The effect of heavy metals on differentiated neuronal and glial cells

Lawton, M., 2007. The effect of heavy metals on differentiated neuronal and glial cells. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.


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Heavy metal poisoning poses a serious health risk among populations worldwide. The symptoms presented by exposure are varied and depend upon the species of the metal, the age of the individual and the exposure dose. All heavy metals have debilitating effects on the CNS. Children are especially sensitive to the neurological effects due to the intense growth and activity of a developing nervous system and inadequately developed defences. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of sub-lethal concentrations of numerous heavy metals on neuronal and glial cell differentiation. Using established cellular models, the toxicity of zinc, lead, mercury, methylmercury and thimerosal were investigated using assays of cell viability and morphology on differentiating N2a and C6 cells. Initial research revealed thimerosal, methylmercury and cadmium to be the most toxic compounds tested, in terms of their ability to inhibit the outgrowth of neurites in both cell lines at sub-lethal concentrations. Although cadmium chloride showed similar patterns of toxicity to the mercury compounds, thimerosal and MeHgCl were chosen for further investigation at a molecular level. Methylmercury chloride a common environmental pollutant and thimerosal; a preservative found in many medicines, were chosen for further investigation, as previous work has demonstrated the health risks posed by the two organic mercury compounds but little is known about non-lethal changes that occur in the nervous system, especially with thimerosal.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lawton, M.
Date: 2007
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author, and may also be owned by the research sponsor(s) and/or Nottingham Trent University. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, of if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the first instance to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:35
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 09:35

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