of dietary Hg on male rats using levels of the metal that are more similar to those typically consumed by humans. For 19 weeks, adult male Brown Norway rats were administered methylmercury twice weekly at 0.8, 8.0, or 80 {micro}g/kg. Intratesticular testosterone levels in the high-dose group were reduced by 44$, suggesting that steroidogenesis in these animals was dramatically impaired. Although sperm production was not significantly affected, numbers of sperm in the cauda epididymides of the high-dose group were reduced by 17%. Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between fertility and testicular Hg content. These results raise the possibility that exposure to Hg at levels consumed by humans may result in steroidogenic impairment, reduced sperm counts, and fertility problems.

  12. Perturbation of myelin basic protein (Mbp) splice variant expression in developing rat cerebellum following perinatal exposure to methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padhi, Bhaja K; Pelletier, Guillaume

    2012-09-18

    Myelin sheaths surrounding axons are essential for saltatory conduction of nerve impulse in the central nervous system. A major protein constituent of myelin sheaths is produced by the myelin basic protein (Mbp) gene, whose expression in oligodendrocytes is conserved across vertebrates. In rat, five Mbp splice variants resulting from alternative splicing of exons 2, 5 and/or 6 are characterized. We developed a PCR-based strategy to quantify individual Mbp splice variants and characterized a sixth Mbp splice variant lacking only exon 5. This newly identified splice variant is predominantly expressed in developing rat brain and has orthologs in mouse and human. Many neurotoxic chemicals can perturb myelination and Mbp gene expression. Regulation of Mbp gene expression at the post-transcriptional level was assessed following perinatal exposure to neurotoxic methylmercury (2 mg/kg b.w./day). Similar reductions in total and individual Mbp splice variant mRNA levels suggest that methylmercury-induced perturbation in Mbp gene expression occurred as a consequence of decreased oligodendrocyte cell population in absence of a significant impact on its post-transcriptional regulation.

  13. Evo-Devo: evolutionary developmental mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Brian K

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) as a discipline is concerned, among other things, with discovering and understanding the role of changes in developmental mechanisms in the evolutionary origin of aspects of the phenotype. In a very real sense, Evo-Devo opens the black box between genotype and phenotype, or more properly, phenotypes as multiple life history stages arise in many organisms from a single genotype. Changes in the timing or positioning of an aspect of development in a descendant relative to an ancestor (heterochrony and heterotopy) were two evolutionary developmental mechanisms identified by Ernst Haeckel in the 1870s. Many more have since been identified, in large part because of our enhanced understanding of development and because new mechanisms emerge as development proceeds: the transfer from maternal to zygotic genomic control; cell-to-cell interactions; cell differentiation and cell migration; embryonic inductions; functional interactions at the tissue and organ levels; growth. Within these emergent processes, gene networks and gene cascades (genetic modules) link the genotype with morphogenetic units (cellular modules, namely germ layers, embryonic fields or cellular condensations), while epigenetic processes such as embryonic inductions, tissue interactions and functional integration, link morphogenetic units to the phenotype. Evolutionary developmental mechanisms also include interactions between individuals of the same species, individuals of different species, and species and their biotic and/or abiotic environment. Such interactions link ecological communities. Importantly, there is little to distinguish the causality that underlies these interactions from that which underlies inductive interactions within embryos.

  14. Embryotoxicity assessment of developmental neurotoxicants using a neuronal endpoint in the embryonic stem cell test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Dae Hyun; Kim, Tae Gyun; Lim, Hwa Kyung; Kang, Jin Wook; Seong, Su Kyoung; Choi, Seung Eun; Lim, So Yun; Park, Sung Hee; Nam, Bong-hyun; Kim, Eun Hee; Kim, Mun Sin; Park, Kui Lea

    2012-08-01

    The embryonic stem cell test (EST) is a validated in vitro embryotoxicity test; however, as the inhibition of cardiac differentiation alone is used as a differentiation endpoint in the EST, it may not be a useful test to screen embryotoxic chemicals that affect the differentiation of noncardiac tissues. Previously, methylmercury (MeHg), cadmium and arsenic compounds, which are heavy metals that induce developmental neurotoxicity in vivo, were misclassified as nonembryotoxic with the EST. The aim of this study was to improve the EST to correctly screen such developmental neurotoxicants. We developed a neuronal endpoint (Tuj-1 ID₅₀) using flow cytometry analysis of Tuj-1-positive cells to screen developmental neurotoxicants (MeHg, valproic acid, sodium arsenate and sodium arsenite) correctly using an adherent monoculture differentiation method. Using Tuj-1 ID₅₀ in the EST instead of cardiac ID₅₀, all of the tested chemicals were classified as embryotoxic, while the negative controls were correctly classified as nonembryotoxic. To support the validity of Tuj-1 ID₅₀) , we compared the results from two experimenters who independently tested MeHg using our modified EST. An additional neuronal endpoint (MAP2 ID₅₀), obtained by analyzing the relative quantity of MAP2 mRNA, was used to classify the same chemicals. There were no significant differences in the three endpoint values of the two experimenters or in the classification results, except for isoniazid. In conclusion, our results indicate that Tuj-1 ID₅₀ can be used as a surrogate endpoint of the traditional EST to screen developmental neurotoxicants correctly and it can also be applied to other chemicals.

  15. Mercury cycling in agricultural and managed wetlands: a synthesis of methylmercury production, hydrologic export, and bioaccumulation from an integrated field study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Fleck, Jacob A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Stricker, Craig A.; Heim, Wesley A.; Bachand, Philip A.M.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Gill, Gary; Stephenson, Mark; Alpers, Charles N.

    2014-01-01

    With seasonal wetting and drying, and high biological productivity, agricultural wetlands (rice paddies) may enhance the conversion of inorganic mercury (Hg(II)) to methylmercury (MeHg), the more toxic, organic form that biomagnifies through food webs. Yet, the net balance of MeHg sources and sinks in seasonal wetland environments is poorly understood because it requires an annual, integrated assessment across biota, sediment, and water components. We examined a suite of wetlands managed for rice crops or wildlife during 2007–2008 in California's Central Valley, in an area affected by Hg contamination from historic mining practices. Hydrologic management of agricultural wetlands for rice, wild rice, or fallowed — drying for field preparation and harvest, and flooding for crop growth and post-harvest rice straw decay — led to pronounced seasonality in sediment and aqueous MeHg concentrations that were up to 95-fold higher than those measured concurrently in adjacent, non-agricultural permanently-flooded and seasonally-flooded wetlands. Flooding promoted microbial MeHg production in surface sediment of all wetlands, but extended water residence time appeared to preferentially enhance MeHg degradation and storage. When incoming MeHg loads were elevated, individual fields often served as a MeHg sink, rather than a source. Slow, horizontal flow of shallow water in the agricultural wetlands led to increased importance of vertical hydrologic fluxes, including evapoconcentration of surface water MeHg and transpiration-driven advection into the root zone, promoting temporary soil storage of MeHg. Although this hydrology limited MeHg export from wetlands, it also increased MeHg exposure to resident fish via greater in situ aqueous MeHg concentrations. Our results suggest that the combined traits of agricultural wetlands — slow-moving shallow water, manipulated flooding and drying, abundant labile plant matter, and management for wildlife — may enhance microbial

  16. Developmental Gerstmann's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    PeBenito, R; Fisch, C B; Fisch, M L

    1988-09-01

    The tetrad of finger agnosia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and right-left disorientation make up Gerstmann's syndrome. The tetrad has been infrequently described in children with learning disability and has been called developmental Gerstmann's syndrome (DGS). Developmental Gerstmann's syndrome may occur in brain-damaged and apparently normal children. Five children in whom DGS occurred in association with brain abnormalities underwent long-term observation, which indicated persistence of the deficits. The identification of these cases suggests that DGS may not be as rare as previously thought and may often be unrecognized. Testing for the Gerstmann elements in learning-disabled children may identify otherwise undiagnosed cases of DGS and should be routinely employed in the neurologic examination. Until appropriate teaching methods for DGS are found, "bypassing" the deficits and utilizing the child's strengths, plus counseling, seem to offer an effective treatment approach.

