Ethanol reveals novel mercury detoxification step in tissues

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Science  04 Sep 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4512, pp. 1123-1125
DOI: 10.1126/science.7268418


Volatile mercury was produced de novo by mouse tissue homogenates that contained mercuric ions. Ethanol stimulated the release of tissue mercury into the vapor phase, and the mechanism appears to be an inhibition of reoxidation of volatile mercury. Components responsible for mercury volatilization are heat-labile. The highest volatilizing activity in the liver is associated with the soluble fraction obtained after centrifugation at 105,000g.