Author: A. Mádi 1
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  • 1 Signalling and Apoptosis Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Debrecen Nagyerdei krt. 98, H-4012 Debrecen, Hungary
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The common preservative thimerosal is one of the most important organic mercury compounds human populations are exposed to. It has toxic effect on several cell lines, and it also induces programmed cell death in in vitro experiments. Association is suggested between application of thimerosal-containing vaccines and the occurrence of neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism. While specific recommendations were made to eliminate thimerosal from vaccines, consistent evidence is still lacking for an association of exposure and disease. Unfortunately, it is very hard to study the molecular background of complex human diseases directly; however, investigations on more simple model organisms may lead to a better understanding of thimerosal as a possible disease inducing factor. 

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