  17. Developmental Partial Differential Equations

    OpenAIRE

    Duteil, Nastassia Pouradier; Rossi, Francesco; Boscain, Ugo; Piccoli, Benedetto

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we introduce the concept of Developmental Partial Differential Equation (DPDE), which consists of a Partial Differential Equation (PDE) on a time-varying manifold with complete coupling between the PDE and the manifold's evolution. In other words, the manifold's evolution depends on the solution to the PDE, and vice versa the differential operator of the PDE depends on the manifold's geometry. DPDE is used to study a diffusion equation with source on a growing surface whose gro...

  18. NIDCAP and developmental care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominique Haumont

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Perinatal mortality in very low birth weight infants has dramatically decreased during the last decades. However, 15-25% of these infants will show neurodevelopmental impairment later on. The aim of implementing early developmental care (EDC, emerged as a new field in neonatology, is to create an intervention program designed to provide support for optimal neurobehavioral development during this highly vulnerable period of brain growth. The theoretical framework, which underlies the approach, is supported by research in different scientific fields, including neuroscience, psychology, medicine and nursing. EDC utilizes a range of medical and nursing interventions that aim to decrease the stress of preterm neonates in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs. The Neonatal Individualized Developmental Care Assessment Program (NIDCAP is an integrated and holistic form of family-centered developmental care. Changing the traditional NICU towards an EDC-NICU includes training nursing and medical staff, investing in their quality and most importantly keeping parents in proximity to the infants. The new challenge of modern neonatology is to restore the mother-infant dyad applying “couplet care” starting at birth until discharge. Most of the European NICUs apply some elements of EDC, but it is more consistent in northern Europe. The development of NIDCAP training centers in Europe demonstrates the evolution of care. It is likely that future research and intervention programs will optimize our practices. Developmental care could prove to be an important recent step in improving outcome in extremely preterm neonates. Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · The last ten years, the next ten years in Neonatology Guest Editors: Vassilios Fanos, Michele Mussap, Gavino Faa, Apostolos Papageorgiou

  19. Developmental dyslexia and vision

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Patrick Quercia,1 Léonard Feiss,2 Carine Michel31Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Dijon, France; 2Office of Ophthalmology, Beaune, France; 3University of Burgundy, Dijon, INSERM U1093, Cognition, Action et Plasticité Sensorimotrice, Dijon, FranceAbstract: Developmental dyslexia affects almost 10% of school-aged children and represents a significant public health problem. Its etiology is unknown. The consistent presence of phonological difficulties combin...

  20. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic effects that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of adults. An evolutionary developmental perspective includes an appreciation of comparative research and we, among others, argue that contrasting the cognition of humans with that of nonhuman primates can provide a framework with which to understand how human cognitive abilities and intelligence evolved. Furthermore, we argue that several aspects of childhood (e.g., play and immature cognition) serve both as deferred adaptations as well as imparting immediate benefits. Intense selection pressure was surely exerted on childhood over human evolutionary history and, as a result, neglecting to consider the early developmental period of children when studying their later adulthood produces an incomplete picture of the evolved adaptations expressed through human behavior and cognition.

  1. A 3-dimensional human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived model to detect developmental neurotoxicity of nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelting, Lisa; Scheinhardt, Benjamin; Bondarenko, Olesja; Schildknecht, Stefan; Kapitza, Marion; Tanavde, Vivek; Tan, Betty; Lee, Qian Yi; Mecking, Stefan; Leist, Marcel; Kadereit, Suzanne

    2013-04-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) have been shown to accumulate in organs, cross the blood-brain barrier and placenta, and have the potential to elicit developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). Here, we developed a human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived 3-dimensional (3-D) in vitro model that allows for testing of potential developmental neurotoxicants. Early central nervous system PAX6(+) precursor cells were generated from hESCs and differentiated further within 3-D structures. The 3-D model was characterized for neural marker expression revealing robust differentiation toward neuronal precursor cells, and gene expression profiling suggested a predominantly forebrain-like development. Altered neural gene expression due to exposure to non-cytotoxic concentrations of the known developmental neurotoxicant, methylmercury, indicated that the 3-D model could detect DNT. To test for specific toxicity of NPs, chemically inert polyethylene NPs (PE-NPs) were chosen. They penetrated deep into the 3-D structures and impacted gene expression at non-cytotoxic concentrations. NOTCH pathway genes such as HES5 and NOTCH1 were reduced in expression, as well as downstream neuronal precursor genes such as NEUROD1 and ASCL1. FOXG1, a patterning marker, was also reduced. As loss of function of these genes results in severe nervous system impairments in mice, our data suggest that the 3-D hESC-derived model could be used to test for Nano-DNT.

  2. Determination of methylmercury in marine sediment samples: Method validation and occurrence data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carrasco, Luis; Vassileva, Emilia, E-mail: e.vasileva-veleva@iaea.org

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • A method for MeHg determination at trace level in marine sediments is completely validated. • Validation is performed according to ISO-17025 and Eurachem guidelines. • The extraction efficiency of four sample preparation procedures is evaluated. • The uncertainty budget is used as a tool for evaluation of main uncertainty contributors. • Comparison with independent methods yields good agreement within stated uncertainty. - Abstract: The determination of methylmercury (MeHg) in sediment samples is a difficult task due to the extremely low MeHg/THg (total mercury) ratio and species interconversion. Here, we present the method validation of a cost-effective fit-for-purpose analytical procedure for the measurement of MeHg in sediments, which is based on aqueous phase ethylation, followed by purge and trap and hyphenated gas chromatography–pyrolysis–atomic fluorescence spectrometry (GC–Py–AFS) separation and detection. Four different extraction techniques, namely acid and alkaline leaching followed by solvent extraction and evaporation, microwave-assisted extraction with 2-mercaptoethanol, and acid leaching, solvent extraction and back extraction into sodium thiosulfate, were examined regarding their potential to selectively extract MeHg from estuarine sediment IAEA-405 certified reference material (CRM). The procedure based on acid leaching with HNO{sub 3}/CuSO{sub 4}, solvent extraction and back extraction into Na{sub 2}S{sub 2}O{sub 3} yielded the highest extraction recovery, i.e., 94 ± 3% and offered the possibility to perform the extraction of a large number of samples in a short time, by eliminating the evaporation step. The artifact formation of MeHg was evaluated by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC–ICP–MS), using isotopically enriched Me{sup 201}Hg and {sup 202}Hg and it was found to be nonexistent. A full validation approach in line with ISO 17025 and

  3. Effects of disturbance and vegetation type on total and methylmercury in boreal peatland and forest soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaten, Hans Fredrik Veiteberg; de Wit, Heleen A

