HUMAN & EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.25, no.7, pp.353-359, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
Occupationally-exposed lead affects the neuromuscular junction and might cause disturbances in the locomotor activity. This study was undertaken to evaluate pteridine metabolism, in which neurotransmitters are synthesized in battery workers. Urinary neopterin, biopterin and creatinine were measured using high performance liquid chromatography. Serum neopterin concentrations were detected by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Blood dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR) activities and delta-aminolevulinic acid (delta-ALA) were measured spectrophotometrically. Blood and urinary lead were detected by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Significantly increased blood and urinary lead levels, urinary neopterin, biopterin and delta-ALA were found in workers, while DHPR activities were indifferent compared to control group. Urinary creatinine decreased. This is the first study to demonstrate that increased activity of the pteridine pathway results in the accumulation of the neurotransmitters that may be responsible for the neurological disorders.