Recent Advances in Mercury Research

Ebany J. Martinez-Finley, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic, non-essential, naturally occurring metal with a variety of uses. Mercury is not required for any known biological process and its presence in the human body may be detrimental, especially to the nervous system. Both genetic and behavioral studies suggest that mercury levels, age (both of exposure and at testing), and genetic background determine disease processes and outcome. The metal receptors and genes responsible for mercury metabolism also appear to play a pivotal role in the etiology of mercury-induced pathology. This review presents information about the latest advances in mercury research, with particular focus on low-level exposures and the contribution of genetics to toxic outcome. Future studies should address the contribution of genetics and low-level mercury exposure to disease, namely gene x environment interactions, taking into consideration age of exposure as developing animals are exquisitely more sensitive to this metal. In addition to recent advances in understanding the pathology associated with mercury exposure, the review highlights transport mechanisms, cellular distribution and detoxification of mercury species in the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Bioaccumulation
  • C. elegans
  • Degeneration
  • Ethylmercury
  • Fish
  • Genetics
  • Mercury
  • Methylmercury
  • pdr-1
  • Skin creams
  • skn-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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