Evaluation of mercury in hair, blood and muscle as biomarkers for methylmercury exposure in male and female mice
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Recently established reference intervals demonstrate that blood mercury is significantly higher in women than in men. Mercury in blood and hair are both used as biomarkers for human methylmercury exposure and employed in risk assessment without considering possible sex-related differences in toxicokinetics of methylmercury. In an experimental study using male and female mice of three different strains, the validty of mercury in hair, blood and muscle as indicators of methylmercury exposure was evaluated. Significant sex-related differences in the toxicokinetics of methylmercury were observed in the mice and it is concluded that hair and blood levels of mercury are of questionable relevance as indicators of both body burden and target organ concentrations of mercury. However, blood concentrations might be used as an indicator of brain deposition and the correlation improves after corrections due to sex-related differences in toxicokinetics.
Key wordsMethylmercury Biomarkers Sex-related difference Mice
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