The effects of selenium on fetal growth and development in CD-1 mice exposed with mercury for the gestation period

임신 중 수은을 섭취한 CD-1 마우스 태아의 성장발육과 기형발생에 미친 셀레늄의 효과

  • Kim, Jin-suk (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources Research Centre, Kon-Kuk University) ;
  • Lee, Sang-mok (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources Research Centre, Kon-Kuk University) ;
  • Choi, Seok-wha (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk University) ;
  • Lee, Won-chang (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources Research Centre, Kon-Kuk University)
  • 김진석 (건국대학교 수의학과 및 동물자원연구센타) ;
  • 이상목 (건국대학교 수의학과 및 동물자원연구센타) ;
  • 최석화 (충북대학교 수의과대학) ;
  • 이원창 (건국대학교 수의학과 및 동물자원연구센타)
  • Received : 1994.02.16
  • Published : 1994.04.30


Teratogenic and embryotoxic effects of mercury have been reported, however, there is little information about possible antidotes against mercury exposure during gestation. In order to evaluate therapeutic effects of selenium as an antidote against mercury poisoning, pregnant CD-1 mice were exposed to methylmercury chloride(20ppm) through the drinking water with treatment of sodium selenite (1.0mg, 2.0mg or 3.0mg/kg b.w., subcutaneously) or BAL(5.0mg/kg b.w., subcutaneously) under the single or combination base as the therapeutic agents from day 6 to 15 of gestation. Fetal growth parameters such as body weight and crown-rump length in the mice exposed to mercury, were reduced as was placental weight compared to those in the control. Treatment of selenium(alone, combination with BAL) reduced the harmful effects induced by mercury on the fetal growth parameters even though no specific relationship between dose and therapeutic effect. The incidence of dead fetuses/resorptions and malformed fetuses(especially cleft palate) was also increased in the mercury only treated group. Selenium treatment demonostrated reduced the incidence of abnormal fetuses under the exposure of mercury. Relative maternal organ weights(liver, kidney, spleen) were increased significantly but relative brain weight was decreased as evidenced by decreased in the mercury treated mice compared to that in the control. A subtle indication of maternal mercury toxicity evidenced by changes of relative maternal organ weights, decreased water and feed consumption were also prevented efficiently by selenium treatment. The present study suggests that methylmercuric chloride is embrytoxic and teratogenic in CD-1 mice when exposured during organogenesis and that selenium administration may have therapeutic application for the treatment of mercury poisoning although more applicable study in human should be performed with caution in the future.


Supported by : Animal Resources Research Center