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In vitro effects of Ala16Val manganese superoxide dismutase gene polymorphism on human white blood cells exposed to methylmercury

Author(s): T.D. Algarve1, F. Barbisan2, E.E. Ribeiro3, M.M.M.F. Duarte4, M.F. Mânica-Cattani1, C.P. Mostardeiro2, A.F. Lenz1 and I.B.M. da Cruz1,2,4

Environmental contamination by methylmercury (MeHg) is an enormous public health problem in world regions such as Amazonia. MeHg toxic effects seem to be influenced by environmental and genetic factors. However, few studies have evaluated the genetic influences of MeHg toxicity in humans. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic influence of Ala16Val manganese superoxide dismutase gene polymorphism (Ala16Val-MnSOD) on the cytotoxic effects of in vitro human leukocytes exposed to MeHg. Subjects were selected from 100 individuals aged 26.4 ± 7.3 years genotyped to Ala16Val-MnSOD using white blood cells (WBCs). Reactive oxygen species production was measured using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate fluorimetric assay, and cell viability was measured using MTT assay on WBC samples from the same subjects that were both exposed and not exposed to MeHg (2.5 μM for 6 h).