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Korean J Prev Med. 1998 Aug;31(3):449-459. Korean. Original Article.
Lee WJ , Hwang CH , Kim CS , Chang SH , Kim YH , Kim HJ .
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kun-Kuk University, Korea.
Industrial Health Research Institute Korea Industrial Safety Corporation, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Korea.
Abstract

This study was started to find out if plasma malondialdehyde(MDA), alpha-tocopherol and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase(SOD) activity could be markers of biological activity resulting from exposed to lead in workers. Blood samples were randomly obtained from lead -exposed workers(n=29), CO2 welders(n=60) and office workers(n=60). We used whole blood to analyse blood lead with atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Superoxide dismutase activity in erythrocyte was measured with spetrophotometer. MDA and alpha-tocopherol in plasma were measured with high performance liquid chromatography. Lead-exposed workers was significantly high in blood lead concentration(29.37 ng/dl) compared with welders(6.42 ng/dl) and office workers(5.01 ng/dl). The level of plasma MDA was significantly higher in the lead-exposed workers(1.87 nmol/g cholesterol) than the welders(1.41 nmol/g cholesterol) and office workers(1.41 nmol/g cholesterol). Erythrocyte SOD activity in lead-exposed workers(56.80 U/g Hb) was significantly increased than those of welders(37.63 U/g Hb) and office workers(20.47 U/g Hb). The plasma alpha-tocopherol level of lead-exposed workers(4.93 ng/g cholesterol) was statistically different from welders(4.25 ng/g cholesterol) and office workers(4.28 ng/g cholesterol). Neither age nor smoking was related to SOD or MDA level. Blood lead was significantly correlated with erythrocyte SOD activity(r=0.405), plasma MDA(r=0.296) and alpha-tocopherol(r=0.207). Plasma MDA was also significantly correlated with SOD (r=0.217). In multiple regression analysis, the change of MDA and SOD activity level related to the blood lead concentration. These results suggested that the increase of plasma MDA and erythrocyte SOD activity in lead-exposed workers had a close relationship with the oxidative stress induced by lead.

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