05 October 2017
Mercury seems to exert an inhibitory effect on deiodinases, but there are few studies using Thimerosal (TM) as the mercury source. We aimed to elucidate the effect of TM on thyroid hormones peripheral metabolism. Adult Wistar female rats received 0.25 µg or 250 µg TM/100 g BW, IM, twice a week, for a month. We evaluated serum total T 3 and T 4, D1 activity using 125I-rT 3 as tracer, and D2 activity using 125I-T 4. NADPH oxidase activity was measured by Amplex-red/HRP method and mRNA levels by real time PCR. Serum T 4 was increased and T 3 decreased by the greatest dose of TM. Even though D1 activity in pituitary and kidney was reduced by the highest dose of TM, hepatic D1 activity and D1 mRNA levels remained unchanged. D2 activity was also significantly decreased by the highest dose of TM in all CNS samples tested, except cerebellum, but D2 mRNA was unaltered. mRNA levels of the tested NADPH oxidases were not affected by TM and NADPH oxidase activity was either unaltered or decreased. Our results indicate that TM might directly interact with deiodinases, inhibiting their activity probably by binding to their selenium catalytic site, without changes in enzyme expression.