Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 395, Issue 6, pp 1929–1935 | Cite as

Detoxification of mercury species—an in vitro study with antidotes in human whole blood

  • Stefan Trümpler
  • Sascha Nowak
  • Björn Meermann
  • Gerhard A. Wiesmüller
  • Wolfgang Buscher
  • Michael Sperling
  • Uwe KarstEmail author
Technical Note


To investigate the effects of mercury species intoxication and to test the efficiency of different commonly applied antidotes, human whole blood and plasma surrogate samples were spiked with inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and methylmercury (MeHg+, CH3Hg+) prior to treatment with the antidotes 2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-ol (British Anti Lewisite), 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). For mercury speciation analysis in these samples, liquid chromatography was coupled to either inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or electrospray ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF-MS). Adduct formation between mercury species and physiological thiols (cysteine and glutathione) was observed as well as the release of glutathione under treatment with the antidotes DMSA and NAC.


Mercury Methylmercury Speciation analysis Human whole blood Antidotes Intoxication 

Supplementary material

216_2009_3105_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (135 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 135 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Trümpler
    • 1
  • Sascha Nowak
    • 1
  • Björn Meermann
    • 1
  • Gerhard A. Wiesmüller
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Buscher
    • 1
  • Michael Sperling
    • 1
    • 3
  • Uwe Karst
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of Münster, Institute of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Environmental Specimen Bank for Human TissuesUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  3. 3.European Virtual Institute for Speciation AnalysisMünsterGermany

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