Exposure to lead affects male biothiols metabolism
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Department of Biochemistry, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland; Department of Public Health, University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland
Chair of Physiotherapy, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(4):721–725
The most important biothiols include glutathione, homocysteine (HCY), cysteine and proteins. The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the influence of lead on the biothiol turnover – the concentration of HCY and protein sulfhydryl groups (P-SH) in the serum and reduced glutathione (G-SH) in erythrocytes – in individuals (employees of metal works) exposed to lead and to evaluate its probable oxidative disorders, measured as the carbonyl protein (CP) concentration in serum. The exposed workers were divided into 2 subgroups: 1) low lead exposure (LPb), with a lead concentration in the blood (PbB) of 20–45 µg dl-1 (n= 102), and 2) high lead exposure (HPb), with PbB = 45–60 µg dl-1 (n= 81). The control group consisted of 72 office workers or other healthy subjects with no history of occupational exposure to lead. All the controls had normal PbB (<10 μg dl-1) and ZPP (<2.5 μg dl-1) levels. The concentration of HCY was higher in the LPb group by 11% and in the HPb group by 26%, compared with the control group (n=72). The CP concentration in these 2 groups was more than twice as high as that of the control group, with 108% and 125% increases for the LPb and HPb groups, respectively; G-SH was lower by 6.6% and 7.4% for the LPb and HPb groups, respectively; P-SH was lower by 8.2% and 13% for the LPb and HPb groups, respectively. Lead decreases levels of glutathione and protein thiol groups. Lead-induced oxidative stress contributes to the observed elevation of protein carbonyl groups. Besides, lead poisoning seems to be associated with hyperhomocysteinaemia, which may promote the development of atherosclerosis.
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