Abstract— Subacute methyl mercury (MeHg) intoxication was induced in adult rats following the daily intragastric administration of 1 mg MeHg/100 g body weight. Decreased (14C)leucine incorporation into cerebral and cerebellar slice protein was found. Weight loss occurred during the latent and neurotoxic phases but pair feeding did not reveal a significant defect in amino acid incorporation into slice protein. There was no decline in synaptosome protein synthesis in vitro during the latent phase but a significant decline in cerebellar and cerebral synaptosome synthesis was found during the neurotoxic phase. MeHg in vitro inhibited cerebral slice and synaptosome protein synthesis at half maximal concentrations of 7.5 and 12.5 μM respectively. Inhibition of synthesis in synaptosomes was non‐competitive with K1 of 4 × 10−6M. MeHg had no effect on (14C)leucine or (14C)proline uptake into synaptosomes. There was no significant inhibition of synaptosome basal ATPase or Na + K ATPase at concentrations of MeHg (12 μM) giving half maximal inhibition of protein synthesis. No preferential inhibition of the chloramphenicol (55S) or cycloheximide sensitive components of synaptosome fraction protein synthesis was found, suggesting that the inhibition is common to both mitochondrial and extramitochondrial protein synthesizing systems. Addition of nucleotides and/or atractylate failed to influence protein synthesis and did not reverse the MeHg inhibition. Mannitol, as a replacement for the predominant cation species of the incubation medium, gave 40% inhibition of protein synthesis in the control but protected against further inhibition by MeHg.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1977
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