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Chemical Compound Review

Tellurium-129     tellurium

Synonyms: AC1O3RO6, 129Te, 14269-71-7, Tellurium, isotope of mass 129
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Disease relevance of tellurium

  • These data indicate that there is a hierarchy of vulnerability within the population of myelinating Schwann cells to tellurium toxicity, and that this hierarchy is related to internodal length [1].
  • Restoration of the BNB to the dextran began within four weeks and was complete by 14 weeks in tellurium neuropathy, a model of demyelinating neuropathy characterized by rapid remyelination, and after nerve crush, a model of Wallerian degeneration characterized by rapid axonal regeneration into distal stump [2].
  • A 45 kb DNA sequencing analysis from Streptomyces hygroscopicus 5008 involved in validamycin A (VAL-A) biosynthesis revealed 16 structural genes, 2 regulatory genes, 5 genes related transport, transposition/integration or tellurium resistance; another 4 genes had no obvious identity [3].
  • A peripheral neuropathy characterized by a transient demyelinating/remyelinating sequence results when young rats are fed a tellurium-containing diet [4].
  • Feeding weanling rats a diet containing 1% elemental tellurium causes a transient, peripheral demyelination due to the disruption of cholesterol synthesis in Schwann cells secondary to inhibition of squalene monooxygenase [5].

Psychiatry related information on tellurium


High impact information on tellurium

  • Demyelination occurs subsequent to a tellurium-induced block in the synthesis of cholesterol, the major myelin lipid [7].
  • Steady-state mRNA levels (expressed on a "per nerve" basis) for P0, the major myelin protein, were decreased by about 50% after 5 d of tellurium exposure, while levels of mRNA for NGF-R and GFAP were markedly increased (about 15-fold) [7].
  • Primary demyelination induced by exposure to tellurium alters Schwann cell gene expression: a model for intracellular targeting of NGF receptor [7].
  • Indeed, its inhibition by the nontoxic tellurium anti-IL-10 compound, ammonium trichloro(dioxoethylene-o,o') tellurate (AS101), extensively decreased MC clonogenicity despite GDNF upregulation [8].
  • This seems to indicate that the organochalcogen compounds are continuously regenerated at the lipid aqueous interphase and that regeneration is much more efficient for the selenium and tellurium compounds [9].

Chemical compound and disease context of tellurium


Biological context of tellurium


Anatomical context of tellurium


Associations of tellurium with other chemical compounds


Gene context of tellurium

  • In the present study, we investigated the effect of AS101, a tellurium-based compound with immunomodulating properties, on the pattern of lymphokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with mycosis fungoides [24].
  • Increasing levels of MCP-1 mRNA expression, induced by increasing levels of tellurium exposure, resulted in corresponding increases in subsequent recruitment of macrophages [25].
  • The 0.8-mg/kg dose of tellurium has significantly depleted the activities of glutathione peroxidase in the cerebrum and brainstem, glutathione-Stransferase in the cerebrum and cerebellum, catalase in the brainstem, and the content of glutathione in the cerebrum and cerebellum [13].
  • Binding of tellurium to hepatocellular selenoproteins during incubation with inorganic tellurite: consequences for the activity of selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase [26].
  • Water-soluble organotellurium compounds of the diaryl telluride, alkyl aryl telluride and dialkyl telluride type, carrying sulfopropyl groups, were found to be the most efficient tellurium-based inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase ever tested [27].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of tellurium

  • We propose a magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM)-based nuclear spin quantum computer using tellurium impurities in silicon [28].
  • Particular effort has been devoted to developing a sample-processing technique that allows the total amount of tellurium and isotope ratios to be measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), respectively [15].
  • Determination of tellurium in urine by isotope dilution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry using (4-fluorophenyl)magnesium bromide as a derivatizing agent and a comparison with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry [29].
  • In contrast, steady-state levels of mRNA, determined by Northern blot analysis, for P0 and myelin basic protein were markedly decreased (levels after 5 days of tellurium exposure were only 10-15% of control levels as a fraction of total RNA and 25-35% of control levels when the increased levels of total RNA were taken into account) [30].
  • Estimation of tellurium in biological samples by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry is hindered by the high volatility of the metal [31].