    2016-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in freshwater fish relates to aquatic Hg concentrations, which largely derives from soil stores of accumulated atmospheric deposition. Hg in catchment soils as a source for aquatic Hg is poorly studied. Here we test if i) peatland soils produce more methylmercury (MeHg) than forest soils; ii) total Hg (THg) concentrations in top soils are determined by atmospheric inputs, while MeHg is produced in the soils; and iii) soil disturbance promotes MeHg production. In two small boreal catchments, previously used in a paired-catchment forest harvest manipulation study, forest soils and peatlands were sampled and analysed for Hg species and additional soil chemistry. In the undisturbed reference catchment, soils were sampled in different vegetation types, of varying productivity as reflected in tree density, where historical data on precipitation and throughfall Hg and MeHg fluxes were available. Upper soil THg contents were significantly correlated to throughfall inputs of Hg, i.e. lowest in the tree-less peatland and highest in the dense spruce forest. For MeHg, top layer concentrations were similar in forest soils and peatlands, likely related to atmospheric input and local production, respectively. The local peatland MeHg production was documented through significantly higher MeHg-to-THg ratios in the deeper soil layer samples. In the disturbed catchment, soils were sampled in and just outside wheeltracks in an area impacted by forest machinery. Here, MeHg concentrations and the MeHg-to-THg ratios in the upper 5 cm were weakly significantly (p = 0.07) and significantly (p = 0.04) different in and outside of the wheeltracks, respectively, suggesting that soil disturbance promotes methylation. Differences in catchment Hg and MeHg streamwater concentrations were not explained by soil Hg and MeHg information, perhaps because hydrological pathways are a stronger determinant of streamwater chemistry than small variations in soil chemistry

  4. Selenium inhibits sulfate-mediated methylmercury production in rice paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yong-Jie; Dang, Fei; Zhao, Jia-Ting; Zhong, Huan

    2016-06-01

    There is increasing interest in understanding factors controlling methylmercury (MeHg) production in mercury-contaminated rice paddy soil. Sulfate has been reported to affect MeHg biogeochemistry under anoxic conditions, and recent studies revealed that selenium (Se) could evidently reduce MeHg production in paddy soil. However, the controls of sulfate and Se on net MeHg production in paddy soil under fluctuating redox conditions remain largely unknown. Microcosm experiments were conducted to explore the effects of sulfate and Se on net MeHg production in rice paddy soil. Soil was added with 0-960 mg/kg sulfate, in the presence or absence of 3.0 mg/kg selenium (selenite or selenate), and incubated under anoxic (40 days) or suboxic conditions (5 days), simulating fluctuating redox conditions in rice paddy field. Sulfate addition moderately affected soil MeHg concentrations under anoxic conditions, while reoxidation resulted in evidently higher (18-40%) MeHg levels in sulfate amended soils than the control. The observed changes in net MeHg production were related to dynamics of sulfate and iron. However, Se could inhibit sulfate-mediated MeHg production in the soils: Se addition largely reduced net MeHg production in the soils (23-86%, compared to the control), despite of sulfate addition. Similarly, results of the pot experiments (i.e., rice cultivation in amended soils) indicated that soil MeHg levels were rather comparable in Se-amended soils during rice growth period, irrespective of added sulfate doses. The more important role of Se than sulfate in controlling MeHg production was explained by the formation of HgSe nanoparticles irrespective of the presence of sulfate, confirmed by TEM-EDX and XANES analysis. Our findings regarding the effects of sulfate and Se on net MeHg production in rice paddy soil together with the mechanistic explanation of the processes advance our understanding of MeHg dynamics and risk in soil-rice systems.

  5. Museum Preserved Bivalves as Indicators of Long-term Trends in Methylmercury Concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luengen, A. C.; Foslund, H. M.; Greenfield, B. K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the many efforts to reduce mercury concentrations in the environment, there are relatively few datasets on long-term trends in mercury in biota, especially for the bioavailable form, methylmercury (MeHg). This study used museum preserved bivalves (stored in ethanol) to look at MeHg trends in the Asian date mussel Musculista senhousia and the Asian clam Potamocorbula amurensis, collected from San Francisco Bay, California between 1975 and 2012. For each sampling date, 4 to 15 individuals were obtained from museum collections (N = 156 total specimens), freeze-dried, weighed, homogenized, digested, and individually analyzed for MeHg using trace metal clean techniques. The bivalves were also analyzed for δ13C and δ15N to look for changes in food web structure. P. amurensis specimens were only available from 1988 to 2012, and an increase in MeHg was observed during that time. In contrast, M. senhousia specimens were available for the entire 37 year period and exhibited a significant decline in MeHg in the southern reach of the estuary (South Bay). The median MeHg concentration in M. senhousia was highest at 239 ng/g dw in October 1975. That year was the last year of operations for the New Almaden Mercury Mining District, which drained into South Bay. By the 1990s, MeHg concentrations in M. senhousia dropped significantly to a median of 37 ng/g dw. Isotopic δ15N values did not support a hypothesis of reduced trophic position causing the MeHg decline. Over the study duration, δ15N increased in M. senhousia, which we attributed to a baseline shift. We also observed a decline in δ13C since 2000, which may represent a shift in bivalve carbon towards greater utilization of planktonic sources. To validate the use of museum specimens, we ran a preservation study, where we collected fresh bivalves, fixed them in ethanol or formalin, and then transferred them to ethanol for long-term storage. Although MeHg concentrations increased after 1 week, they stabilized over

  6. Pilot study of intrauterine exposure to methylmercury in Eastern Aegean islands, Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibicar, Darija; Horvat, Milena; Nakou, Sheena; Sarafidou, Jasmin; Yager, Janice

    2006-08-31

    A group of islands with a total population of about 200,000 was identified in the Eastern Aegean, where there was evidence to suggest possible increased exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through consumption of fresh local fish and other seafood from seas bordered by mercury-bearing rock. A feasibility study was conducted to explore the possibility of defining a local population of mother-child pairs in whom to investigate the intrauterine exposure effect. Analysis of 246 hair samples collected from pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies and children under 5 years showed levels of total Hg from 0.046 microg/g to 17.5 microg/g, geometric mean 1.36 microg/g, and of MeHg from 0.031 microg/g to 16.2 microg/g, geometric mean 1.07 microg/g. About 5% of the mothers had hair total Hg levels in excess of 6.00 microg/g. Investigation of dietary habits showed that one-third of the mothers eat fresh local fish at least 3 times weekly, one-third once a week and 10% rarely or never. There was a close association between weekly rates of local fish consumption and hair levels of both total Hg and MeHg. A power calculation determined that a cohort of 3000 mother-child pairs would enable comparison of a high-exposure group (those with the upper 5% of hair MeHg) with a low exposure group (5%, selected from those with the lower 30% of hair MeHg, matched for confounding factors), in order to detect an effect size of 0.35 to 0.45 at a power of 85-95%. It is concluded that the mothers and children in the Eastern Aegean islands studied comprise a population suitable for an epidemiological study of the effects of intrauterine exposure to MeHg via maternal fresh local fish consumption.

  7. KEY COMPARISON: CCQM-K43: As, Hg, Pb, Se and methylmercury in salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aregbe, Y.; Taylor, P. D. P.

