DMPS reverts morphologic and mitochondrial damage in OK cells exposed to toxic concentrations of HgCl2

Pilar Carranza-Rosales, Nancy E. Guzmán-Delgado, Delia E. Cruz-Vega, Isaías Balderas-Rentería, A. Jay Gandolfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) is a highly toxic compound, which can cause nephrotoxic damage. In the present study effects of HgCl2 on mitochondria integrity and energy metabolism, as well as antidotal effects of 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate (DMPS) were investigated in the opossum kidney derived cell line (OK). OK cell monolayers were incubated during 0, 1, 3, 6, and 9 h in serum-free culture medium containing 15 μM HgCl2, either in the absence or in the presence of 60 μM DMPS in a 1:4 ratio. Intracellular ATP content, MTT reduction, and HSP70/HSP90 induction were studied; confocal, transmission electron microscopy, and light microscopy studies were also performed. For confocal analysis, a mitochondrial selective probe (MitoTracker Red CMXH2Ros) was used. Antioxidant activity of DMPS was also studied by the scavenging of the free radical 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) technique. A decrease of ATP content, an impaired ability to reduce tetrazolium, and dramatic changes on cellular and mitochondrial morphology, and energetic levels were found after either 6 or 9 h of HgCl2 exposure. Increased expression of HSP90 and HSP70 were also seen. When OK cells were co-incubated with HgCl2 and DMPS, cellular morphology, viability, intracellular ATP, and mitochondrial membrane potential were partially restored; a protective effect on mitochondrial morphology was also seen. DMPS also showed potent antioxidant activity in vitro. Mitochondrial protection could be the cellular mechanism mediated by DMPS in OK cells exposed to a toxic concentration of HgCl2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalCell Biology and Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • DMPS
  • HSPs
  • Mercuric chloride
  • Mitochondria
  • OK cells
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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