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Reductions in plasma and urine mercury concentrations following N,N’bis-(2-mercaptoethyl) isophthalamide (NBMI) therapy: a post hoc analysis of data from a randomized human clinical trial

Biometals. 2023 Nov 21. doi: 10.1007/s10534-023-00560-3. Online ahead of print.


Environmental mercury exposure possesses a significant risk to many human populations. At present there are no effective treatments for acute mercury toxicity. A new compound, N,N’bis-(2-mercaptoethyl) isophthalamide (NBMI), a lipophilic chelating agent was created to tightly/irreversibly bind mercury. A post hoc dose-dependent analysis of NBMI therapy was undertaken on data from a randomized controlled NBMI human treatment trial on 36 Ecuadorian gold miners with elevated urinary mercury concentrations. Study subjects were randomly assigned to receive 100 milligram (mg) NBMI/day, 300 mg NBMI/day, or placebo for 14 days. For each study subject daily mg NBMI dose/Kilogram (Kg) bodyweight were determined and plasma and urine mercury concentrations (micrograms (µg)/Liter (L)) on study day 1 (pre-NBMI treatment), 15 (after 14 days of NBMI treatment) and 45 (30 days after NBMI treatment) were correlated with NBMI dosing using the linear regression statistic in SAS. Regression revealed significant inverse correlations between increasing per mg NBMI/Kg bodyweight/day and reduced concentrations of urinary and plasma mercury on study day 15 (reduced by in urine = 18-20 µg/L and plasma = 2 µg/L) and study day 30 (reduced by in urine = 15-20 µg/L and plasma = 4 µg/L) and significant correlations between reductions in mercury concentrations in urine and plasma. Significant 30% reductions in urinary mercury concentrations per mg NBMI/Kg bodyweight/day administered for 14 days were observed. This study supports the dose-dependent ability of NBMI therapy to significantly reduce mercury concentrations, particularly in the urine, in an acutely mercury exposed human population. NBMI therapy should be evaluated in other mercury exposed populations.

PMID:37987955 | DOI:10.1007/s10534-023-00560-3

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