Transcriptomic Analyses of Neurotoxic Effects in Mouse Brain After Intermittent Neonatal Administration of Thimerosal
The study authors posited that thimerosal could have “causal involvements of autistic-like behavior in mice.”
Xiaoling Li, Fengqin Qu, Wenjuan Xie, Fengli Wang, Hongmei Liu, Shuhui Song, Tingting Chen, Yang Zhang, Shu Zhu, Yun Wang, Caixia Guo, and Tie-Shan Tang; Toxicological Sciences 139(2), 452–465 2014 March 2014.
Thimerosal-treated mice exhibited neural development delay, social interaction deficiency,
and inclination of depression. Apparent neuropathological changes were also observed in adult mice neonatally treated with thimerosal. High-throughput RNA sequencing of autistic-behaved mice brains revealed the alternation of a number of canonical pathways involving neuronal development, neuronal synaptic function, and the dysregulation of endocrine system. Intriguingly, the elevation of anterior pituitary secreting hormones occurred exclusively in male but not in female thimerosal-treated mice, demonstrating for the first time the gender bias of thimerosal-mercury toxicity with regard to endocrine system. Our results indicate that higher dose of neonatal thimerosal-mercury (20× higher than that used in human) is capable of inducing long-lasting substantial dysregulation of neurodevelopment, synaptic function, and endocrine system, which could be the causal involvements of autistic-like behavior in mice.