Transport and biological impact of manganese

Keith M. Erikson, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Khristy J. Thompson, Elizabethtown College
Michael Aschner, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient and, unlike other trace elements (e.g., iron), toxicity is more prevalent than dietary deficiency. This chapter will commence with a discussion on the essentiality of Mn and its general biological functions. We will then discuss putative Mn transport mechanisms with a particular emphasis on the lung and brain, the primary organs involved in the etiology of Mn neurotoxicity (manganism). We conclude the chapter with several sections focusing on the neurobiology of manganism. Special emphasis is placed on the neurochemical and biochemical aspects of Mn-induced neuropathology and the biochemical similarities it shares with Parkinson’s disease (PD).