Limits...
Five hundred years of mercury exposure and adaptation.

Lombardi G, Lanzirotti A, Qualls C, Socola F, Ali AM, Appenzeller O - J. Biomed. Biotechnol. (2012)

Bottom Line: This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis.Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P < 0.001).This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratorio de Paleopatología, Cátedra Pedro Weiss, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.

ABSTRACT
Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P < 0.001). Thus, evidence of mercury's toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Fast and slow periods of hair growth in weekly cycles. The hairs from Huancavelica (Hg) show a shorter fast period and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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fig5: Fast and slow periods of hair growth in weekly cycles. The hairs from Huancavelica (Hg) show a shorter fast period and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth.

Mentions: The annual growth rates of hair can be shown to occur in fast and slow periods of weekly cycles (Figure 5). The shorter fast period, and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth, are consistent with the reduced annual hair growth in Huancavelica residents.


Five hundred years of mercury exposure and adaptation.

Lombardi G, Lanzirotti A, Qualls C, Socola F, Ali AM, Appenzeller O - J. Biomed. Biotechnol. (2012)

Fast and slow periods of hair growth in weekly cycles. The hairs from Huancavelica (Hg) show a shorter fast period and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3403783&req=5

fig5: Fast and slow periods of hair growth in weekly cycles. The hairs from Huancavelica (Hg) show a shorter fast period and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth.
Mentions: The annual growth rates of hair can be shown to occur in fast and slow periods of weekly cycles (Figure 5). The shorter fast period, and very prolonged slow period which correspond to the rest phase of hair growth, are consistent with the reduced annual hair growth in Huancavelica residents.

Bottom Line: This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis.Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P < 0.001).This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratorio de Paleopatología, Cátedra Pedro Weiss, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.

ABSTRACT
Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P < 0.001). Thus, evidence of mercury's toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus