Methylmercury in astrocytes - What possible significance?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This manuscript starts with a brief review of recent research on the role of astrocytes in homeostatic mechanisms within the CNS. Astrocytes in primary culture have been found to contain the whole pantheon of receptors and also some of the uptake systems for CNS transmitters; properties which were formerly thought to be exclusively neuronal. The uptake of transmitters, usually by Na+-dependent mechanisms, and their subsequent inactivation by metabolism is then briefly described. The effects of methylmercury (MeHg) on astrocytic function are discussed, and the relatively small amount of information currently available of how MeHg may interfere with astrocytic functions is also reviewed. The potential role of astrocytes in MeHg sequestration is also discussed, particularly in terms of the ability of this heavy metal to induce the expression and synthesis of metallothionein (MT).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 28 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspartate
  • Astrocytes
  • In Vitro
  • Metallothionein
  • Methylmercury
  • Neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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