Effect of thimerosal, a preservative in vaccines, on intracellular Ca2+ concentration of rat cerebellar neurons.

Authors:
Yasuo Oyama
Yasuo Oyama
The University of Tokushima
Japan
Hiromi Nakao
Hiromi Nakao
The University of Tokushima
Japan
Chisato Umebayashi
Chisato Umebayashi
Laboratories of Cell Signaling and Bioorganic Chemistry
Yasutaka Nishizaki
Yasutaka Nishizaki
The University of Tokushima
Japan
Tomoko Tatsuishi
Tomoko Tatsuishi
Laboratory of Cellular Signaling
Kyoko Iwase
Kyoko Iwase
The University of Tokushima
Japan
Koji Murao
Koji Murao
Kagawa University
Takamatsu | Japan

Toxicology 2004 Jan;195(1):77-84

Laboratory of Cellular Signaling, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8502, Japan.

The effect of thimerosal, an organomercurial preservative in vaccines, on cerebellar neurons dissociated from 2-week-old rats was compared with those of methylmercury using a flow cytometer with appropriate fluorescent dyes. Thimerosal and methylmercury at concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 10 microM increased the intracellular concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in a concentration-dependent manner. The potency of 10 microM thimerosal to increase the [Ca2+]i was less than that of 10 microM methylmercury. Their effects on the [Ca2+]i were greatly attenuated, but not completely suppressed, under external Ca(2+)-free condition, suggesting a possibility that both agents increase membrane Ca2+ permeability and release Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores. The effect of 10 microM thimerosal was not affected by simultaneous application of 30 microM L-cysteine whereas that of 10 microM methylmercury was significantly suppressed. The potency of thimerosal was similar to that of methylmercury in the presence of L-cysteine. Both agents at 1 microM or more similarly decreased the cellular content of glutathione in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting an increase in oxidative stress. Results indicate that thimerosal exerts some cytotoxic actions on cerebellar granule neurons dissociated from 2-week-old rats and its potency is almost similar to that of methylmercury.

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January 2004
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