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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015 Apr;30:17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

Umbilical cord blood and placental mercury, selenium and selenoprotein expression in relation to maternal fish consumption.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States.
3
Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks ND 58202, United States.
4
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, United States. Electronic address: mberry@hawaii.edu.

Abstract

Seafood is an important source of nutrients for fetal neurodevelopment. Most individuals are exposed to the toxic element mercury through seafood. Due to the neurotoxic effects of mercury, United States government agencies recommend no more than 340g (12oz) per week of seafood consumption during pregnancy. However, recent studies have shown that selenium, also abundant in seafood, can have protective effects against mercury toxicity. In this study, we analyzed mercury and selenium levels and selenoprotein mRNA, protein, and activity in placenta of a cohort of women in Hawaii in relation to maternal seafood consumption assessed with dietary surveys. Fish consumption resulted in differences in mercury levels in placenta and cord blood. When taken as a group, those who consumed no fish exhibited the lowest mercury levels in placenta and cord blood. However, there were numerous individuals who either had higher mercury with no fish consumption or lower mercury with high fish consumption, indicating a lack of correlation. Placental expression of selenoprotein mRNAs, proteins and enzyme activity was not statistically different in any region among the different dietary groups. While the absence of seafood consumption correlates with lower average placental and cord blood mercury levels, no strong correlations were seen between seafood consumption or its absence and the levels of either selenoproteins or selenoenzyme activity.

KEYWORDS:

Methylmercury; Placenta; Seafood; Selenium; Selenoprotein

PMID:
25744505
PMCID:
PMC4352208
DOI:
10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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