Early biochemical effects of an organic mercury fungicide on infants: "Dose makes the poison"

Carlos A. Gotelli, Emilio Astolfi, Christopher Cox, Elsa Cernichiari, Thomas W. Clarkson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Phenylmercury absorbed through the skin from contaminated diapers affected urinary excretion in infants in Buenos Aires. The effects were reversible and quantitatively related to the concentration of urinary mercury. Excretion of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, an enzyme in the brush borders of renal tubular cells, increased in a dose-dependent manner when mercury excretion exceeded a "threshold" value. Urine volume also increased but at a higher threshold with respect to mercury. The results support the threshold concept of the systemic toxicity of metals. γ-Glutamyl transpeptidase is a useful and sensitive marker for preclinical effects of toxic metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-640
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume227
Issue number4687
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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