Ida-Eto M, Oyabu A, Ohkawara T, Tashiro Y, Narita N, Narita M.
Brain Dev. 2012 May 31. [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Anatomy II, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.
Thimerosal, an organomercury compound, has been widely used as a preservative. Therefore, concerns have been raised about its neurotoxicity. We recently demonstrated perturbation of early serotonergic development by prenatal exposure to thimerosal (Ida-Eto et al. (2011) ). Here, we investigated whether prenatal thimerosal exposure causes persistent impairment after birth. Analysis on postnatal day 50 showed significant increase in hippocampal serotonin following thimerosal administration on embryonic day 9. Furthermore, not only serotonin, striatal dopamine was significantly increased. These results indicate that embryonic exposure to thimerosal produces lasting impairment of brain monoaminergic system, and thus every effort should be made to avoid the use of thimerosal.