Thimerosal at 30 microM induced an apoptotic change in membranes of almost all living cells. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Flow-cytometric analysis on cytotoxic effect of thimerosal, a preservative in vaccines, on lymphocytes dissociated from rat thymic glands.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2005 Mar ;19(2):191-8. PMID: 15649632
There is a concern on the part of public health community that adverse health consequence by thimerosal, a preservative in vaccines for infants, may occur among infants during immunization schedule. Therefore, the cytotoxic action of thimerosal was examined on lymphocytes dissociated from thymic glands of young rats using a flow cytometer and respective fluorescent probes for monitoring changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and membrane potential, and for discriminating intact living cells, apoptotic living cells and dead cells. Incubation with thimerosal at 3 microM or more (up to 30 microM) for 60 min depolarized the membranes, associated with increasing the [Ca2+]i. Thimerosal at 30 microM induced an apoptotic change in membranes of almost all living cells. Furthermore, the prolonged incubation with 30 microM thimerosal induced a loss of membrane integrity, leading to cell death. Since the blood concentration of thimerosal after receiving vaccines is theoretically submicromolar, it may be unlikely that thimerosal affects lymphocytes of infants.