Effects of untreated drinking water at three indigenous Yaqui towns in Mexico: Insights from a murine model

Sofia Navarro-Espinoza, Aracely Angulo-Molina, Diana Meza-Figueroa*, Guillermo López-Cervantes, Mercedes Meza-Montenegro, Aurora Armienta, Diego Soto-Puebla, Erika Silva-Campa, Alexel Burgara-Estrella, Osiris Álvarez-Bajo, Martín Pedroza-Montero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Reports in a northwestern Mexico state linked arsenic (As) in drinking water to DNA damage in people from indigenous communities. However, this correlation remains under discussion due to unknown variables related to nutrition, customs, and the potential presence of other metal(oid)s. Methods: To determine this association, we sampled water from three Yaqui towns (Cócorit, Vícam, and Pótam), and analyzed the metals by ICP-OES. We exposed four separate groups, with five male CD-1 mice each, to provide further insight into the potential effects of untreated drinking water. Results: The maximum concentrations of each metal(oid) in µg·L−1 were Sr(819) > Zn(135) > As(75) > Ba(57) > Mo(56) > Cu(17) > Al(14) > Mn(12) > Se(19). Histological studies revealed brain cells with angulation, satellitosis, and reactive gliosis with significant statistical correlation with Mn and As. Furthermore, the liver cells presented hepatocellular degeneration. Despite the early response, there is no occurrence of both statistical and significative changes in hematological parameters. Conclusions: The obtained results provide experimental insights to understand the potential effects of untreated water with low As and Mn contents in murine models. This fact is noteworthy because of the development of histological changes on both the brain and liver at subchronic exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number805
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Arsenic
  • Drinking water
  • Indigenous towns
  • Manganese
  • Murine model


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