Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

Mercury (Hg), a ubiquitous heavy metal, could affect the neurodevelopment of the children, however, these associations are still equivocal. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an essential role in the central nervous system development in children. This study aimed to investigate the effects of low-level mercury exposure on serum BDNF levels and the influence of sex and dietary intake on these relationships in children. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 541 pre-school children were recruited, the blood mercury concentrations and serum BDNF levels were measured. The background information on demographic characteristics and dietary habits of the children was collected through questionnaires. Multivariable linear models after adjustment for potential confounders were used to evaluate the associations between mercury exposure and levels of BDNF in children. The GMs of blood mercury concentrations and serum BDNF levels were 1.06 μg/L, 20.4 ng/mL, respectively. A significant positive association between blood mercury concentrations and serum BDNF levels was found. After stratification by sex, the blood mercury concentrations in children were positive associated with serum BDNF levels in girls but not in boys. However, these associations were attenuated when we further adjusted the children's dietary intake variables. Our findings suggest that low-levels of mercury exposure may have sex-specific effects on BDNF levels in young children and that dietary intake may be potential confounders in these relationships. However, further studies are warranted to investigate the role of BDNF in the effects of mercury on neurodevelopment. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Can-Can Zhou, Hui Fu, Guo-Yan Zhang, Jia-Wei Ma, Min Ni, Dong-Jie Li, Fu-Ming Shen, Fang Huang. Effects of low-level mercury exposure on brain-derived neurotrophic factor in preschool children. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2021 Jan 15;208:111642

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 33396162

View Full Text