Effects of Lead Exposure and Genetic Polymorphisms on ALAD and GPx Activities in Brazilian Battery Workers

Airton Da Cunha Martins, Gustavo Rafael Mazzaron Barcelos, Anna Laura Bechara Jacob Ferreira, Marilesia Ferreira De Souza, Ilce Mara De Syllos Cólus, Lusânia Maria Greggi Antunes, Monica Maria Bastos Paoliello, Joseph A. Adeyemi, Fernando Barbosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Lead (Pb) is a toxic metal that is widely used by metallurgical industries such as car battery recycling. Exposure to the metal may modify the redox status of the cells and consequently result in changes in activities of important enzymes such as delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Similarly, genetic polymorphisms may modulate the activities of enzymes related to detoxification processes of the metal and may modify Pb body burden. Therefore, the aims of the present study were (i) to evaluate the correlation between blood lead levels (BLL) and activities of the enzymes ALAD and GPx, and (ii) to determine whether activities of these enzymes may be influenced by polymorphisms in ALAD and GPx genes in Brazilian automotive battery workers chronically exposed to Pb, as well as the effects of these polymorphisms on BLL. Our study included 257 participants; BLL were determined by inductively couple plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and the activities of the enzymes ALAD and GPx were quantified spectrophotometrically; and genotyping of ALAD (rs1800435) and GPx-1 (rs1800668) polymorphisms was performed by TaqMan assays (real-time polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR). Significant negative correlations were found between BLL and ALAD activity. Subjects who carried at least one polymorphic allele for ALAD gene displayed markedly lower ALAD activities, while no significant effect was observed regarding GPx-1 polymorphism and activity of the same enzyme. Further, ALAD and GPx-1 polymorphisms exerted no marked influence on BLL. Taken together, our results showed that BLL affected ALAD but not GPx activities, and these were not modulated by polymorphisms in ALAD and GPx gene. Further, the rs1800435 SNP showed a tendency to modulate ALAD activity, while the rs1800668 SNP did not modulate GPx activity in Brazilian automotive battery workers exposed to Pb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1081
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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