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Med Hypotheses. 2010 Apr;74(4):698-701. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.10.036. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Luteinizing hormone provides a causal mechanism for mercury associated disease.

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Mental Retardation Research Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 635 Charles E. Young Dr. South, Neuroscience Research Building, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7332, USA.


Previous studies have demonstrated that the pituitary is a main target for inorganic mercury (I-Hg) deposition and accumulation within the brain. My recent study of the US population (1999-2006) has uncovered a significant, inverse relationship between chronic mercury exposure and levels of luteinizing hormone (LH). This association with LH signifies more than its presumed role as bioindicator for pituitary neurosecretion and function. LH is the only hormone with a rare and well characterized, high affinity binding site for mercury. On its catalytic beta subunit, LH has the structure to preferentially bind inorganic mercury almost irreversibly, and, by that manner, accumulate the neurotoxic element. Thus, it is likely that LH is an early and significant target of chronic mercury exposure. Moreover, due to the role of LH in immune-modulation and neurogenesis, I present LH as a central candidate to elucidate a causal mechanism for chronic mercury exposure and associated disease.

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