Thimerosal in childhood vaccines contributes to accumulating mercury toxicity in the kidney

Hornos Carneiro, Maria Fernanda, Morais, Christudas, Barbosa Jr., Fernando and Gobe, Glenda Carolyn (2014) Thimerosal in childhood vaccines contributes to accumulating mercury toxicity in the kidney. Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry, 95 8: 1424-1447. doi:10.1080/02772248.2013.877246

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Author Hornos Carneiro, Maria Fernanda
Morais, Christudas
Barbosa Jr., Fernando
Gobe, Glenda Carolyn
Title Thimerosal in childhood vaccines contributes to accumulating mercury toxicity in the kidney
Journal name Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-2248
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02772248.2013.877246
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 95
Issue 8
Start page 1424
End page 1447
Total pages 24
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Subject 2304 Environmental Chemistry
2310 Pollution
2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Abstract Mercury (Hg) is a hazardous chemical that accumulates in many cells and tissues, thereby producing toxicity. The kidney is a key target organ for Hg accumulation and toxicity. The contributing factors to Hg accumulation in humans include: (1) elemental and inorganic Hg exposure, often occurring by inhalation of Hg vapors; (2) exposure to methyl Hg (meHg), for example, through contaminated seafood; and (3) exposure to ethyl mercury (etHg) via thimerosal-containing vaccines. Systematic investigations on the toxic effects of etHg/thimerosal on the nervous system were carried out, and etHg/thimerosal emerged as a possible risk factor for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. There is, however, little known about the mechanisms and molecular interactions underlying toxicity of etHg/thimerosal in the kidney, which is the focus of the current review. Susceptible populations such as infants, pregnant women, and the elderly are exposed to etHg through thimerosal-containing vaccines, and in-depth study of the potential adverse effects on the kidney is needed. In general, toxicity occurring in association with different forms of Hg is related to: intracellular thiol metabolism and oxidative stress reactions; mitochondrial function; intracellular distribution and build-up of calcium; apoptosis; expression of stress proteins; and also interaction with the cytoskeleton. Available evidence for the etHg-induced toxicity in the kidney was examined, and the main mechanisms and molecular interactions of cytotoxicity of etHg/thimerosal exposure in kidney described. Such accumulating knowledge may help to indicate molecular pathways that, if modulated, may better handle Hg-mediated toxicity.
Keyword Apoptosis
Ethyl mercury
Oxidative stress
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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