Effects of diphenyl diselenide on methylmercury toxicity in rats

Cristiane L. Dalla Corte, Caroline Wagner, Jéssie H. Sudati, Bruna Comparsi, Gerlania O. Leite, Alcindo Busanello, Félix A.A. Soares, Michael Aschner, João B.T. Rocha

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30 Scopus citations


This study investigates the efficacy of diphenyl diselenide [(PhSe) 2] in attenuating methylmercury- (MeHg-)induced toxicity in rats. Adult rats were treated with MeHg [5 mg/kg/day, intragastrically (i.g.)] and/ or (PhSe)2 [1 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally (i.p.)] for 21 days. Body weight gain and motor deficits were evaluated prior to treatment, on treatment days 11 and 21. In addition, hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial function (reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, total and nonprotein thiol levels, membrane potential (Δ Ψ m), metabolic function, and swelling), hepatic, cerebral, and muscular mercury levels, and hepatic, cerebral, and renal thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) activity were evaluated. MeHg caused hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibited TrxR activity in liver (38,9%), brain (64,3%), and kidney (73,8%). Cotreatment with (PhSe)2 protected hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial thiols from depletion by MeHg but failed to completely reverse MeHg's effect on hepatic and cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction or hepatic, cerebral, and renal inhibition of TrxR activity. Additionally, the cotreatment with (PhSe)2 increased Hg accumulation in the liver (50,5%) and brain (49,4%) and increased the MeHg-induced motor deficits and body-weight loss. In conclusion, these results indicate that (PhSe)2 can increase Hg body burden as well as the neurotoxic effects induced by MeHg exposure in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number983821
JournalBioMed Research International
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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