Assessment of mercury concentrations in mouse brain using different routes of administration and different tissue preparations. Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to determine the best method for preparing brain tissue for mercury analysis from mice exposed to methylmercury either through subcutaneous (SC) injection or through ingestion. C57BL/6 J mice at postnatal day 29 were exposed to 0.0 or 5.0 mg/kg methylmercuric chloride (MMC) given SC or through food containing MMC. Eighteen mice received vehicle (sodium bicarbonate; SC) and 18 additional mice received 5.0 mg/kg MMC (SC). Whole brain tissue was prepared using one of four tissue preparation methods: rapid freezing, saline perfusion, 4% paraformaldehyde perfusion fixation, or 4% paraformaldehyde immersion fixation. Brains from vehicle-treated mice exhibited minimal levels of mercury (0.0007 to 0.0018 ppm) in all preparation methods. Mercury content in rapidly frozen control brains differed statistically from immersion-fixed control brain tissue. There was no significant difference in mercury content from mice given 5.0 mg/kg MMC (SC) in all preparation methods (0.2660 to 0.3650 ppm). Additional mice were divided into groups of six mice each: single oral dose of 5.0 mg/kg MMC; total oral dose of 5.0 mg/kg MMC divided into five doses; and vehicle only. Forebrain (0.3243 ppm) and hindbrain (0.1908 ppm) mercury content in MMC-treated mice given multiple doses was 10 times higher than in brain tissue from mice given a single 5.0 mg/kg dose. Brain mercury content following administration of 5.0 mg/kg MMC via the oral route (0.5354 ppm) differed statistically from the SC route (0.3430 ppm). In conclusion, different tissue preparation methods do not significantly affect brain mercury content, but route of administration and dosing regimen can influence total brain mercury content.

published proceedings

  • Toxicol Mech Methods

author list (cited authors)

  • Bellum, S., Thuett, K. A., Taylor, R. J., & Abbott, L. C.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Bellum, Sairam||Thuett, Kerry A||Taylor, Robert J||Abbott, Louise C

publication date

  • January 2007