The teratogenicity of methylmercury was examined in selenium-deficient and selenium-sufficient mice of the ICR strain. A single oral dose of 75 μmol kg of methylmercuric chloride (MMC) on day 10, 11 or 12 of gestation caused similar incidences of a cleft palate in the selenium-deficient and seleniumsufficient mice. The treatment on day 11 led to the highest incidence of a cleft palate in both groups. These results suggest that a maternal selenium deficiency has no effect on the incidence or on the critical gestalional period for an MMC-induced cleft palate.
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