Embryopathic effects of mercuric salts

Thomas F. Gale, Vergil H. Ferm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Various doses of mercuric acetate and phenylmercuric acetate were administered intravenously to anesthetized pregnant golden hamsters early on the eighth day of gestation in order to study their potential teratogenicity in this species. Fetuses removed from the females on either the twelfth or fourteenth day of gestation exhibited a delayed growth rate and varying degrees of a dorsally localized subcutaneous edema. All doses of mercuric acetate and the three larger doses of phenylmercuric acetate also induced resorption rates significantly higher than the control level of 4%. A small number of miscellaneous abnormalities including: exencephaly, encephalocele, anophthalmia, microphthalmia, cleft lip and palate, rib fusions and syndactylia were also observed in the fetuses from the treated females. Both mercurials also produced the following manifestations of toxicity in the maternal system: weight loss, kidney lesions, diarrhea, slight tremor and somnolence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1347
Number of pages7
JournalLife sciences
Issue number23 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 8 1971
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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