An in vivo study of rats given a dominant lethal dose of methylmercury chloride (MMC) or mercuric chloride (HgCl2) was conducted to elucidate the rapid biotransformation of essential elements. The elements were measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. For the rat brain Zn concentrations were higher in the MMC group than in the HgCl2 and control groups. The highest Cu concentration was found in HgCl2 dosed rat liver. For the rat kidney the highest Zn concentration was seen in the MMC group. From principal component analysis on the time dependent behaviour of each element in rat organs, characteristics specific to Cu in the liver and kidney and Mn in the brain were found after exposure to HgCl2 and Ca and Zn in the brain after exposure to MMC.
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