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Neurotoxicity of Metals

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Attention for Chapter 13: Methylmercury-Induced Neurotoxicity: Focus on Pro-oxidative Events and Related Consequences
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Chapter title
Methylmercury-Induced Neurotoxicity: Focus on Pro-oxidative Events and Related Consequences
Chapter number 13
Book title
Neurotoxicity of Metals
Published in
Advances in neurobiology, January 2017
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-60189-2_13
Pubmed ID
Book ISBNs
978-3-31-960188-5, 978-3-31-960189-2

Marcelo Farina, Michael Aschner, Farina, Marcelo, Aschner, Michael


Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly neurotoxic environmental pollutant. Even though molecular mechanisms mediating MeHg toxicity are not completely understood, several lines of evidence indicate that the neurotoxic effects resultant from MeHg exposure represent a consequence of its pro-oxidative properties. In this regard, MeHg is a soft electrophile that preferentially interacts with (and oxidize) nucleophilic groups (mainly thiols and selenols) from biomolecules, including proteins and low-molecular-weight molecules. Such interaction contributes to the occurrence of oxidative stress and impaired function of several molecules [proteins (receptors, transporters, enzymes, structural proteins), lipids (i.e., membrane constituents and intracellular messengers), and nucleic acids (i.e., DNA)], culminating in neurotoxicity.In this chapter, an initial background on the general aspects regarding the neurotoxicology of MeHg, with a particular focus on its pro-oxidative properties and its interaction with nucleophilic thiol- and selenol-containing molecules, is provided. Even though experimental evidence indicates that symptoms (i.e., motor impairment) resultant from MeHg exposure are linked to its pro-oxidative properties, as well as to their molecular consequences (lipid peroxidation, disruption of glutamate and/or calcium homeostasis, etc.), data concerning the relationship between molecular parameters and behavioral impairment others that those related to the motor function (i.e., visual impairment, cognitive skills, etc.) are scarce. Thus, even though scientific research has provided a significant amount of knowledge concerning the mechanisms mediating MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in the last decades, the whole scenario is far from being completely understood, and further research in this area is well warranted.

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The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 45 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 45 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 10 22%
Student > Bachelor 8 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 11%
Professor 3 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 4%
Other 9 20%
Unknown 8 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 13%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 13%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 9%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 9%
Neuroscience 3 7%
Other 9 20%
Unknown 13 29%