2020 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 147-155
Minamata disease is a methylmercury poisoning caused by consumption of marine food contaminated by man-made methylmercury environmental pollution, and its most prominent feature is marked pathological changes in the central nervous system. Morphological alterations are less pronounced in the liver and the kidney, although their mercury levels are higher than those of the brain. In marine mammals, methylmercury is known to be easily converted to inorganic mercury and it combines with selenium forming mercury selenide, which may counteract the toxicity of mercury. However, little is known about the formation of mercury and selenium complex in human organs. In the present study, we examined the cerebrum, cerebellum, liver, and kidney of a Minamata disease case to study the mercury and selenium localization using electron probe microanalysis. Our results indicated the mercury and selenium localization in the specified tissue of the brain, liver, and kidney such as glial cells, Kupffer cells, and renal tubules.