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Exp Mol Pathol. 1989 Jun;50(3):281-90.

Hemodynamic and electrophysiological effects of mercury in intact anesthetized rabbits and in isolated perfused hearts.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Oral Roberts University School of Medicine, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74171.


Using intact anesthetized rabbits and isolated perfused hearts, the hemodynamic and electrophysiological effects of mercury (Hg) were examined in order to assess the role of cardiovascular dysfunction in Hg intoxication. The most consistent and prominent cardiovascular effect was a significant reduction in blood pressure. This cardiodepressive action was probably brought about by the primary action of Hg on the heart rather than by altered sympathetic activity, as evidenced by normal renal nerve activity at times when the hemodynamic actions of Hg were clearly manifest. Although the principal target organ for the toxic actions of inorganic Hg is the kidney, chronic exposure to both inorganic and organic Hg frequently results in signs and symptoms of CNS dysfunction. The profound hemodynamic effects of Hg that we have observed emphasize the potential importance of Hg cardiotoxicity and indicate the need to differentiate between the primary and the secondary effects of Hg intoxication on CNS tissues for evaluation of the toxic effects of Hg compounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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