    2006-01-01

    CCQM-K43 was organized as a follow-up key comparison to the previous pilot study on tuna fish. CCQM-K43 was an activity of the Inorganic Analysis Working Group (IAWG) of CCQM and was coordinated by the Joint Research Centre-Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM, Geel, Belgium) of the European Commission (EC). In CCQM-K43 the amount contents of As, Hg, Pb, Se and methylmercury (CH3Hg) in salmon (muscle and skin) were the measurands under investigation. Results were reported by 12 national metrology institutes (NMIs). During the CCQM-IAWG autumn meeting in Berlin, October 2005, it was agreed that in CCQM-K43 the KCRV is calculated as the mixture model median (MM-median) of all reported results. The reported results of the NMIs fall within a range of +/-5% for arsenic and of +/-2% for lead and mercury relative to the KCRV. For selenium the spread of all laboratories but one is +/-8%. Also, for methlymercury four of the five participating NMIs reported results within 4% deviation from the KCRV. The methods applied were isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS) using sector field or quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), external calibration using ICP-MS or atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and k0-neutron activation analysis (k0-NAA) were also used as analytical techniques. This report presents the participants' results in CCQM-K43 for all analytes under investigation. In Annex 1, the results with the KCRV, the equivalence statements and the results sorted according to analytical technique applied are presented. In Annex 2, the different approaches for methlymercury measurements are presented in more detail. In Annex 3, the questionnaire data are presented. Annex 4 compiles all the CCQM-K43 information documents. The pilot study CCQM-P39.1 was carried out in parallel to this key comparison for the same measurands in the same

  8. Low levels of methylmercury induce DNA damage in rats: protective effects of selenium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grotto, Denise; Barcelos, Gustavo R.M.; Antunes, Lusania M.G.; Barbosa, Fernando [Universidade de Sao Paulo, Departamento de Analises Clinicas, Toxicologicas e Bromatologicas, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas de Ribeirao Preto, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Valentini, Juliana [Universidade de Sao Paulo, Departamento de Analises Clinicas, Toxicologicas e Bromatologicas, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas de Ribeirao Preto, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Departamento de Analises Clinicas e Toxicologicas, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil); Angeli, Jose Pedro F. [Universidade de Sao Paulo, Departamento de Bioquimica, Instituto de Quimica, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Garcia, Solange C. [Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Departamento de Analises Clinicas e Toxicologicas, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

    2009-03-15

    In this study we examined the possible antigenotoxic effect of selenium (Se) in rats chronically exposed to low levels of methylmercury (MeHg) and the association between glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and DNA lesions (via comet assay) in the same exposed animals. Rats were divided into six groups as follows: (Group I) received water; (Group II) received MeHg (100 {mu}g/day); (Group III) received Se (2 mg/L drinking water); (Group IV) received Se (6 mg/L drinking water); (Group V) received MeHg (100 {mu}g/day) and Se (2 mg/L drinking water); (Group VI) received MeHg (100 {mu}g/day) and Se (6 mg/L drinking water). Total treatment time was 100 days. GSH-Px activity was determined spectrophotometrically and DNA damage was determined by comet assay. Mean GSH-Px activity in groups I, II, III, IV, V and VI were, respectively: 40.19{+-}17.21; 23.63{+-}6.04; 42.64{+-}5.70; 38.50{+-}7.15; 34.54{+-}6.18 and 41.39{+-}11.67 nmolNADPH/min/gHb. DNA damage was represented by a mean score from 0 to 300; the results for groups I, II, III, IV, V and VI were, respectively: 6.87{+-}3.27; 124.12{+-}13.74; 10.62{+-}3.81; 13.25{+-}1.76; 86.87{+-}11.95 and 76.25{+-}7.48. There was a significant inhibition of GSH-Px activity in group II compared with group I (P<0.05). Groups V and VI did not show a difference in enzyme activity compared with groups III and IV, showing the possible protective action of Se. Comet assay presented a significant difference in DNA migration between group II and group I (P<0.0001). Groups V and VI showed a significant reduction in MeHg-induced genotoxicity (P < 0.001) when compared with group II. A negative correlation (r = -0.559, P<0.05) was found between GSH-Px activity and DNA lesion, showing that the greater the DNA damage, the lower the GSH-Px activity. Our findings demonstrated the oxidative and genotoxic properties of MeHg, even at low doses. Moreover, Se co-administration reestablished GSH-Px activity and reduced DNA damage. (orig.)

  9. Does methylmercury-induced hypercholesterolemia play a causal role in its neurotoxicity and cardiovascular disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Eduardo Luiz; de Oliveira, Jade; Dutra, Márcio Ferreira; Santos, Danúbia Bonfanti; Gonçalves, Carlos Alberto; Goldfeder, Eliane Maria; de Bem, Andreza Fabro; Prediger, Rui Daniel; Aschner, Michael; Farina, Marcelo

    2012-12-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental pollutant that biomagnifies throughout the aquatic food chain, thus representing a toxicological concern for humans subsiding on fish for their dietary intake. Although the developing brain is considered the critical target organ of MeHg toxicity, recent evidence indicates that the cardiovascular system may be the most sensitive in adults. However, data on the mechanisms mediating MeHg-induced cardiovascular toxicity are scarce. Based on the close relationship between cardiovascular disease and dyslipidemia, this study was designed to investigate the effects of long-term MeHg exposure on plasma lipid levels in mice, as well as their underlying mechanisms and potential relationships to MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. Our major finding was that long-term MeHg exposure induced dyslipidemia in rodents. Specifically, Swiss and C57BL/6 mice treated for 21 days with a drinking solution of MeHg (40 mg/l, ad libitum) diluted in tap water showed increased total and non-HDL plasma cholesterol levels. MeHg-induced hypercholesterolemia was also observed in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLr⁻/⁻) mice, indicating that this effect was not related to decreased LDLr-mediated cholesterol transport from blood to other tissues. Although the hepatic synthesis of cholesterol was unchanged, significant signs of nephrotoxicity (glomerular shrinkage, tubular vacuolization, and changed urea levels) were observed in MeHg-exposed mice, indicating that the involvement of nephropathy in MeHg-induced lipid dyshomeostasis may not be ruled out. Notably, Probucol (a lipid-lowering drug) prevented the development of hypercholesterolemia when coadministered with MeHg. Finally, hypercholesterolemic LDLr⁻/⁻ mice were more susceptible to MeHg-induced cerebellar glial activation, suggesting that hypercholesterolemia in itself may pose a risk factor in MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. Overall, based on the strong and graded positive association between

  10. Low levels of methylmercury induce DNA damage in rats: protective effects of selenium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotto, Denise; Barcelos, Gustavo R M; Valentini, Juliana; Antunes, Lusânia M G; Angeli, José Pedro F; Garcia, Solange C; Barbosa, Fernando

