Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of low doses of mercury chloride and methylmercury chloride on human lymphocytes in vitro

Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of low doses of mercury chloride and methylmercury chloride on human lymphocytes in vitro

Author Silva-Pereira, Liz Carmem Google Scholar
Cardoso, Plinio Cerqueira dos Santos Google Scholar
Leite, Daniel Silva Google Scholar
Bahia, Marcelo de Oliveira Google Scholar
Bastos, Wanderley Rodrigues Google Scholar
Smith, Marilia de Arruda Cardoso Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Burbano, Rommel Rodríguez Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Faculdade de Itaituba Departamento de Pós-Graduação
Universidade Federal do Pará Centro de Ciências Biológicas Departamento de Biologia
Universidade Federal do Pará Centro de Ciências Biológicas Departamento de Patologia
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Fundação Universidade Federal de Rondônia Departamento de Medicina Laboratório de Biogeoquímica Ambiental
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract Mercury is a xenobiotic metal that is a highly deleterious environmental pollutant. The biotransformation of mercury chloride (HgCl2) into methylmercury chloride (CH3HgCl) in aquatic environments is well-known and humans are exposed by consumption of contaminated fish, shellfish and algae. The objective of the present study was to determine the changes induced in vitro by two mercury compounds (HgCl2 and CH3HgCl) in cultured human lymphocytes. Short-term human leukocyte cultures from 10 healthy donors (5 females and 5 males) were set-up by adding drops of whole blood in complete medium. Cultures were separately and simultaneously treated with low doses (0.1 to 1000 µg/l) of HgCl2 and CH3HgCl and incubated at 37ºC for 48 h. Genotoxicity was assessed by chromosome aberrations and polyploid cells. Mitotic index was used as a measure of cytotoxicity. A significant increase (P < 0.05) in the relative frequency of chromosome aberrations was observed for all concentrations of CH3HgCl when compared to control, whether alone or in an evident sinergistic combination with HgCl2. The frequency of polyploid cells was also significantly increased (P < 0.05) when compared to control after exposure to all concentrations of CH3HgCl alone or in combination with HgCl2. CH3HgCl significantly decreased (P < 0.05) the mitotic index at 100 and 1000 µg/l alone, and at 1, 10, 100, and 1000 µg/l when combined with HgCl2, showing a synergistic cytotoxic effect. Our data showed that low concentrations of CH3HgCl might be cytotoxic/genotoxic. Such effects may indicate early cellular changes with possible biological consequences and should be considered in the preliminary evaluation of the risks of populations exposed in vivo to low doses of mercury.
Keywords Methylmercury
Cytotoxicity
Genotoxicity
Mitotic index
Human lymphocytes
Chromosome aberrations
Language English
Date 2005-06-01
Published in Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 38, n. 6, p. 901-907, 2005.
ISSN 0100-879X (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Extent 901-907
Origin http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2005000600012
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000230125300012
SciELO ID S0100-879X2005000600012 (statistics in SciELO)
URI http://repositorio.unifesp.br/handle/11600/2578

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