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Tissue uptake sub cellular distribution and metabolism of carbon 14 methyl mercuric chloride and mercury 203 methyl mercuric chloride by rainbow trout salmo gairdneri



Tissue uptake sub cellular distribution and metabolism of carbon 14 methyl mercuric chloride and mercury 203 methyl mercuric chloride by rainbow trout salmo gairdneri



Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 35(4): 381-390



Uptake, whole tissue and subcellular distribution of methylmercury (MeHg) by rainbow trout, S. gairdneri, was studied during, and in three 2 wk intervals following, a single 24 h exposure to 14CH3HgCl and CH3203HgCl. Gel permeation chromatography of cytosol fractions was performed on select tissues. Gills contained approximately 10 times as much MeHg as any other tissue after 24 h exposure whereas concentrations were lowest for brain and skeletal muscle. In the 2-wk period following exposure, gill MeHg concentrations decreased to levels comparable with most other tissues; MeHg in most other tissues increased and then decreased during the subsequent 4 wk period. MeHg levels in brain, skeletal muscle and gonad were highest at 6 wk. During the 6 wk interval following MeHg exposure, the percent of Hg as inorganic Hg (Hg2+) increased in gill, kidney and liver and to a lesser extent in all other tissues except skeletal muscle. Total MeHg was greatest in cytosol fractions and usually made up from 50-80% of the total tissue Hg. In liver cytosol a Hg binding metallothionein-like species accounted for up to 40% of the total MeHg bound. Inorganic Hg (Hg2+), probably derived from demethylation of MeHg, was associated with a metallothionein-like protein detected in gill tissue but no more than 6% of the total Hg in the soluble fraction was bound to this protein(s). Hg binding to metallothionein-like proteins in kidney and splenic fractions was minimal in spite of relatively large amounts of Hg in the cytosol from these tissues. Metallothionein may act as a binding scavenger for methylmercury and inorganic Hg in fish.

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