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Methylated metal(loid) species in humans

AuthorsHirner, A. V.; Rettenmeier, A. W.
Issue Date2010
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (UK)
CitationMetal Ions Life Sciences 7: 465-521 (2010)
AbstractWhile the metal(loid)s arsenic, bismuth, and selenium (probably also tellurium) have been shown to be enzymatically methylated in the human body, this has not yet been demonstrated for antimony, cadmium, germanium, indium, lead, mercury, thallium, and tin, although the latter elements can be biomethylated in the environment. Methylated metal(loid)s exhibit increased mobility, thus leading to a more efficient metal(loid) transport within the body and, in particular, opening chances for passing membrane barriers (blood-brain barrier, placental barrier). As a consequence human health may be affected. In this review, relevant data from the literature are compiled, and are discussed with respect to the evaluation of assumed and proven health effects caused by alkylated metal(loid) species.
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