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Methylmercury toxicity in mouse blastocysts in vitro influence of amino acids

, : Methylmercury toxicity in mouse blastocysts in vitro influence of amino acids. Jikeikai Medical Journal 33(4): 319-326

Recently we reported that mouse blastocysts incubated in modified Eagle's medium (BME + AA) in the presence of 1 to 2 .mu.M methylmercuric chloride (MMC) collapsed and died within 24 hr. In this communication we report that blastocysts did not collapse and die when MMC treatments were performed in egg culture medium, which lacks amino acids, vitamin and serum. By omitting each component from BME + AA or by adding each BME + AA amino acid to egg culture medium, we determined that L-cystine was the only component of BME + AA capable of enhancing MMC toxicity. In addition, we found that cystine-enhanced MMC toxicity could be reduced by the addition of almost any neutral amino acid (at 1 mM) to egg culture medium containing MMC (2 .mu.M) and cystine (0.5 mM) for 2 hr. These results suggest that the enhancement of MMC toxicity by L-cystine involves a neutral amino acid carrier system and that the manifestation of MMC toxicity requires the transport of MMC into the cell.


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