Autores:Luis Humberto Mojica-Vázquez, Diana Madrigal-Zarraga, Rocío García-Martínez, Muriel Boube, María Elena Calderón-Segura*, Justine Oyallon
* Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales | Genotoxicología y Mutagénesis Ambientales
ercury exposure has been shown to affect the reproductive system in many organisms, although the molecular mechanisms are still elusive. In the present study, we exposed Drosophila melanogaster Canton-S adult females to concentrations of 0 mM, 0.1 mM, 0.3 mM, 3 mM, and 30 mM of mercury chloride (HgCl2) for 24 h, 48 h, or 72 h to determine how mercury could affect fertility. Alkaline assays performed on dissected ovaries showed that mercury induced DNA damage that is not only dose-dependent but also time-dependent. All ovaries treated for 72 h have incorporated mercury and exhibit size reduction. Females treated with 30 mM HgCl2, the highest dose, had atrophied ovaries and exhibited a drastic 7-fold reduction in egg laying. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that exposure to HgCl2 disrupts germinal and somatic cell organization in the germarium and leads to the aberrant expression of a germline-specific gene in somatic follicle cells in developing egg chambers. Together, these results highlight the potential long-term impact of mercury on germline and ovarian cells that might involve gene deregulation.