    2009-03-01

    In this study we examined the possible antigenotoxic effect of selenium (Se) in rats chronically exposed to low levels of methylmercury (MeHg) and the association between glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and DNA lesions (via comet assay) in the same exposed animals. Rats were divided into six groups as follows: (Group I) received water; (Group II) received MeHg (100 mug/day); (Group III) received Se (2 mg/L drinking water); (Group IV) received Se (6 mg/L drinking water); (Group V) received MeHg (100 mug/day) and Se (2 mg/L drinking water); (Group VI) received MeHg (100 mug/day) and Se (6 mg/L drinking water). Total treatment time was 100 days. GSH-Px activity was determined spectrophotometrically and DNA damage was determined by comet assay. Mean GSH-Px activity in groups I, II, III, IV, V and VI were, respectively: 40.19 +/- 17.21; 23.63 +/- 6.04; 42.64 +/- 5.70; 38.50 +/- 7.15; 34.54 +/- 6.18 and 41.39 +/- 11.67 nmolNADPH/min/gHb. DNA damage was represented by a mean score from 0 to 300; the results for groups I, II, III, IV, V and VI were, respectively: 6.87 +/- 3.27; 124.12 +/- 13.74; 10.62 +/- 3.81; 13.25 +/- 1.76; 86.87 +/- 11.95 and 76.25 +/- 7.48. There was a significant inhibition of GSH-Px activity in group II compared with group I (P < 0.05). Groups V and VI did not show a difference in enzyme activity compared with groups III and IV, showing the possible protective action of Se. Comet assay presented a significant difference in DNA migration between group II and group I (P < 0.0001). Groups V and VI showed a significant reduction in MeHg-induced genotoxicity (P < 0.001) when compared with group II. A negative correlation (r = -0.559, P < 0.05) was found between GSH-Px activity and DNA lesion, showing that the greater the DNA damage, the lower the GSH-Px activity. Our findings demonstrated the oxidative and genotoxic properties of MeHg, even at low doses. Moreover, Se co-administration reestablished GSH-Px activity and reduced DNA damage.

  11. Trophic transfer of methylmercury and trace elements by tropical estuarine seston and plankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehrig, H. A.; Palermo, E. F. A.; Seixas, T. G.; Branco, C. W. C.; Moreira, I.; Malm, O.

    2009-10-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and trace elements (TE), mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead and copper, were determined in a microbial loop composed by three size classes of autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganism samples, 1.2-70 μm (seston, SPM), 70-290 μm (microplankton) and ≥290 μm (mesoplankton) from five sampling stations within a polluted eutrophic estuary in the Brazilian Southeast coast and one external point under the influence of the bay. TE concentrations were within the range reported for marine microorganisms from uncontaminated locations. Microplankton was primarily composed of proto-zooplankton and diatoms (>90%) while approximately 50% of mesoplankton was composed mainly of copepods. MeHg and TE in samples did not differ among the five sampling stations within the bay. Cd, Pb and Cu in seston were higher in the stations sampled inside Guanabara Bay (0.67 μg Cd g -1, 9.26 μg Pb g -1, 8.03 μg Cu g -1) than in the external one (0.17 μg Cd g -1, 3.98 μg Pb g -1 and 2.09 μg Cu g -1). Hg, MeHg and Se did not differ among the five points within the more eutrophic waters of the estuary and the external sampling station. The trophic transfer of MeHg and Se was observed between trophic levels from prey (seston and microplankton) to predator (mesoplankton). The successive amplification of the ratios of MeHg to Hg with increasing trophic levels from seston (43%), to microplankton (59%) and mesoplankton (77%) indicate that biomagnification may be occurring along the microbial food web. Selenium, that is efficiently accumulated by organisms through trophic transference, was biomagnified along the microbial food web, while Hg, Cd, Pb, Cu did not present the same behavior. Concentrations differed between the three size classes, indicating that MeHg and TE accumulation were size-dependent. MeHg and TE concentrations were not related to the taxonomic groups' composition of the planktonic microorganisms. Results suggest the importance of the role of the trophic

  12. Effects of perinatal coexposure to methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls on neurobehavioral development in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugawara, Norio [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Environmental Health Sciences, Aoba-ku, Sendai (Japan); Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hirosaki (Japan); Ohba, Takashi; Nakai, Kunihiko; Nakamura, Tomoyuki; Suzuki, Keita; Kameo, Satomi; Shimada, Miyuki; Kurokawa, Naoyuki; Satoh, Chieko; Satoh, Hiroshi [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Environmental Health Sciences, Aoba-ku, Sendai (Japan); Kakita, Akiyoshi [Niigata University, Department of Pathological Neuroscience, Resource Branch for Brain Disease Research, Brain Research Institute, Niigata (Japan)

    2008-06-15

    Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental pollutants that cause neurobehavioral deficits in humans. Because exposures to MeHg and PCBs occur through fish consumption, it is necessary to clarify the effects of the interaction of the two pollutants. Therefore, we investigated the effects of perinatal exposure to MeHg and PCBs on the neurobehavioral development in mice. Female mice (C57BL/6Cr) were divided into four groups according to the type of exposure: (1) vehicle control, (2) MeHg alone, (3) PCBs alone, and (4) MeHg + PCBs. The MeHg-exposed groups were fed with a diet containing 5 ppm MeHg (as Hg), from 4 weeks before mating, throughout pregnancy, and lactation. The PCB-exposed groups were given a commercial mixture of PCBs, Aroclor 1254, at 18 mg/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage every 3 days from day 5 after breeding and continued until postnatal day (PND) 20. Before weaning, an assessment of eye opening showed the interactive effects between MeHg and PCBs on PND 12: The coexposure group showed a similar response to the control group, whereas the MeHg- and PCB-exposed groups showed a high response than the former two groups. We also observed delay in development of grasp reflex by MeHg exposure on PNDs 12 and 14. When the offspring mice were 8 weeks old, the group exposed to PCBs alone showed increases in the frequencies of excrement defecation and urine traces in an open-field test. Analysis of the latency revealed the antagonistic interaction between the MeHg and PCBs: The latency increased by either MeHg or PCB exposure was decreased by coexposure. Treatment with MeHg decreased the distance walked by the mice, and MeHg interacted with PCBs. Moris' water maze test showed that the MeHg-treated mice took a long time to reach the submerged platform; however, this MeHg exposure showed no interaction with PCB exposure. The spontaneous locomotion activity of the mice was not affected by the chemical exposure at 9 weeks of

  13. Using a novel micro-sampling technique to monitor the effects of methylmercury on the eggs of wild birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimstra, J.D.; Stebbins, K.R.; Heinz, G.H.

    2007-01-01

    Methylmercury is the predominant chemical form of mercury reported in the eggs of wild birds. The embryo is the life stage at which birds are most sensitive to methylmercury. Protective guidelines have been based largely on captive-breeding studies done with chickens (Gallus domesticus), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Typically these studies are cost and time prohibitive. In the past, researchers have used either egg injections or the ?sample egg? technique to determine contaminant effects on bird eggs. Both techniques have their limitations. As an alternative to the above methods and because most of the methylmercury is found in the albumen we have developed a novel, less invasive technique, to micro-sample the albumen of eggs in the field. An albumen sample would be analyzed and then compared to the hatching success of that egg. Using the micro-sampling procedure, the egg is oriented with the blunt end up and the pointed end down. A vent hole is drilled at the top to relieve pressure. Approximately one third up from the bottom, a withdrawal site is drilled just until the inner shell membrane is exposed. A syringe with a 21 or 18 gauge needle is gently inserted just into the egg and approximately 200?300?l of albumen is removed. Almost concurrently this site and then the vent are sealed. Thus far we have experimented with both chicken and mallard eggs in the laboratory. We sampled chicken eggs at days 0 and 3 of incubation with a hatching success of 76% and 70%, respectively. Neither group was significantly different from control eggs (P=0.52, 0.54). Field studies are in progress using this technique in which birds are allowed to incubate their own eggs. We envision micro-sampling to be a tool that researchers and managers could use in the field to determine the effects of mercury or other contaminants in bird populations. Micro-sampling would reduce the impact on the sampled population and could be used to monitor

  14. [Effects of Long-term Different Tillage Methods on Mercury and Methylmercury Contents in Purple Paddy Soil and Overlying Water].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin-yue; Tang, Zhen-ya; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Yong-min; Wang, Ding-yong

