Dec 31, 2019

Deleterious effects of chronic mercury exposure on in vitro LTP, memory process, and oxidative stress

Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Leandro F OliveiraFulvio A Scorza


Heavy metal contamination in aquatic environments plays an important role in the exposure of humans to these toxicants. Among these pollutants, mercury (Hg) is one main concern due to its high neurotoxicity and environmental persistence. Even in low concentrations, Hg bioaccumulation is a major threat to human health, with higher impact on populations whose diet has fish as chief consumption. Mercury compounds have high affinity for neuronal receptors and proteins, which gives Hg its cumulative feature and have the ability to cross cell membranes and blood-brain barrier to show their neurotoxicity. Intoxication with Hg increases levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus depleting faster the resource of antioxidant proteins. To evaluate Hg-induced hippocampal ROS production, synaptic plasticity, anxiety, and memory, a total of 11 male Wistar rats were exposed to HgCl2 (Hg30 group) to produce a residual concentration of 8 ng/mL at the end of 30 days. Behavioral tests (plus-maze discriminative avoidance task), in vitro electrophysiology, and ROS assays were performed. Western blot assay showed decreased levels of antioxidant proteins GPx and SOD in Hg30 group. Increased ROS production was observed in the CA1 and CA3 regions in...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Protein Expression
Oxidative Stress
Plasma Membrane
Neuronal Plasticity
Western Blotting
Rats, Wistar

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