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1.  BIOMARKERS OF KIDNEY INTEGRITY IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH DENTAL AMALGAM MERCURY EXPOSURE: FINDINGS FROM THE CASA PIA CHILDREN’S AMALGAM TRIAL 
Environmental research  2008;108(3):393-399.
Mercury is toxic to the kidney, and dental amalgam is a source of mercury exposure. Few studies have evaluated the effects of dental amalgam on kidney function in a longitudinal context in children. Here, we evaluated urinary concentrations of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) α and π as biomarkers of renal proximal and distal tubular integrity, respectively, and albumin as a biomarker of glomerular integrity in children and adolescents 8-18 years of age over a 7 year course of dental amalgam treatment. Five hundred seven children, 8-12 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral and renal effects of dental amalgam in children. Subjects were randomized to either dental amalgam or resin composite treatments. Urinary GSTs α and π, albumin and creatinine concentrations were measured at baseline and annually on all subjects. Results were evaluated using linear regression analysis. GST-α concentrations were similar between treatment groups and in each sex and race (white vs non-white) group in each follow-up year. GST-π levels tended upward over the course of follow-up by 4- to 6-fold. This increase was seen in all groups irrespective of treatment, race or gender. Females had GST-π levels approximately twice those of males at all ages. Albumin concentrations were constant throughout the follow-up period and did not differ by treatment, although females had 39% higher albumin levels than males. Additionally, we found no significant effects of amalgam treatment on the proportion of children with microalbuminuria (>30 mg/g creatinine). These findings are relevant within the context of children’s health risk assessment as relates to the safety of mercury exposure from dental amalgam on kidney function. These data also provide normative values for sensitive indices of renal functional integrity that may serve in the evaluation of children and adolescents with renal disorders.
doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.07.003
PMCID: PMC3236600  PMID: 18721920
biomarker; kidney; mercury; amalgam; children
2.  Cytotoxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles made from the thermal decomposition of organometallics and aqueous phase transfer with Pluronic F127 
Magnetic nanoparticles are promising molecular imaging agents due to their relative high relaxivity and the potential to modify surface functionality to tailor biodistribution. In this work we describe the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles using organic solvents with organometallic precursors. This method results in nanoparticles that are highly crystalline, and have uniform size and shape. The ability to create a monodispersion of particles of the same size and shape results in unique magnetic properties that can be useful for biomedical applications with MR imaging. Before these nanoparticles can be used in biological applications, however, means are needed to make the nanoparticles soluble in aqueous solutions and the toxicity of these nanoparticles needs to be studied.
We have developed two methods to surface modify and transfer these nanoparticles to the aqueous phase using the biocompatible co-polymer, Pluronic F127. Cytotoxicity was found to be dependent on the coating procedure used. Nanoparticle effects on a cell-culture model was quantified using concurrent assaying; a LDH assay to determine cytotoxicity and an MTS assay to determine viability for a 24 hour incubation period. Concurrent assaying was done to insure that nanoparticles did not interfere with the colorimetric assay results.
This report demonstrates that a monodispersion of nanoparticles of uniform size and shape can be manufactured. Initial cytotoxicity testing of new molecular imaging agents need to be carefully constructed to avoid interference and erroneous results.
doi:10.1002/cmmi.391
PMCID: PMC3020093  PMID: 20623517
MRI; molecular imaging; nanoparticles; superparamagnetic agents; cytotoxicity; Colorimetric Assay; Pluronics
3.  The Contribution of Dental Amalgam to Urinary Mercury Excretion in Children 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2007;115(10):1527-1531.
Background
Urinary mercury concentrations are widely used as a measure of mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. No studies have evaluated the relationship of these measures in a longitudinal context in children.
Objective
We evaluated urinary mercury in children 8–18 years of age in relation to number of amalgam surfaces and time since placement over a 7-year course of amalgam treatment.
Methods
Five hundred seven children, 8–10 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of dental amalgam in children. Subjects were randomized to either dental amalgam or resin composite treatments. Urinary mercury and creatinine concentrations were measured at baseline and annually on all participants.
Results
Treatment groups were comparable in baseline urinary mercury concentration (~ 1.5 μg/L). Mean urinary mercury concentrations in the amalgam group increased to a peak of ~ 3.2 μg/L at year 2 and then declined to baseline levels by year 7 of follow-up. There was a strong, positive association between urinary mercury and both number of amalgam surfaces and time since placement. Girls had significantly higher mean urinary mercury concentrations than boys throughout the course of amalgam treatment. There were no differences by race in urinary mercury concentration associated with amalgam exposure.
Conclusions
Urinary mercury concentrations are highly correlated with both number of amalgam fillings and time since placement in children. Girls excrete significantly higher concentrations of mercury in the urine than boys with comparable treatment, suggesting possible sex-related differences in mercury handling and susceptibility to mercury toxicity.
doi:10.1289/ehp.10249
PMCID: PMC2022658  PMID: 17938746
amalgam; children; dental; mercury; urine

Results 1-3 (3)