Antioxidant Compounds and Ca(2+) Pathway Blockers Differentially Protect Against Methylmercury and Mercuric Chloride Neurotoxicity

The antioxidants probucol and propyl gallate reduced the HgCl(2) toxicity. Probucol and vitamin E partially inhibited the MeHg toxicity after a 24 hr period, whereas propyl gallate completely prevented this effect. Probucol slightly reduced ROS generation in methylmercury-exposed cultures and decreased mercury-mediated rise of [Ca(2+)](i). Propyl gallate abolished ROS generation and partially inhibited the increase of [Ca(2+)](i) induced by both mercury compounds. Propyl gallate also protected human cerebral cortical neuron cultures from the MeHg effect even after 72 hr of MeHg exposure, thus showing a long-lasting effect. Our data suggest that disruption of redox equilibrium and Ca(2+) homeostasis contribute equally to HgCl(2)-mediated toxicity, whereas oxidative stress is the main cause of MeHg neurotoxicity.

Gasso S, Cristofol RM, Selema G, Rosa R, Rodriguez-Farre E, Sanfeliu C. J Neurosci Res. 2001 Oct 1; 66(1):135-45. 11599010 PubMed.

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