GPX1 Pro198Leu polymorphism and GSTM1 deletion do not affect selenium and mercury status in mildly exposed Amazonian women in an urban population

Ariana V. Rocha, Bárbara Rita Cardoso, Bruna Zavarize, Kaluce Almondes, Isabella Bordon, Dominic J. Hare, Déborah Inês Teixeira Favaro, Silvia Maria Franciscato Cozzolino

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Mercury is potent toxicant element, but its toxicity can be reduced by forming a complex with selenium for safe excretion. Considering the impact of mercury exposure in the Amazon region and the possible interaction between these two elements, we aimed to assess the effects of Pro198Leu polymorphism to GPX1 and GSTM1 deletion, on mercury levels in a population from Porto Velho, an urban locality in the Brazilian Amazon region. Two hundred women from the capital city of Rondônia state were recruited for this study with 149 deemed suitable to participate. We assessed dietary intake using 24-hour recall. Selenium levels in plasma and erythrocytes were measured using hydride generation quartz tube atomic absorption spectroscopy and total hair mercury using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Oxidative stress parameters (GPx activity, oxygen radical absorbency capacity [ORAC] and malondialdehyde [MDA]) were also analyzed. All participants were genotyped for Pro198Leu polymorphism and GSTM1 deletion. We observed that this population presented high prevalence of selenium deficiency, and also low levels of mercury, likely due to food habits that did not include selenium-rich food sources or significant consumption of fish (mercury biomagnifiers) regularly. Univariate statistical analysis showed that Pro198Leu and GSTM1 genotypes did not affect selenium and mercury levels in this population. Pro198Leu polymorphism and GSTM1 deletion had no effect on mercury levels in mildly exposed people, suggesting these genetic variants impact mercury levels only in highly exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Amazon
  • Exposure biology
  • GPX1 polymorphism
  • GSTM1 deletion
  • Mercury detoxification
  • Selenium

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