Arsenic and manganese alter lead deposition in the rat

V. Andrade, M. L. Mateus, D. Santos, M. Aschner, M. C. Batoreu, A. P. Marreilha Dos Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Lead (Pb) continues to be a major toxic metal in the environment. Pb exposure frequently occurs in the presence of other metals, such as arsenic (As) and manganese (Mn). Continued exposure to low levels of these metals may lead to long-term toxic effects due to their accumulation in several organs. Despite the recognition that metals in a mixture may alter each other's toxicity by affecting deposition, there is dearth of information on their interactions in vivo. In this work, we investigated the effect of As and Mn on Pb tissue deposition, focusing on the kidney, brain, and liver. Wistar rats were treated with eight doses of each single metal, Pb (5 mg/Kg bw), As (60 mg/L), and Mn 10 mg/Kg bw), or the same doses in a triple metal mixture. The kidney, brain, liver, blood, and urine Pb, As, and Mn concentrations were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The Pb kidney, brain, and liver concentrations in the metal-mixture-treated group were significantly increased compared to the Pb-alone-treated group, being more pronounced in the kidney (5.4-fold), brain (2.5-fold), and liver (1.6-fold). Urinary excretion of Pb in the metal-mixture-treated rats significantly increased compared with the Pb-treated group, although blood Pb concentrations were analogous to the Pb-treated group. Co-treatment with As, Mn, and Pb alters Pb deposition compared to Pb alone treatment, increasing Pb accumulation predominantly in the kidney and brain. Blood Pb levels, unlike urine, do not reflect the increased Pb deposition in the kidney and brain. Taken together, the results suggest that the nephro- and neurotoxicity of "real-life" Pb exposure scenarios should be considered within the context of metal mixture exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Arsenic
  • Brain and kidney deposition
  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Metal mixtures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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