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Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 499–507 | Cite as

Mercury pollution in two typical areas in Guizhou province, China and its neurotoxic effects in the brains of rats fed with local polluted rice

  • Jinping Cheng
  • Tao Yuan
  • Wenhua  Wang
  • Jinping Jia
  • Xueyu Lin
  • Liya Qu
  • Zhenhua Ding
Article

Abstract

Guizhou province, which located in southwestern of China, is an important mercury (Hg) production center. This study was to investigate the environmental levels and ecological effects of mercury in two typical Hg polluted areas in Guizhou province. In addition, to improve the understanding of the neurotoxic effects of Hg, a rats based laboratory study was also carried out in this study. Samples of water, soil, plants, crops and animals collected from Wanshan mercury mine area, Guzhou province, were analyzed by mercury analyzer. The effects of Hg contaminated rice on the expression of c-jun mRNA in rat's brain and the expression of c-JUN protein in cortex, hippocampus were observed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunocytochemical methods. The results showed that the mercury contents in most environmental samples of aquatics, soil, atmosphere and the biomass of corn, plant and animals, were higher than the national standard and the corresponding data from unpolluted area. It was found mercury pollutions were significant in soil and air. In the laboratory study, the expression of c-jun mRNA and its protein was significantly induced by Hg polluted rice collected from local area. Selenium could reduce the Hg accumulation in the body and had antagonist effect on Hg in terms of the expression of c-jun mRNA and c-JUN protein. The environmental data and Hg levels in different creatures collected in this study will facilitate the environmental and ecological risk assessment of Hg in the polluted areas. It was urged to be alert of mental health problem in human beings when any kind of Hg-polluted food was taken. More efforts should be performed to protect the local ecosystem and human health in the mercury polluted area of Wanshan, Guizhou province of China.

Key words

ecological effects mercury contaminated rice mercury pollution neurotoxicity 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinping Cheng
    • 1
  • Tao Yuan
    • 1
  • Wenhua  Wang
    • 1
  • Jinping Jia
    • 1
  • Xueyu Lin
    • 2
  • Liya Qu
    • 3
  • Zhenhua Ding
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiP.R. China
  2. 2.School of Environment and ResourcesJilin UniversityChangchunP.R.China
  3. 3.Guizhou Institute for Environmental ProtectionGuiyangP.R. China

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