    2016-03-15

    A long-term experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of tillage methods on mercury and methylmercury contents in the purple paddy soil and overlying water. The experiment included five tillage methods: no-tillage and fallow in winter, ridge-no-tillage, compartments-no-tillage, paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage. The results showed that the content of total mercury in soil had the maximum value in the 10-20 cm layer of no-tillage and fallow in winter, ridge-no-tillage and compartments-no-tillage, and the enrichment effect of no-tillage and fallow in winter was especially significant. The concentration of total mercury in soil of paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage decreased with the increase of the soil depth, and paddy-upland rotation was specifically beneficial to the migration of mercury. The distribution of soil methylmercury was similar to that of total mercury in the soil profile. The methylation ability of soil mercury in the surface and middle of the soil profile was weaker than that at the bottom, while there was an opposite trend for other tillage methods. The concentrations of dissolved mercury ( DHg) and dissolved methylmercury ( DMeHg) in the overlaying water declined with the rise of the water depth in all treatments. The content of DHg in sediment porewater was related to the value of soil total mercury, and they had the same distribution in the soil profile. The content of DMeHg and its proportion accounted for DHg in porewater owned their largest value in the 10-20 cm layer of no-tillage and fallow in winter and ridge-no-tillage, where showed the lowest value of DMeHg in porewater for paddy-upland rotation and conventional tillage. And the percentage of DMeHg in DHg in porewater grew with the increase of soil depth of the latter two methods. Noticeably, the concentration of DMeHg and its proportion accounted for DHg in porewater were both higher than the values in overlying water for all tillage methods.

  15. The association between blood pressure and whole blood methylmercury in a cross-sectional study among Inuit in Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nielsen Anni Brit

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Inuit in Greenland have a high average consumption of marine species and are highly exposed to methylmercury, which in other studies has been related to hypertension. Data on the relation between methylmercury and hypertension is limited, especially in populations subjected to a high exposure of methylmercury. We examined the relation between whole blood mercury and blood pressure (BP in Inuit in Greenland. Methods A cross-sectional population-based study among adult Inuit in Greenland was performed in 2005–2009. Information on socio-demography, lifestyle, BP, blood samples and clinical measurements was obtained – the latter after overnight fasting. BP was measured according to standardized guidelines. Whole blood mercury concentration was used as a marker of exposure. The analyses were restricted to Inuit aged 30–69 years with four Greenlandic grandparents (N = 1,861. Multivariate regression analyses with inclusion of confounders were done separately for men and women with the omission of participants receiving anti-hypertensive drugs, except for logistic regression analyses of the relation between mercury and presence of hypertension (yes/no. Results The mean whole blood mercury level was 20.5 μg/L among men and 14.7 μg/L among women. In multivariate analyses adjusted for confounders, diastolic BP decreased with increasing mercury concentration. In men diastolic BP decreased significantly for each four-fold increase in mercury concentration (Beta = −0.04, standard error = 0.01, p = 0.001, while no relation between mercury and diastolic BP was found among women. For systolic BP, a similar non-statistically significant result was seen only for men (Beta = −0.02, standard error = 0.01, p = 0.06. A relation between mercury and hypertension was only found in men; the odds ratio for hypertension was 0.99 (95% CI: 0.98-0.99. No relation between quintiles of mercury and hypertension

  16. Diapause: delaying the developmental clock in response to a changing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiesari, Luca; O'Connor, Michael B

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal changes can induce organisms to modify their developmental growth. Many holometabolous insects, especially Lepidoptera, trigger diapause, an "actively induced" dormancy, for overwintering. Diapause is an alternative developmental pathway that reversibly blocks developmental growth during specific transitions and enhances the hibernating potential of the organism. Changes in environmental cues, such as light and temperature, trigger modifications in the levels, or in the timing, of developmental hormones. These in turn switch the developmental trajectory (diapause or direct development), strongly altering larval/pupal growth and inducing the appearance of diapause-bound seasonal morphs (polyphenism). We also discuss an example of vertebrate diapause using the killifish embryo as an example where diapause is an environmentally determined developmental switch analogous to that observed in lepidopteran dormancy. Based on the examples discussed here, we propose that the complex physiological responses leading to diapause might evolve quickly by relatively limited genetic changes in the regulation of hormonal signals that program normal developmental transitions.

  17. Research Progress of Methylmercury Detection in Organisms%生物体内甲基汞检测方法的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王晓雯; 王炜; 冉春秋

    2013-01-01

    Inorganic mercury is easily converted into more poisonous methylmercury under the effect of microorganisms .Be-cause of the lipophilicity ,the methylmercury could be accumulated into organisms ,which could cause serious damage to human health through the food chain .Therefore ,it is vitally important to research and establish the accurate and rapid method for the de-tection and quantification of methylmercury .The main methods for methylmercury detection were presented in this article ,and the gas chromatography -atomic fluorescence spectrometry (GC-AFS) ,high performance liquid chromatography coupled with induc-tively coupled plasma -mass spectrometry (HPLC -ICP/MS) ,and high performance liquid chromatography -atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HPLC -AFS) were three kinds of the most commonly methods .Besides ,the high sensitivity and selectivity tech-nique of chemical fluorescent probe for methylmercury detection was also introduced ,and the prospects for the development direc-tion of methylmercury detection were predicted .%  无机汞离子容易在微生物的作用下转化为毒性很强的甲基汞,甲基汞具有亲脂性易在生物体内积累,并通过食物链传递对人体健康产生严重危害。因此研究和建立生物体内甲基汞含量快速、准确的检测方法至关重要。文中概述了生物体内甲基汞的主要检测技术和方法,其中气相色谱-原子荧光光谱法(GC -A FS )、高效液相色谱-电感耦合等离子体质谱联用法(HPLC -ICP/MS)和高效液相色谱-原子荧光光谱法(HPLC-A FS )是三种最常用的检测方法。同时,介绍了处于研究阶段的化学荧光探针检测方法,并对生物体内甲基汞的检测技术发展方向进行了展望。

  18. Effects of maternal smoking and exposure to methylmercury on brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations in umbilical cord serum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spulber, Stefan; Rantamäki, Tomi; Nikkilä, Outi;

    2010-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin essential for neuronal survival and differentiation. We examined the concentration of BDNF in cord serum from newborns exposed to methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in utero by maternal consumption of whale meat....... The cohort consisted of 395 singleton births (206 boys and 189 girls), gestational age ranging from 38 to 42 weeks. Serum BDNF was measured by sandwich ELISA. Maternal smoking habits and other relevant factors were obtained by interviewing the mothers. The exposure to MeHg was estimated from Hg...... concentrations in cord blood, whereas exposure to PCB was estimated based on maternal serum concentrations. Only MeHg exposure affected the serum BDNF, which decreased in a concentration-dependent manner in girls born to nonsmoking mothers. Maternal smoking significantly increased BNDF in girls but not in boys...

  19. Balancing the benefits of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risks of methylmercury exposure from fish consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mahaffey, K. R.; Sunderland, E. M.; Chan, H. M.;

    2011-01-01

    risks of certain forms of heart disease in adults. However, fish and shellfish can also be a major source of methylmercury (MeHg), a known neurotoxicant that is particularly harmful to fetal brain development. This review documents the latest knowledge on the risks and benefits of seafood consumption......Fish and shellfish are widely available foods that provide important nutrients, particularly n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), to many populations globally. These nutrients, especially docosahexaenoic acid, confer benefits to brain and visual system development in infants and reduce...... for perinatal development of infants. It is possible to choose fish species that are both high in n-3 PUFAs and low in MeHg. A framework for providing dietary advice for women of childbearing age on how to maximize the dietary intake of n-3 PUFAs while minimizing MeHg exposures is suggested. (C) 2011...

