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Publication Detail

Title: Methylmercury effects on reproduction and offspring size at birth.

Authors: Burbacher, T M; Mohamed, M K; Mottett, N K

Published In Reprod Toxicol, (1987-1988)

Abstract: This article describes a study of the toxic, reproductive, and developmental effects of chronic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in Macaca fascicularis monkeys. Adult and infant monkeys were studied using procedures to assess maternal and newborn blood Hg concentrations, menstrual cyclicity, conception rate, reproductive outcome, maternal toxicity, and offspring size at birth. Maternal intakes of 0, 50, 70, or 90 micrograms/kg/d MeHg hydroxide were studied. Maternal blood Hg concentrations reached equilibrium by 10 weeks of exposure. The half-life of blood Hg for adult females ranged from 15 to 40 days (mean = d) and did not vary with dose. Maternal MeHg exposure did not affect the length of the menstrual cycle or the conception rate. Maternal MeHg exposure did significantly reduce the number of viable deliveries at blood Hg concentrations above 1.5 ppm. Maternal blood Hg concentrations at delivery were significantly lower than newborn concentrations. No effect of maternal MeHg exposure on offspring size at birth was observed. Maternal toxicity was related to blood Hg concentrations above 2.0 ppm following approximately one year of exposure. Results indicate that MeHg exposure can affect reproductive outcome at levels that do not cause overt toxicity.

PubMed ID: 2980392 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Analysis of Variance; Animals; Birth Weight/drug effects*; Female; Macaca fascicularis; Maternal-Fetal Exchange/physiology; Menstrual Cycle/drug effects; Methylmercury Compounds/blood; Methylmercury Compounds/toxicity*; Pregnancy; Reproduction/drug effects*

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