Mercury has received considerable media focus because it is present in dental amalgams and seafood. There is potential exposure in gas meters, thermometers and fluorescent lamps workers. To evaluate its possible epigenetic carcinogen effect, cultures of human keratinocytes were treated with increasing doses of HgCl2 for 30 min, 24 h and of CH3HgCl for 24 h, respectively. The red neutral method was used to evaluate the doses of HgCl2 and CH3HgCl which had no cytotoxic effect. Then, the dye transfer method was used to investigate the gap junctions-mediated intercellular communication (GJIC). Cells were microinjected with Lucifer Yellow CH by using the Eppendorf Apparatus and the Leica inverted microscope. After 30 min incubation at the concentration of 10 microM, HgCl2 did not exert inhibition of GJIC. Conversely, after 24 h at the concentration of 10 nM, HgCl2 inhibited GJIC. Incubation with CH3HgCl at the concentration of 250 nM for 24 h reduced the number of fluorescent cells, thus denoting a inhibition of GJIC. Taken together our data demonstrated that: i) HgCl2 and CH3HgCl exerted an inhibitory effect upon GJIC; ii) HgCl2 resulted to inhibit GJIC at concentrations 25 folds lower than CH3HgCl. Further studies will be addressed to evaluate whether the reversal of GJIC inhibition could be obtained by withdrawal of toxic substance, or by the addition of a GJIC activator like the retinoic acid. Finally to shed light on the possible effect of mercury derivates at the transcriptional or translational levels, the expression profile of the connexin 43 gene after HgCl2 and CH3HgCl exposure of cultured human keratinocytes will be investigated.
|Translated title of the contribution||Promoter effect of mercury chloride and methyl-mercury on human keratinocytes in culture|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|