Antagonistic Growth Effects of Mercury and Selenium in Caenorhabditis elegans Are Chemical-Species-Dependent and Do Not Depend on Internal Hg/Se Ratios.
The relationship between mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) toxicity is complex, with coexposure reported to reduce, increase, and have no effect on toxicity. Different interactions may be related to chemical compound, but this has not been systematically examined. Our goal was to assess the interactive effects between the two elements on growth in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, focusing on inorganic and organic Hg (HgCl2 and MeHgCl) and Se (selenomethionine, sodium selenite, and sodium selenate) compounds. We utilized aqueous Hg/Se dosing molar ratios that were either above, below, or equal to 1 and measured the internal nematode total Hg and Se concentrations for the highest concentrations of each Se compound. Observed interactions were complicated, differed between Se and Hg compounds, and included greater-than-additive, additive, and less-than-additive growth impacts. Biologically significant interactions were only observed when the dosing Se solution concentration was 100-25,000 times greater than the dosing Hg concentration. Mitigation of growth impacts was not predictable on the basis of internal Hg/Se molar ratio; improved growth was observed at some internal Hg/Se molar ratios both above and below 1. These findings suggest that future assessments of the Hg and Se relationship should incorporate chemical compound into the evaluation.
Wyatt, LH; Diringer, SE; Rogers, LA; Hsu-Kim, H; Pan, WK; Meyer, JN
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