Browsing by Author "Furness, Robert W."
ArticleThis paper reviews studies on mercury and selenium interaction. It includes the effects of selenium on mercury toxicity on the organism, organ/tissue, and subcellular levels. The paper also touches on possible mechanisms for the "protective action" of selenium against mercury toxicity and deals briefly with the synergism between the two elements.
ArticleMLA Cuvin-Aralar & RW Furness -
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 1990 - Springer VerlagThe protective effect of selenium against mercury toxicity has been extensively demonstrated in a number of studies (Burke eta]. 1977; Kasuya 1976). Since mercury uptake is not always diminished by the presence of selenium (Kim eta]. 1977) and neither does selenium enhance the elimination of mercury (Lucu and Skreblin i981; Cuvin and Furness 1988), these findings indicate that the mechanism for the observed protective action of selenium against mercury toxicity lie along different lines. It is believed that the rechanelling of mercury from one organ or tissue to another is one of the general mechanisms involved in the protective action of selenium against mercury toxicity. This is supported by the fact that one of the observed effects of selenium treatment on mercury-intoxicated animals is the apparent modification of the distribution pattern of mercury in the different organs and tissues. Decreased mercury levels in the kidney after selenium treatment has been demonstrated in rats by Chen eta]. (1974) and Potter and Matrone (1974). The following study aims to determine the effect of selenium on the distribution pattern of mercury in a common freshwater fish, the minnow Phoxinus phoxinus (Order Cypriniformes; Family Cyprinidae). Conversely, the effect of mercury on the tissue distribution of selenium will also be studied.
ArticleMinnows were kept in aquaria containing filtered water dosed with measured amounts of mercury as mercuric chloride and selenium as sodium selenate. Fishes exposed to selenium in combination with mercury showed significantly higher survival rates than those kept in tanks containing mercury alone. A 2 to 1 selenium to mercury molar ratio proved to be most effective in reducing mercury toxicity. The presence of selenium tended to increase the uptake of mercury from the water. There was no observed difference in the rate of mercury elimination in the presence or absence of selenium. These results suggest that the observed protective effect of selenium against the toxicity of mercury does not involve reduction of mercury uptake or enhancement of mercury elimination. The presence of mercury did not significantly affect selenium uptake. However, selenium elimination was reduced in the presence of mercury, suggesting that a mercury-selenium complex is formed.