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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Speciation and toxicological relevance of manganese in humans.

Although manganese is an essential trace element, concerns are rising about the Mn exposure of humans being related to neurotoxic effects. This review summarizes several aspects of this topic to provide updated information on Mn related investigations, including chemical speciation of Mn-compounds. The paper starts with some chemical aspects of Mn and its compounds, enlightening oxidation states in general and in biological matrices. This is followed by considerations on natural sources of human exposure, on occupational sources and on anthropogenically caused environmental sources, for example from the use of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). Next, the paper deals with Mn levels in the human organism, showing normal Mn concentrations in various tissues or body fluids, and continues with the toxicology of Mn, i.e. absorption, distribution and excretion. Of specific concern is the transfer of Mn to the brain which is the relevant neurotoxic target. In this context, parallels and differences between primary and Mn-dependent Parkinsonism are discussed, concluding with a risk assessment and a consideration of susceptible groups. The main part of this review focuses on recent investigations on Mn speciation. Analytical problems and their solutions are also described for correct identification of relevant Mn-compounds in matrices of human origin. Finally, future needs are discussed, such as further investigations on those Mn-species which may overcome neural barrier control, on disease-modulated barrier control, on susceptibility to certain Mn-species, and on the interaction of Mn with Fe-homeostasis in the brain.[1]


  1. Speciation and toxicological relevance of manganese in humans. Michalke, B., Halbach, S., Nischwitz, V. J. Environ. Monit (2007) [Pubmed]
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