Investigating those brought me to neural crest cells, melanocytes, mast cells, and more mercury, which seemed to be common factors in many of these "autism-gene" disorders, like Tuberous Sclerosis, Neurofibromatosis, Hypomelanosis if Ito, Prader Willi, Mastocytosis etc., and to a surprising, possible relationship to Melanoma. HERE
To recap that last part about Melanoma:" Link Between Human Birth Defect Syndrome, Cancer Metastasis Explored" HERE
Quick definition of chromatin: Wiki - Chromatin is the combination of DNA and proteins that makes up chromosomes. Chromatin contains genetic material-instructions to direct cell functions.
Changes in chromatin structure are affected by chemical modifications of histone proteins such as methylation (of DNA and proteins) and acetylation (of proteins), and by non-histone, DNA-binding proteins. We are looking at epigentics when we look into chromatin. Wiki-"In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence....Additionally, the chromatin proteins associated with DNA may be activated or silenced."
So interestingly, I came upon Rett's Disorder while reading about CHARGE syndrome and Melanoma, being linked to this issue of chromatin: "Chromatin Remodeling in Development and Disease: Focus on CHD7" HERE
It appears that mercury can effect chromatin by causing "transgenerational" effects, "later in life" effects and "next generation" effects. No matter how it's said, the meaning is the same - damage to offspring and/or later, downstream effects on the victim.
Looking further took me to a paper by Dr. Eric London in June, 2000. The title, "The Environment as an Etiologic Factor in Autism: A New Direction for Research" - HERE
"Colinear gene expression from these Hox gene clusters may involve an initial change in chromatin structure (histone modification and chromatin decondensation) of the entire loci"
and look what mercury can do:
"Results show that after mercury treatment at subtoxic levels (1microM): (a) chromatin changes were the earliest signs of cytotoxicity, (b) two major parts in nuclear material of K562 erythroleukemia cells could be distinguished, highly condensed supercoiled and decondensed veil-like chromatin," Apoptogenic and necrogenic effects of mercuric acetate on the chromatin structure of K562 human erythroleukemia cells -- HERE
I wondered if thimerosal was capable of also altering chromatin and it wasn't hard to find my answer:
"Therefore, thimerosal might induce phosphorylation of the Bcl-2 family or alter their intracellular localization without affecting the protein levels. It is also possible that other proapoptotic molecules like Bmf (Bcl-2-modifying factor), Bik, Bak, or Bim9,52,53,54 are upregulated by thimerosal. AIF once released from mitochondria, is transported into the nucleus, where it stimulates (ATP-independent and caspase-independent) large DNA fragmentation and condensation of chromatin.23 Since thimerosal also causes AIF release from the mitochondria, it is possible that, in addition to cytochrome c-mediated caspase-dependent apoptosis, thimerosal might also induce apoptosis by a caspase-independent manner." "Biochemical and molecular basis of thimerosal-induced apoptosis in T cells: a major role of mitochondrial pathway" HERE (apoptosis inducing factor = (AIF))
How is it possible that Dr. London and so many like him, representing multi-million dollar organizations, agencies and questionable foundations, don't investigate this area of research?
"Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and epilepsies are heterogeneous disorders that have diverse etiologies and pathophysiologies. The high rate of co-occurrence of these disorders suggest potentially shared underlying mechanisms. A number of well-known genetic disorders share epilepsy and autism as prominent phenotypic features, including tuberous sclerosis, Rett syndrome, and fragile X. In addition, mutations of several genes involved in neurodevelopment, including ARX, DCX, neuroligins and neuropilin2 have been identified in children with epilepsy, ASD or often both.." "Epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders: Are there common developmental mechanisms?" HERE
Why are they not looking into the REASON for these "phenotypic features"? Interestingly, here is a study that could give them an answer:
"Neuroligins are postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins that bind specifically to presynaptic membrane proteins called neurexins. Mutations in human neuroligin genes are associated with autism spectrum disorders in some families. ...... However, neuroligin mutants are defective in a subset of sensory behaviors and sensory processing, and are hypersensitive to oxidative stress and mercury compounds; the behavioral deficits are strikingly similar to traits frequently associated with autism spectrum disorders. Our results suggest a possible link between genetic defects in synapse formation or function, and sensitivity to environmental factors in the development of autism spectrum disorders."Neuroligin-deficient mutants of C. elegans have sensory processing deficits and are hypersensitive to oxidative stress and mercury toxicity." HERE
And yet still more evidence that is denied:
"Binding of mercury by chromatin of rats exposed to mercuric chloride" HERE
"The extent of mercury binding by the chromatin of kidneys and liver of rats exposed to HgCl2 (20 mg Hg/kg body wt; single intravenous injection) was investigated. A considerable accumulation of this metal into cell nuclei of both the examined organs was observed (1.9 and 0.1 μg Hg/mg protein, respectively). Even higher mercury content was recorded in the chromatin preparations. The nonhistone chromatin proteins (NHP) were mainly responsible for deposition of mercury in the chromatin. One mg of these proteins contained 5.2 and 0.6 μg Hg for the kidneys and liver. Mercury bound to NHP constituted about 50% of the metal retained in the cell nuclei and 78–85% of mercury contained in the chromatin."
Warning Sign: This from 1978 - "The effect of methyl mercury hydroxide on meiotic chromosomes of the grasshopper Stethophyma grossum"
And more, back to even earlier days: "GENETIC EFFECTS OF ORGANIC MERCURY COMPOUNDS - CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION IN DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER - 1967" HERE "mercurials cause c-mitosis at exceedingly low concentrations....mercury compounds act as mitotic poisons, giving rise to c-mitosis and polyploidy."
"An increased effect of mercury induced exceptions was found in males carrying a heterochromatin deficient X chromosome." Could this be a link to Fragile X?
"These observations are of interest from a practical point of view in relation to the mercury pollution of the environment, referred to earlier. This pollution includes some important human food stuff, like eggs and fresh water fishes, and therefore it obviously is of interest to establish what kind of human health risks may be involved. With reference to the experimental data, the genetic aspects of such a health problem primarily concerns the risk of an induction of cells with aberrant chromosome numbers. This might cause an increase for instance of trisomic defects like mongolism or Klinefelter's syndrome. Although it of course is difficult to relate the data obtained on Drosophilia to the situation in humans, the present results do indicate the possibility of such a genetical risk."
And so a profound prediction of the dangers in the environment, the dangers that we see in a soybean, a grasshopper, a fruit fly yet the injected mercury, the thimerosal that was to increase horrifically twenty years after this paragraph, was to prove more than these predictions could ever envision. These mechanisms appear to be true, that mercury could give rise to genetically altered disorders, the trisomies, the mitotic tumors, the heterochromatin deficient X chromosome. Mercury is capable of cellular damage yet we have thousands of children who regressed into autism after mercury-containing vaccines and somehow that does not count? On Sept 14th, please read, share, discuss, and help end the denial - "The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine and a Man-Made Epidemic."
Teresa Conrick is Contributor Editor to Age of Autism.