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Open AccessArticle

Protective Effect of Prolactin against Methylmercury-Induced Mutagenicity and Cytotoxicity on Human Lymphocytes

Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Para, Itaituba Campus, IFPA Itaituba, Para 68180000, Brazil
Biological Science Institute, Federal University of Para, Belem, Para 66075110, Brazil
Education Federal Institute, Science and Technologie of Para, Belem Campus, IFPA. Belem, Para 66645240, Brazil
Center of Biological and Health Sciences, University of Para, Belem Campus UEPA, Belem, Para 66050540, Brazil
Federal University of Western Para, Oriximiná Campus, UFOPA, Santarém, Para 68040470, Brazil
Department of Morphology and Genetics, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo 04021001 Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9822-9834;
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 22 September 2014
Mercury exhibits cytotoxic and mutagenic properties as a result of its effect on tubulin. This toxicity mechanism is related to the production of free radicals that can cause DNA damage. Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the most toxic of the mercury compounds. It accumulates in the aquatic food chain, eventually reaching the human diet. Several studies have demonstrated that prolactin (PRL) may be differently affected by inorganic and organic mercury based on interference with various neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of PRL secretion. This study evaluated the cytoprotective effect of PRL on human lymphocytes exposed to MeHg in vitro, including observation of the kinetics of HL-60 cells (an acute myeloid leukemia lineage) treated with MeHg and PRL at different concentrations, with both treatments with the individual compounds and combined treatments. All treatments with MeHg produced a significant increase in the frequency of chromatid gaps, however, no significant difference was observed in the chromosomal breaks with any treatment. A dose-dependent increase in the mitotic index was observed for treatments with PRL, which also acts as a co-mitogenic factor, regulating proliferation by modulating the expression of genes that are essential for cell cycle progression and cytoskeleton organization. These properties contribute to the protective action of PRL against the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of MeHg. View Full-Text
Keywords: methylmercury; prolactin; mutagenicity; mitotic index methylmercury; prolactin; mutagenicity; mitotic index
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Silva-Pereira, L.C.; Da Rocha, C.A.M.; Cunha, L.R.C.S., Jr.; Da Costa, E.T.; Guimarães, A.P.A.; Pontes, T.B.; Diniz, D.L.W.P.; Leal, M.F.; Moreira-Nunes, C.A.; Burbano, R.R. Protective Effect of Prolactin against Methylmercury-Induced Mutagenicity and Cytotoxicity on Human Lymphocytes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 9822-9834.

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