Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Role for apolipoprotein E in neurodegeneration and mercury intoxication
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Mercury intoxication is a serious public health problem and a worldwide concern. The Minamata Convention on Mercury has been signed by 128 countries and endorsed by the World Health Organization with the recommendation of promoting the management of epidemiological information. The Central Nervous System is the main target organ for mercury. Symptoms of intoxication include altered motor coordination, visual and tactile dysfunction and paralysis, caused by neurodegeneration with a key role for oxidative damage. Recently, some studies have demonstrated a correlation between mercury intoxication and isoforms of apolipoprotein E (ApoE). In this review, epidemiological data and hypotheses about the possible molecular mechanisms underlying the association between ApoE and mercury intoxication are assessed. Based on the evidence and the neuropathological changes that the presence of ApoE4 and mercury neurotoxicity have in common, we propose a convergent action of both factors. ApoE4 seems to potentiate the damage caused by mercury. Increased knowledge of this interaction using epidemiological and pre-clinical studies is essential to improve prevention strategies to adequately manage intoxicated patients.