Species difference in the biliary excretion of methylmercury was studied in male rats, mice, rabbits and guinea pigs. The rates of mercury excretion (% dose/2 hr) into the bile of the rats, mice, rabbits and guinea pigs during the 2 hr from 2 to 4 hr after the administration of methylmercury were 0.61, 0.091, 0.036 and 0.019, respectively. These results suggest that biliary excretion and enterohepatic circulation of methylmercury in the latter three species may not influence the fate of this compound as significantly as in rats. Most of the methylmercury excreted into the bile of rats was bound to glutathione (GSH). In the mouse bile, 40% of the methylmercury was bound to GSH and the rest was found in a fraction eluted at the void volume of the Sephadex G-15 column. However, in the case of the rabbits and guinea pigs, methylmercury-GSH was scarcely detectable in the bile and almost all of the methylmercury was eluted at the void volume of the column.
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