Does selenium modify neurobehavioural impacts of developmental methylmercury exposure in mice?

Kristin I. Folven, Chris N. Glover, Marian K. Malde, Anne Katrine Lundebye

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


There is controversy as to whether low-level chronic exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through maternal fish consumption may cause subtle effects in the developing child, owing in part to the potential ameliorating effects of beneficial seafood nutrients. The aim of the present investigation was to assess the ameliorating potential of selenium (Se; as the naturally occurring methionine complex) on the neurobehavioural toxicity of foodborne MeHg (as the naturally occurring cysteinate) in prenatally exposed mice. Pups from dams exposed to a diet containing 3 mg/kg of MeHg fed throughout gestation showed delayed fur development and impaired performance in a motor function assessment. These effects were not apparent in pups born to dams concurrently exposed to Se (at 1.3 mg/kg). These results, using natural dietary forms of the elements administered through the relevant exposure pathway, suggest only minor impacts of MeHgCys on neurobehaviour, and possible amelioration of these effects by Se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul. 2009


  • Methylmercury
  • Mice
  • Neurobehavioural toxicity
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Selenium


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