Immunohistochemical Localization of Metallothionein in Organs of Rats Treated with either Cadmium, Inorganic or Organic Mercurials

  • Chiharu Tohyama
  • Abdul Ghaffar
  • Atsuhiro Nakano
  • Noriko Nishimura
  • Hisao Nishimura
Part of the Rochester Series on Environmental Toxicity book series (RSET)

Abstract

Metallothionein (MT) is a low, molecular, mass protein inducible by heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), zinc and copper and having high affinity for these metals. In the present study, we have investigated immunohistological localization of metallothionein in the kidney and brain of rats treated with either Cd, inorganic mercury (Hg) or organic Hg.

Kidneys from rats treated with a single dose of Cd showed the presence of MT mainly in the proximal tubular epithelium whereas those from rats treated with Cd for 6 weeks demonstrated very strong MT immunostaining in the proximal and distal tubular epithelium, and the latter showed much stronger staining than the former. In the kidneys from inorganic Hg-treated rats, MT was detected not only in the proximal tubular epithelium but also in the distal tubular epithelium.

When adult rats were administered with either inorganic Hg or organic Hg, MT was induced in ependymal cells, pia mater, arachnoid, vascular endothelial cells and some glial cells. The present results suggest that MT is induced in the distal tubular epithelial cells and that the protein may take part in the blood-brain and cerebrospinal fluid-brain barriers to prevent toxic heavy metals from penetrating into the parenchyma of the brain.

Keywords

Total Mercury Immunohistochemical Localization Inorganic Mercury Tubular Epithelium Proximal Tubular Epithelium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiharu Tohyama
    • 1
  • Abdul Ghaffar
    • 1
  • Atsuhiro Nakano
    • 2
  • Noriko Nishimura
    • 3
  • Hisao Nishimura
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Health Sciences DivisionNational Institute for Environmental StudiesOnogawa, Tsukuba, IbarakiJapan
  2. 2.National Research Center for Minamata DiseaseMinamata, KumamotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of HygieneAichi Medical UniversityNagakute, AichiJapan

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