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Biometals. 2011 Oct;24(5):811-25. doi: 10.1007/s10534-011-9454-1. Epub 2011 May 1.

Manganese accumulation in the CNS and associated pathologies.

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Neurochemistry Department, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery 'Manuel Velasco Suárez', Insurgentes Sur 3877, La Fama, Tlalpan, Mexico City 14269, Mexico.


Manganese (Mn) is an essential metal for life. It is a key constituent of clue enzymes in the central nervous system, contributing to antioxidant defenses, energetic metabolism, ammonia detoxification, among other important functions. Until now, Mn transport mechanisms are partially understood; however, it is known that it shares some mechanisms of transport with iron. CNS is susceptible to Mn toxicity because it possesses mechanisms that allow Mn entry and favor its accumulation. Cases of occupational Mn exposure have been extensively reported in the literature; however, there are other ways of exposure, such as long-term parental nutrition and liver failure. Manganism and hepatic encephalopathy are the most common pathologies associated with the effects of Mn exposure. Both pathologies are associated with motor and psychiatric disturbances, related in turn to mechanisms of damage such as oxidative stress and neurotransmitters alterations, the dopaminergic system being one of the most affected. Although manganism and Parkinson's disease share some characteristics, they differ in many aspects that are discussed here. The mechanisms for Mn transport and its participation in manganism and hepatic encephalopathy are also considered in this review. It is necessary to find an effective therapeutic strategy to decrease Mn levels in exposed individuals and to treat Mn long term effects. In the case of patients with chronic liver failure it would be worthwhile to test a low-Mn diet in order to ameliorate symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy possibly related to Mn accumulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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