  1. Schwann cell vulnerability to demyelination is associated with internodal length in tellurium neuropathy. Bouldin, T.W., Samsa, G., Earnhardt, T.S., Krigman, M.R. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  2. Restoration of blood-nerve barrier in neuropathy is associated with axonal regeneration and remyelination. Bouldin, T.W., Earnhardt, T.S., Goines, N.D. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Functional analysis of the validamycin biosynthetic gene cluster and engineered production of validoxylamine a. Bai, L., Li, L., Xu, H., Minagawa, K., Yu, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhou, X., Floss, H.G., Mahmud, T., Deng, Z. Chem. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. Tellurite specifically affects squalene epoxidase: investigations examining the mechanism of tellurium-induced neuropathy. Wagner, M., Toews, A.D., Morell, P. J. Neurochem. (1995) [Pubmed]
  5. Inhibition of human squalene monooxygenase by tellurium compounds: evidence of interaction with vicinal sulfhydryls. Laden, B.P., Porter, T.D. J. Lipid Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Alzheimer's disease, Kuf's disease, tellurium and selenium. Larner, A.J. Med. Hypotheses (1996) [Pubmed]
  7. Primary demyelination induced by exposure to tellurium alters Schwann cell gene expression: a model for intracellular targeting of NGF receptor. Toews, A.D., Griffiths, I.R., Kyriakides, E., Goodrum, J.F., Eckermann, C.E., Morell, P., Thomson, C.E. J. Neurosci. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Production of the novel mesangial autocrine growth factors GDNF and IL-10 is regulated by the immunomodulator AS101. Kalechman, Y., Sredni, B., Weinstein, T., Freidkin, I., Tobar, A., Albeck, M., Gafter, U. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. The antioxidant profile of 2,3-dihydrobenzo[b]furan-5-ol and its 1-thio, 1-seleno, and 1-telluro analogues. Malmström, J., Jonsson, M., Cotgreave, I.A., Hammarström, L., Sjödin, M., Engman, L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2001) [Pubmed]
  10. Apolipoprotein E is released by rat sciatic nerve during segmental demyelination and remyelination. Gelman, B.B., Rifai, N., Goodrum, J.F., Bouldin, T.W., Krigman, M.R. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. (1987) [Pubmed]
  11. Rec assay and mutagenicity studies on metal compounds. Kanematsu, N., Hara, M., Kada, T. Mutat. Res. (1980) [Pubmed]
  12. Toxicity study in rats of a tellurium based immunomodulating drug, AS-101: a potential drug for AIDS and cancer patients. Nyska, A., Waner, T., Pirak, M., Albeck, M., Sredni, B. Arch. Toxicol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  13. Tellurium-induced dose-dependent impairment of antioxidant status: differential effects in cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem of mice. Kaur, P., Yousuf, S., Ansari, M.A., Siddiqui, A., Ahmad, A.S., Islam, F. Biological trace element research. (2003) [Pubmed]
  14. Necrosis of schwann cells during tellurium-induced primary demyelination: DNA fragmentation, reorganization of splicing machinery, and formation of intranuclear rods of actin. Berciano, M.T., Fernandez, R., Pena, E., Calle, E., Villagra, N.T., Lafarga, M. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  15. Stable isotopes for determining biokinetic parameters of tellurium in rabbits. Kron, T., Wittmaack, K., Hansen, C., Werner, E. Anal. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
  16. Tissue-specific coordinate regulation of enzymes of cholesterol biosynthesis: sciatic nerve versus liver. Toews, A.D., Jurevics, H., Hostettler, J., Roe, E.B., Morell, P. J. Lipid Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
  17. Laser-excited atomic fluorescence spectrometry in a pressure-controlled electrothermal atomizer. Lonardo, R.F., Yuzefovsky, A.I., Irwin, R.L., Michel, R.G. Anal. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
  18. Macrophage apolipoprotein synthesis and endoneurial distribution as a response to segmental demyelination. Gelman, B.B., Goodrum, J., Bouldin, T.W. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  19. Formation of intranuclear crystalloids and proliferation of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum in schwann cells induced by tellurium treatment: association with overexpression of HMG CoA reductase and HMG CoA synthase mRNA. Berciano, M.T., Fernandez, R., Pena, E., Calle, E., Villagra, N.T., Rodriguez-Rey, J.C., Lafarga, M. Glia (2000) [Pubmed]
  20. Tellurium-induced alterations in 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase gene expression and enzyme activity: differential effects in sciatic nerve and liver suggest tissue-specific regulation of cholesterol synthesis. Toews, A.D., Goodrum, J.F., Lee, S.Y., Eckermann, C., Morell, P. J. Neurochem. (1991) [Pubmed]
  21. Tellurium-labeled fatty-acid analogs: relationship of heteroatom position to myocardial kinetics. Okada, R.D., Knapp, F.F., Goodman, M.M., Elmaleh, D., Strauss, H.W. European journal of nuclear medicine. (1985) [Pubmed]
  22. Synthesis of coumarins, 4-hydroxycoumarins, and 4-hydroxyquinolinones by tellurium-triggered cyclizations. Dittmer, D.C., Li, Q., Avilov, D.V. J. Org. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  23. Increased vulnerability to demyelination in streptozotocin diabetic rats. Jaffey, P.B., Gelman, B.B. J. Comp. Neurol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  24. Cytokine profile of patients with mycosis fungoides and the immunomodulatory effect of AS101. Shohat, M., Hodak, E., Sredni, B., Shohat, B., Sredni, D., David, M. Acta Derm. Venereol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  25. Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 is responsible for macrophage recruitment following injury to sciatic nerve. Toews, A.D., Barrett, C., Morell, P. J. Neurosci. Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
  26. Binding of tellurium to hepatocellular selenoproteins during incubation with inorganic tellurite: consequences for the activity of selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase. Garberg, P., Engman, L., Tolmachev, V., Lundqvist, H., Gerdes, R.G., Cotgreave, I.A. Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  27. Water-soluble organotellurium compounds inhibit thioredoxin reductase and the growth of human cancer cells. Engman, L., Kandra, T., Gallegos, A., Williams, R., Powis, G. Anticancer Drug Des. (2000) [Pubmed]
  28. Magnetic resonance force microscopy quantum computer with tellurium donors in silicon. Berman, G.P., Doolen, G.D., Hammel, P.C., Tsifrinovich, V.I. Phys. Rev. Lett. (2001) [Pubmed]
  29. Determination of tellurium in urine by isotope dilution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry using (4-fluorophenyl)magnesium bromide as a derivatizing agent and a comparison with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Aggarwal, S.K., Kinter, M., Nicholson, J., Herold, D.A. Anal. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  30. Tellurium-induced neuropathy: a model for reversible reductions in myelin protein gene expression. Toews, A.D., Lee, S.Y., Popko, B., Morell, P. J. Neurosci. Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
  31. Use of platinum as a modifier in the sensitive detection of tellurium in biological samples. Siddik, Z.H., Newman, R.A. Anal. Biochem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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