Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Methylmercury developmental neurotoxicity: a comparison of effects in humans and animals.

Authors: Burbacher, T M; Rodier, P M; Weiss, B

Published In Neurotoxicol Teratol, (1990 May-Jun)

Abstract: A qualitative and quantitative comparison of the neuropathological and neurobehavioral effects of early methylmercury (MeHg) exposure is presented. The focus of the qualitative comparison is the examination of how specific end-points (and categories of behavioral functions) compare across species. The focus of the quantitative comparison is the investigation of the relationship between MeHg exposure, target-organ dose and effects in humans and animals. The results of the comparisons are discussed in the context of the adequacy of the proposed EPA neurotoxicity battery to characterize the risk of MeHg to humans. The comparisons reveal several qualitative and quantitative similarities in the neuropathological effects of MeHg on humans and animals at high levels of exposure. Reports of neuropathological effects at lower levels are available for animals only, precluding any comparison. At high levels of exposure, specific neurobehavioral end-points affected across species are also similar. Effects at lower levels of exposure are similar if categories of neurobehavioral functioning are compared. Changes in the EPA test battery consistent with the results of the comparisons are discussed.

PubMed ID: 2196419 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Behavior, Animal/drug effects; Behavior/drug effects; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Female; Humans; Methylmercury Compounds/toxicity*; Nervous System Diseases/chemically induced*; Nervous System Diseases/pathology; Pregnancy; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*; Species Specificity; Teratogens*

to Top