Disruption of Microtubules by Methylmercury

  • Polly R. Sager
  • Tore L. M. Syversen


Methyl mercury is the only known environmental chemical teratogen. Accidental poisonings caused by contaminated fish and grain in Japan and Iraq resulted in the exposure of a number of children to methyl mercury in utero. From these populations, it was clear that exposure during the prenatal or early postnatal period lead to severe and permanent damage to the central nervous system (Amin-Zaki et al., 1974, 1979; Harada, 1977). While it is well documented in both humans and experimental animals that the developing nervous system is more affected by methyl mercury than the adult brain (reviewed by Clarkson et al., 1981), little is known about the mechanisms of damage. Furthermore, it is not clear whether different mechanisms underlie damage to developing and mature tissues or how these mechanisms are related.


Glioma Cell Neuroblastoma Cell Mercury Concentration Microtubule Assembly Dimercaptosuccinic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Polly R. Sager
    • 1
  • Tore L. M. Syversen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of Trondheim, School of MedicineTrondheimNorway

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