Postnatal methyl mercury exposure: effects on ontogeny of renal and hepatic ornithine decarboxylase responses to trophic stimuli.
The effects of postnatal methyl mercury exposure on the ontogeny of renal and hepatic responsiveness to trophic stimuli were examined. Increased ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity was used as an index of tissue stimulation. In the rat, renal ODC responsiveness to growth hormone, angiotensin, vasopressin, isoproterenol, and serotonin was absent at birth and matured 3 to 4 weeks later. However, pups exposed to methyl mercury showed marked, ODC responses to these same agents as early as 10 to 19 days of postnatal age, accompanied by a significant renal hypertrophy. In contrast to the kidney, the liver of normally developing rats was responsive to trophic factors even in the neonate. In this tissue, there was no consistent effect of neonatal methyl mercury treatment on ODC responses at any developmental stage tested; although absolute liver weights were reduced, liver/body weight ratio was not affected. These results demonstrate that postnatal methyl mercury exposure causes a precocious onset of ODC responses to trophic agents specifically in the kidney. Altered responsiveness may mediate some of the effects of this organomercurial on overall renal development and function.
Bartolome, J; Grignolo, A; Bartolome, M; Trepanier, P; Lerea, L; Weigel, S; Whitmore, W; Michalopoulos, G; Kavlock, R; Slotkin, T
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