Influence of acetaldehyde, dietary protein, carbon tetrachloride and butylatedhydroxytoluene on the toxicity of methylmercury in rats.
Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1978 Jul;20(1):102-10. PMID: 698413
The influence of environmental or dietary factors on the toxicity of methylmercury (MeHg) was investigated due to possibilities that humans exposed to methylmercury may have been sensitized. Groups of 8 rats were exposed to 0, 20 or 40 ppm MeHg in a semisynthetic diet and fed 0.5% BHT, 5% protein (instead of 15%), or injected with 250 mg/kg CC14 or acetaldehyde. In control rats neurotoxicity occurred at 4 weeks and 9 weeks with 40 and 20 ppm MeHg, respectively. Mortality was observed at 6 weeks with 40 ppm and 1 rat died in week 9 with 20 ppm MeHg. Acetaldehyde injected rats died at week 4 and 6 when fed 40 or 20 ppm MeHg. Neurotoxicity was observed in week 3 and 5 in these groups, respectively. Treating rats with the low protein or BHT accelerated neurotoxicity and mortality by 1 week with 40 ppm MeHg. These agents had killed all test animals within 7 weeks at 20 ppm MeHg. Neither acetaldehyde nor BHT influenced 0 ppm MeHg controls while 5% protein induced precipitous weight loss. In the case of CC14, the rats lived longer in combination experiments than one would have expected from the individual treatments.