Methods for Decreasing 203Hg Retention in Relation to Age and Route of Exposure

  • B. Kargacin
  • K. Kostial
Part of the Rochester Series on Environmental Toxicity book series (RSET)


Different chelating agents are being used for decreasing the body burden of mercury. Data on the efficiency of such treatments in the very young are scarce and almost not available. However, young are known to be at a higher risk than adults at the same level of environmental mercury exposure. Therefore more data on the effect of chelation therapy in the very young are necessary.

We, therefore, performed experiments on albino rats of different ages by using 203Hg (as chloride from the Radiochemical Centre Amersham, England) orally or intraperitoneally. Different chelating agents - 2,3-dimercaptopropane-sulfonate-(1) (DMPS), dimercapto- succinic acid (DMSA), zinc diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (ZnDTPA) and sodium N-(4-methoxybenzyl)-D-glucamine dithiocarbamate monohydrate (MeOBDCG) were administered as early or late treatment, orally or parenterally and their effect on the toxicokinetics of mercury in relation to age was studied. Radioactivity was determined in the whole body and organs at different time intervals after 203Hg administration.

The efficacy of the chelating agents was found to be age dependent. After parenteral administration, mercury was more easily removed from the body of older rats than of young rats. After ingestion of 203Hg, oral administration of chelating agents was found to be very efficient in reducing high gut retention in suckling rats where most of the body burden of mercury is located at this age. This treatment was efficient even after late administration.

The efficiency of these chelating agents in relation to age, route, dose and timing of administration will also be presented.

Our results indicate that all these factors should be taken into consideration to improve present methods of treatment especially in the very young.


Body Burden Chelation Therapy Inorganic Mercury Dimercaptosuccinic Acid Whole Body 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kargacin
    • 1
  • K. Kostial
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthUniversity of ZagrebZagrebYugoslavia

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