Role of excretion in manganese homeostasis and neurotoxicity: a historical perspective

Kerem C. Gurol, Michael Aschner, Donald R. Smith, Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The essential metal manganese (Mn) induces incurable neurotoxicity at elevated levels that manifests as parkinsonism in adults and fine motor and executive function deficits in children. Studies on Mn neurotoxicity have largely focused on the role and mechanisms of disease induced by elevated Mn exposure from occupational or environmental sources. In contrast, the critical role of excretion in regulating Mn homeostasis and neurotoxicity has received less attention although 1) studies on Mn excretion date back to the 1920s; 2) elegant radiotracer Mn excretion assays in the 1940s to 1960s established the routes of Mn excretion; and 3) studies on patients with liver cirrhosis in the 1990s to 2000s identified an association between decreased Mn excretion and the risk of developing Mn-induced parkinsonism in the absence of elevated Mn exposure. Notably, the last few years have seen renewed interest in Mn excretion largely driven by the discovery that hereditary Mn neurotoxicity due to mutations in SLC30A10 or SLC39A14 is caused, at least in part, by deficits in Mn excretion. Quite remarkably, some of the recent results on SLC30A10 and SLC39A14 provide explanations for observations made ∼40-50 years ago. The goal of the current review is to integrate the historic studies on Mn excretion with more contemporary recent work and provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art overview of Mn excretion and its role in regulating Mn homeostasis and neurotoxicity. A related goal is to discuss the significance of some of the foundational studies on Mn excretion so that these highly consequential earlier studies remain influential in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G79-G92
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Intestines
  • Liver
  • Manganese
  • Parkinsonism
  • SLC30A10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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