Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 9–11 | Cite as

Pregnancy Alters Renal and Blood Burden of Mercury in Females

  • Sarah E. Orr
  • Reneé C. Franklin
  • Hannah S. George
  • Sanya Nijhara
  • Lucy Joshee
  • Christy C. BridgesEmail author


Methylmercury (CH3Hg+), a common environmental toxicant, has serious detrimental effects in numerous organ systems. We hypothesize that a significant physiological change, like pregnancy, can alter the disposition and accumulation of mercury. To test this hypothesis, pregnant and non-pregnant female Wistar rats were exposed orally to CH3Hg+. The amount of mercury in blood and total renal mass was significantly lower in pregnant rats than in non-pregnant rats. This finding may be due to expansion of plasma volume in pregnant rats and dilution of mercury, leading to lower levels of mercury in maternal blood and kidneys.


Funding Information

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (ES019991) and Navicent Health Foundation awarded to Dr. Bridges.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesMercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA

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