The influence of lead on the biomechanical properties of bone tissue in rats
More details
Hide details
Department of Biophysics, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
I Department of Radiology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Toxicology Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(2):278–281
Introduction and Objective:
Environmental lead (Pb) is a serious public health problem. At high levels, Pb is devastating to almost all organs. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine a safe level of exposure to Pb. More than 90% of the Pb in the adult human body and 70% in a child’s body is stored in the bones. In the presented study, the effects of lead exposure on bones were studied for rats treated orally with Pb acetate in drinking water for 14 days. The hypothesis was tested that lead exposure negatively affects bone structure.

Material and Methods:
Femur strength was measured in a three-point bending test, whereas infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to measure molecular structural changes.

Lead significantly decreased the ratio of area of two types of vibrational transitions, which are highly specific to mineral to matrix ratio. The results of the biomechanical study show that femurs of rats treated by Pb-acetate appeared to be weaker than bones of the control group, and may produce a condition for the development of higher risk of fractures. Additionally, a great difference in body mass was observed between control and the Pb acetate-treated groups.

The lower bone mineral content and the weaker mechanical properties of bones from Pb-treated rats are associated with the pathologic state dependent of the exposure of lead.

Grazyna Olchowik   
Department of Biophysics, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
1. Tong S, Schirnding YE, Prapamontol T. Environmental lead exposure: a public health problem of global dimension. Bulletin of WHO. 2000; 78 (9): 1068–1077.
2. Grandjean P. Even low-dose lead exposure is hazardous. The Lancet 2010; 376 (9744): 855–856.
3. Chuturkova R, Iossifova Y, Clark S. Decrease in Ambient Air Lead Concentrations in Varna, Bulgaria, Associated with the Introduction of Unleaded Gasoline Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010; 17: 259–261.
4. Vargha B, Ötvös E, Tuba Z. Investigations on ecological effects of heavy metal pollution in Hungary by Moss-Dwelling water bears (Tardigrada), as bioindicators. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2002; 9: 141–146.
5. WHO. Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risk. Geneva, World Health Organization. 2009.
6. Barry PSI. A comparison of concentrations of lead in human tissues. Br J Ind Med. 1975; 32 (2): 119–139.
7. Rabinowitz MB, Wetherill GW, Kopple JD. Kinetic analysis of lead metabolism in healthy human. Clin Invest. 1976; 58 (2): 260–270.
8. Silbergeld EK. Lead in bone: implications for toxicology during pregnancy and lactation. Environmental Health Perspectives 1991; 91: 63–70.
9. Rabinowitz MB. Toxicokinetics of bone lead. Environ Health Perspect. 1991; 91: 33–37.
10. Gardella C. Lead Exposure in Pregnancy: A Review of the Literature and Argument for Routine Prenatal Screening. MD Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 2000; 56 (4): 231–238.
11. Markowitz ME, Saenger P, Bijur P. Inverse correlation with growth velocity in lead toxic children. Pediatric Res. 1990; 27: 62–67.
12. Szkup-Jabłońska M, Karakiewicz B, Grochans E, Jurczak A, Nowak-Starz G, Rotter I, Prokopowicz A. Effects of blood lead and cadmium levels on the functioning of children with behavior disorders in the family environment. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 2012; 19 (2): 241–246.
13. Canfield RL, Henderson CRJr., Cory-Slechta DA, Cox C, Jusko TA, Lanphear BP. Intellectual impairment in children with blood lead concentration below 10 µg per deciliter. N Engl J Med. 2003; 348: 1517–1526.
14. Olchowik G, Chadej-Polberg E, Tomaszewski M, Polberg M, Tomaszewska M. The influence of caffeine on the biomechanical properties of bone tissue during pregnancy in a population of rats. Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2011; 49(3): 504–511.
15. Palaniappan PL. RM, Krishnakumar N, Vadivelu M, Vijayasundaram V. The study of the changes in the biochemical and mineral contents of bones of Catla. Environmental Toxicology. 2010: 25(1): 61–67.
16. Monir AU, Gundberg CM, Yagerman SE, van der Meulen MC, Budell WC, Boskey AL, Dowd TL. The effect of lead on bone mineral properties from female adult C57/BL6 mice. Bone. 2010; 47(5): 888–894.
17. Ronis MJJ, Aronson J, Gao GG, Hogue W, Skinner RA, Badger TM, Lumpkin ChK. Skeletal effects of developmental lead exposure in rats. Toxicological Sciences 2001; 62: 321–329.
18. Carden A, Morris MD. Application of vibrational spectroscopy to the study of mineralized tissues. J Biomed Opt. 2000; 5: 259–268.
19. Boskey A, Mendelsohn R. Infrared analysis of bone in health and disease. J Biomed Opt. 2005; 10 (3): 031102–031106.
20. Riggs BL, Melton LJ. The worldwide problem of osteoporosis: insights afforded by epidemiology. Bone 1995; 17 (5): 505–511.
21. Gruber HE, Gonick HC, Khalil-Manesh F, Sanchez TV, Motsinger S, Meyer M, Sharp CF. Osteopenia induced by long-term, low- and high-level exposure of the adult rat to lead. Miner Electrolyte Metab. 1997; 23 (2): 65–73.
22. Escribano A, Revilla M, Hernandez ER, Seco C, Gonzalez-Riola J, Villa LF, Rico H. Effect of lead on bone development and bone mass: a morphometric, densitometric, and histomorphometric study in growing rats. Calcif Tissue Int. 1997; 6 (2): 200–203.
23. Pounds JG, Long GJ, Rosen JF. Cellular and Molecular Toxicity of Lead in Bone. Environmental Health Perspectives.1991; 91:17–32.
24. Rosen JF, Chesney RW, Hamstra A, DeLuca HF, Mahaffey KR. Reduction in 1,25,-dihydroxyvitamin D in children with increased lead absorption. N. Engl. J. Med. 1980; 302 (20): 1128–1131.
25. Hass GM, Landerholm W, Hemmens A. Inhibitionof intercellular matrix synthesis during ingestion of inorganic lead. Am J Pathol. 1967; 50: 815–819.