  20. Mercury cycling in boreal ecosystems: The long-term effect of acid rain constituents on peatland pore water methylmercury concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branfireun, Brian A.; Bishop, Kevin; Roulet, Nigel T.; Granberg, Gunnar; Nilsson, Mats

    Sulphate-reducing bacteria have been identified as primary methylators of mercury (Hg) in the laboratory and in field investigations. However, no studies have investigated the effect of long-term deposition of sulphate on methylmercury (MeHg) dynamics in peatlands, which are known to be significant sources of MeHg to downstream waters in the boreal forest zone. As an ancillary experiment to a larger project investigating the effects of acid rain constituents on peatland carbon dynamics, the influence of experimentally elevated Na2SO4 and/or NH4NO3 deposition on peat pore water MeHg concentrations was determined using a simple mesocosm experimental design. After three years, additions of S in amounts equivalent to the 1980s dry and wet deposition in Southern Sweden resulted in peat pore water MeHg concentrations up to six times above background levels. Elevated N loads had no effect on pore water MeHg concentrations.

  1. Transcriptomic and Physiological Responses of the Green Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii during Short-Term Exposure to Subnanomolar Methylmercury Concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauvais-Flück, Rebecca; Slaveykova, Vera I; Cosio, Claudia

    2016-07-05

    The effects of short-term exposure to subnanomolar methyl-mercury (MeHg) concentrations, representative of contaminated environments, on the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were assessed using both physiological end points and gene expression analysis. MeHg bioaccumulated and induced significant increase of the photosynthesis efficiency, while the algal growth, oxidative stress, and chlorophyll fluorescence were unaffected. At the molecular level, MeHg significantly dysregulated the expression of genes involved in motility, energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, metal transport, and antioxidant enzymes. Data suggest that the cells were able to cope with subnanomolar MeHg exposure, but this tolerance resulted in a significant cost to the cell energy and reserve metabolism as well as ample changes in the nutrition and motility of C. reinhardtii. The present results allowed gaining new insights on the effects and uptake mechanisms of MeHg at subnanomolar concentrations in aquatic primary producers.

  2. Results from three years of the world's largest interlaboratory comparison for total mercury and methylmercury: Method performance and best practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, J. E.; Engel, V.; Carter, A.; Davies, C.

    2013-12-01

    Brooks Rand Instruments has conducted the world's largest interlaboratory comparison study for total mercury and methylmercury in natural waters annually for three years. Each year, roughly 50 laboratories registered to participate and the majority of participants submitted results. Each laboratory was assigned a performance score based on the distance between its results and the consensus mean, as well as the precision of its replicate analyses. Participants were also asked to provide detailed data on their analytical methodology and equipment. We used the methodology data and performance scores to assess the performance of the various methods reported and equipment used. Although the majority of methods in use show no systematic trend toward poor analytical performance, there are noteworthy exceptions. We present results from each of the three years of the interlaboratory comparison exercise, as well as aggregated method performance data. We compare the methods used in this study to methods from other published interlaboratory comparison studies and present a list of recommended best practices. Our goals in creating a list of best practices are to maximize participation, ensure inclusiveness, minimize non-response bias, guarantee high data quality, and promote transparency of analysis. We seek to create a standardized methodology for interlaboratory comparison exercises for total mercury and methylmercury analysis in water, which will lead to more directly comparable results between studies. We show that in most cases, the coefficient of variation between labs measuring replicates of the same sample is greater than 20% after the removal of outlying data points (e.g. Figure 1). It is difficult to make comparisons between studies and ecosystems with such a high variability between labs. We highlight the need for regular participation in interlaboratory comparison studies and continuous analytical method improvement in order to ensure accurate data. Figure 1

  3. Wetland management and rice farming strategies to decrease methylmercury bioaccumulation and loads from the Cosumnes River Preserve, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Fleck, Jacob; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; McQuillen, Harry; Heim, Wes

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated mercury (Hg) concentrations in caged fish (deployed for 30 days) and water from agricultural wetland (rice fields), managed wetland, slough, and river habitats in the Cosumnes River Preserve, California. We also implemented experimental hydrological regimes on managed wetlands and post-harvest rice straw management techniques on rice fields in order to evaluate potential Best Management Practices to decrease methylmercury bioaccumulation within wetlands and loads to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Total Hg concentrations in caged fish were twice as high in rice fields as in managed wetland, slough, or riverine habitats, including seasonal managed wetlands subjected to identical hydrological regimes. Caged fish Hg concentrations also differed among managed wetland treatments and post-harvest rice straw treatments. Specifically, Hg concentrations in caged fish decreased from inlets to outlets in seasonal managed wetlands with either a single (fall-only) or dual (fall and spring) drawdown and flood-up events, whereas Hg concentrations increased slightly from inlets to outlets in permanent managed wetlands. In rice fields, experimental post-harvest straw management did not decrease Hg concentrations in caged fish. In fact, in fields in which rice straw was chopped and either disked into the soil or baled and removed from the fields, fish Hg concentrations increased from inlets to outlets and were higher than Hg concentrations in fish from rice fields subjected to the more standard post-harvest practice of simply chopping rice straw prior to fall flood-up. Finally, aqueous methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations and export were highly variable, and seasonal trends in particular were often opposite to those of caged fish. Aqueous MeHg concentrations and loads were substantially higher in winter than in summer, whereas caged fish Hg concentrations were relatively low in winter and substantially higher in summer. Together, our results highlight the

  4. Transfer of mercury and methylmercury along macroinvertebrate food chains in a floodplain lake of the Beni River, Bolivian Amazonia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Molina, Carlos Israel, E-mail: camoar6088@gmail.com [Instituto de Ecologia, Unidad de Limnologia, UMSA, Casilla postal 10077, La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement IRD, Casilla postal 9214, La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); CONICET-Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Miguel Lillo 205, 4 000, Tucuman (Argentina); Gibon, Francois-Marie [Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement IRD, Casilla postal 9214, La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); IRD, UMR BOREA, Museum national d' Histoire Naturelle MNHN, Case postale 26, 75231, Paris cedex 05 (France); Duprey, Jean-Louis [Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement IRD, Casilla postal 9214, La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Dominguez, Eduardo [CONICET-Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Miguel Lillo 205, 4 000, Tucuman (Argentina); Guimaraes, Jean-Remy D. [Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Bloco G-CCS, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 21949-900 (Brazil); Roulet, Marc [Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement IRD, Casilla postal 9214, La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of)

    2010-07-15

    We have evaluated the mercury and methylmercury transfers to and within the macroinvertebrate communities of a floodplain lake of the Beni River basin, Bolivia, during three hydrological seasons and in two habitats (open water and vegetation belt). Using the stable isotopes {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 15}N, six trophic chains were identified during a previous study. Four are based on only one source: seston, organic matter from the bottom sediment, periphyton and macrophytes. Two are based on mixed sources (seston and periphyton in one case, periphyton and macrophytes in the other). During sampling, we found only one taxon that had surface sediment organic matter as food source and very few taxa whose trophic source was constituted by macrophytes. The periphyton was the most important source during all seasons; it produced the longest chain, with three trophic positions. Whatever the season and trophic source, all collected macroinvertebrates contained methyl mercury and the latter was biomagnified in all trophic chains that we identified. The biomagnification of methylmercury through invertebrate trophic chains accurately reflected the existence and length of these chains. Biomagnification was virtually non-existent in the sediment-based chain, low and restricted to the dry season in the macrophyte-based chain. It was significant in the seston-based chain, but limited by the existence of only two trophic levels and restricted to the wet season. Finally, it was very effective in the periphyton-based chain, which offers the highest rate of contamination of the source but, above all, the largest number of trophic levels.

