At present, beneficial effects of melanin and harmful effects of barium have been reported. However, little is known about the adsorption of barium, and even less is known about the biological significance of adsorption of barium by melanin. In this study, we showed that there was a strong correlation between the digitalized level of skin pigmentation and barium level in murine skin compared to the correlations between skin pigmentation level and levels of homologous elements of barium (magnesium, calcium and strontium). The concentration of subcutaneously injected barium in skin with a high level of pigmentation was higher than that in skin with a low level of pigmentation. Our cell-free experiment using the Langmuir isotherm for adsorption of barium in synthetic melanin also provided direct evidence of adsorption of barium by melanin. We then investigated the biological significance of melanin-mediated barium adsorption. We found barium-mediated increase in transforming activity in pigmented melanocytes (melan-a) but not in unpigmented melanocytes (melan-c) after confirming that the barium level in melan-a melanocytes was 3.4-fold higher than that in melan-c melanocytes after culture of 5 μM barium for 24 h. Taken together, our results not only indicate adsorption of barium by melanin in mice, cells and cell-free systems but also suggest a disadvantageous effect of adsorption of barium by melanin on transforming activity in cultured cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis