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Combination of direct infusion mass spectrometry and gas chromatography mass spectrometry for toxicometabolomic study of red blood cells and serum of mice Mus musculus after mercury exposure.

Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences (2015-02-11)
M A García-Sevillano, T García-Barrera, F Navarro, N Abril, C Pueyo, J López-Barea, J L Gómez-Ariza
ABSTRACT

Although mercury (Hg) is an important environmental and occupational pollutant, its toxicological effects, especially in serum and red blood cells (RBCs), have been scarcely studied. A toxicometabolomics workflow based on high resolution mass spectrometry approaches has been applied to investigate the toxicological effects of Hg in Mus musculus mice after subcutaneous injection for 10 days, which produced inflammation and vacuolization, steatosis and karyolysis in the hepatic tissue. To this end, direct infusion mass spectrometry (DIMS) of polar and lipophilic extracts from serum and RBCs, using positive and negative mode of acquisition (ESI+/ESI-), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used. A quantitative analysis of reversible oxidized thiols in serum proteins demonstrated a strong oxidative stress induction in the liver of Hg-exposed mice. Endogenous metabolites alterations were identified by partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Mercury-exposed mice show perturbations in energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism, membrane phospholipid breakdown and oxidative stress-related metabolites in serum along the exposure. This work reports for the first time the effects of Hg-exposure on RBCs metabolic pathways, and reveals disturbances in glycolysis, membrane turnover, glutathione and ascorbate metabolisms.

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