  5. Inhibition of the thioredoxin system in the brain and liver of zebra-seabreams exposed to waterborne methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Vasco; Canário, João; Holmgren, Arne; Carvalho, Cristina

    2011-03-01

    Mercury compounds were recently found to interact in vitro with the thioredoxin system, inhibiting both Thioredoxin (Trx) and Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR). In order to evaluate if Trx and TrxR are affected in vivo by methylmercury (MeHg), we exposed juvenile zebra-seabreams to different concentrations of this toxicant in water for 28days followed by a 14-day depuration period. Methylmercury accumulated to a larger extent in the kidney and liver of fishes, but decreased significantly during the depuration. During the exposure, MeHg percentage in the liver reached levels above 90% of total mercury (HgT) decreasing to 60% of HgT by the end of the depuration period. In the kidney, MeHg accounted for 50-70% of HgT. In the brain and muscle, mercury accumulated throughout the exposure with all mercury being MeHg. The total mercury kept increasing in these organs during the depuration period. However, in the brain, this increase in HgT was accompanied by a decrease in the MeHg percentage (~10%). In the liver, both Trx and TrxR activities were significantly reduced (TrxR--40%; Trx--70%) by the end of the exposure, but recovered to control levels (100%) during the depuration. In the brain, both enzymes where inhibited during the depuration period (TrxR--75%; Trx--70%) when some production of inorganic mercury was detected. Activity of glutathione reductase showed increased levels when TrxR activity was low, suggesting complementarity between both systems. These results indicate that in vivo the thioredoxin system is a toxicological target for MeHg with TrxR being particularly affected.

  6. Constructivist developmental theory is needed in developmental neuroscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsalidou, Marie; Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2016-12-01

    Neuroscience techniques provide an open window previously unavailable to the origin of thoughts and actions in children. Developmental cognitive neuroscience is booming, and knowledge from human brain mapping is finding its way into education and pediatric practice. Promises of application in developmental cognitive neuroscience rests however on better theory-guided data interpretation. Massive amounts of neuroimaging data from children are being processed, yet published studies often do not frame their work within developmental models—in detriment, we believe, to progress in this field. Here we describe some core challenges in interpreting the data from developmental cognitive neuroscience, and advocate the use of constructivist developmental theories of human cognition with a neuroscience interpretation.

  7. Reducing methylmercury accumulation in the food webs of San Francisco Bay and its local watersheds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, J.A., E-mail: jay@sfei.org [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Looker, R.E. [San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 (United States); Yee, D. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Marvin-Di Pasquale, M. [U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division/MS 480, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Grenier, J.L. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Austin, C.M. [San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 (United States); McKee, L.J.; Greenfield, B.K. [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 4911 Central Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804 (United States); Brodberg, R. [California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95812 (United States); Blum, J.D. [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    San Francisco Bay (California, USA) and its local watersheds present an interesting case study in estuarine mercury (Hg) contamination. This review focuses on the most promising avenues for attempting to reduce methylmercury (MeHg) contamination in Bay Area aquatic food webs and identifying the scientific information that is most urgently needed to support these efforts. Concern for human exposure to MeHg in the region has led to advisories for consumption of sport fish. Striped bass from the Bay have the highest average Hg concentration measured for this species in USA estuaries, and this degree of contamination has been constant for the past 40 years. Similarly, largemouth bass in some Bay Area reservoirs have some of the highest Hg concentrations observed in the entire US. Bay Area wildlife, particularly birds, face potential impacts to reproduction based on Hg concentrations in the tissues of several Bay species. Source control of Hg is one of the primary possible approaches for reducing MeHg accumulation in Bay Area aquatic food webs. Recent findings (particularly Hg isotope measurements) indicate that the decades-long residence time of particle-associated Hg in the Bay is sufficient to allow significant conversion of even the insoluble forms of Hg into MeHg. Past inputs have been thoroughly mixed throughout this shallow and dynamic estuary. The large pool of Hg already present in the ecosystem dominates the fraction converted to MeHg and accumulating in the food web. Consequently, decreasing external Hg inputs can be expected to reduce MeHg in the food web, but it will likely take many decades to centuries before those reductions are achieved. Extensive efforts to reduce loads from the largest Hg mining source (the historic New Almaden mining district) are underway. Hg is spread widely across the urban landscape, but there are a number of key sources, source areas, and pathways that provide opportunities to capture larger quantities of Hg and reduce loads

  8. Total Mercury and Methylmercury in the Great Egg Harbor River Watershed, New Jersey, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barringer, J. L.; Riskin, M. L.; Szabo, Z.; Fischer, J. M.; Reilly, P. A.; Rosman, R.; Bonin, J. L.; Heckathorn, H. A.

    2007-12-01

    Hydrologic and biogeochemical conditions are important factors in the transport and distribution of mercury (Hg) in New Jersey Coastal Plain watersheds that contain extensive freshwater wetlands and where Hg bioaccumulation is of concern. U.S. Geological Survey studies found Hg concentrations in top predator fish from the Great Egg Harbor River mainstem that ranged from 2.9 to 4.5 mg/kg (dry wt.) and exceeded 10 ng/L in the watershed's acidic streams. An ongoing study with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection indicates that atmospheric deposition of Hg to the wetlands and streams may be augmented by substantial contributions of Hg from ground water. Although background levels of Hg in water from the underlying aquifer typically are less than 10 ng/L, concentrations in water from more than 600 domestic wells in southern New Jersey have been shown to exceed the drinking-water maximum contaminant level of 2,000 ng/L. Therefore, to determine ground-water inputs to the streams, samples of ground water discharging to the tributaries and mainstem as well as streamwater samples collected during various flow conditions were analyzed for total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg). Total Hg concentrations in ground water discharging to the tributaries and mainstem were low to moderate (0.29-22 ng/L) in relatively undeveloped areas (including wetlands), but higher (36 and 177 ng/L) in two urban/suburban areas where much of the Hg was in particulate form. In recent and ongoing studies, total Hg concentrations in unfiltered samples of surface water, except those for one suburban tributary, have ranged from 2.13 to 37.7 ng/L. Concentrations in the suburban tributary have ranged from 50 ng/L during a dry period to 250 ng/L during a wet period. Hg concentrations in samples from a wetlands-embedded reach of the mainstem varied markedly with flow. In addition to increases in concentrations of total Hg, UV absorbance and concentrations of dissolved organic carbon also increased with

  9. Impact of Forest Harvesting Operations on the Export of Total Mercury and Methylmercury to Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, R.; Eklof, K.; Meili, M.; Akerblom, S.; Bishop, K.

    2009-12-01

    Forest harvesting operations have been reported to increase the levels of both total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in runoff water and downstream biota. In a series of full-scale experiments based on high-frequency monitoring of stream waters draining forested catchments in Sweden, we evaluated how runoff water chemistry was affected by forest