Haley Lecture - The Biochemistry and Treatment of the Primary


Topic: The Biochemistry and Treatment of the Primary and Secondary Effects of Mercury Toxicity by Boyd E Haley, PhD MIAOMT

Conference: Advanced Metal Toxicology Workshop - Washington DC March 13-14, 2013

Summary: Mercury has a basic chemical reactivity that involves specific reaction with reactive thiol groups on proteins and enzymes. Some of this binding has the direct effect of inhibiting certain very critical biochemical pathways. However, while doing this mercury also causes the loss of endothelial and epithelial membrane integrity causing loss of critical compartmentation of certain molecules leading to secondary toxic effects of mercury. For example, the loss of intestinal epithelial membrane integrity leads to “leaky gut” syndrome where peptides from incompletely digested food enter the blood stream inducing an immune response that specific food. This leads to an increased immune response to that same food when eaten later. Also, some of these peptides, e.gcasomorphin, can have other neurological effects. In addition, such membrane breakdown can cause the damaging uptake of excess essential metals (e.g. iron overload) by eliminating the regulatory uptake of these metals though an intact membrane by specific metal binding proteins that allow only the needed amount of metal to be absorbed. The mercury induced loss of arterial endothelial membrane integrity in a similar leads to atherosclerotic plaque formation as associated with cardiovascular disease. Studies addressing these issues will be presented as well as initial research on the use of a compound with mercury chelation and hydroxyl free radical scavenging properties to prevent both the primary and secondary effects of mercury toxicity.

Time: 1 hr. 3 minutes

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