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Effects of zinc coadministration on lead toxicities in rats.

Author(s): Piao F, Cheng F, Chen H, Li G, Sun X, Liu S, Yamauchi T, Yokoyama K

Affiliation(s): Department of Hygiene, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, P.R. China.

Publication date & source: 2007-08, Ind Health., 45(4):546-51.

In order to investigate the effects of Zn on Pb toxicities. Proportion of abnormal sperm, percentage of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocyte (MPCE), serum thyroid hormones (T(3), T(4)) and cortisol were measured. Rats received intraperitoneal injection of 25 mg/kg Pb acetate, 4 mg/kg Zn acetate, both Pb acetate and Zn acetate, or normal saline as controls, once every two days, 7 times in total. No significant differences in whole blood Pb were detected between groups received Pb alone or both Pb and Zn. On the contrary, the concentration of whole blood Zn in the group given Zn alone was significantly higher than that in the group that received both Pb and Zn. In the groups given Pb alone or both Pb and Zn, proportion of abnormal sperm, frequency of MPCE and serum cortisol were significantly higher than those in controls, whereas serum T(3) and T(4) were significantly lower than in controls. In the group given both Pb and Zn, T(4) was decreased most obviously among the four groups. While the proportion of abnormal sperm was less in the group given both Pb and Zn than in the group given Pb alone. These findings suggest that Zn coadministration might alleviate toxic effects of Pb on the male reproductive system, whereas it could enhance the toxicity on thyroid function. Zn did not affect the toxicities of Pb on cytogenetic systems as indicated by MPCE percentage, and on serum cortisol levels under the dose of the present study. Our results suggested the double-edged effects of Zn on Pb toxicities in different organs. Therefore, the effects of Zn on Pb toxicities should be evaluated systematically.

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