The role of mercury in the processes of vital activity of the human and mammalian organisms
ABSTRACT Mercury belongs to one of the most common heavy metals that have high biological activity in relation to human and animal
cells. However, the physiological role of mercury in the metabolism of eukaryotic cells is still unclear. The given review
provides current information on certain properties of mercury, the mechanisms of penetration of Hg (II) inside cells, its
genotoxic and cytotoxic effects, as well as the role of mercury in the induction of autoimmune processes involving production
of autoantibodies to the nucleolar protein fibrillarin.
Article: Immunology of mercury.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The heavy metal mercury is ubiquitously distributed in the environment resulting in permanent low-level exposure in human populations. Mercury can be encountered in three main chemical forms (elemental, inorganic, and organic) which can affect the immune system in different ways. In this review, we describe the effects of these various forms of mercury exposure on immune cells in humans and animals. In genetically susceptible mice or rats, subtoxic doses of mercury induce the production of highly specific autoantibodies as well as a generalized activation of the immune system. We review studies performed in this model and discuss their implications for the role of environmental chemicals in human autoimmunity.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 1143:240-67. · 4.38 Impact Factor