Effects of lead on neutrophil functions in occupationally exposed workers

Undeger U., Basaran N.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY, vol.5, no.2, pp.113-117, 1998 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Chemotactic and intracellular killing activity of neutrophils were examined in 25 male lead-exposed workers from storage-battery plants and compared to 25 healthy males with no history of lead exposure. Lead exposure was assessed using blood lead levels measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and zinc protoporphyrin levels assayed by hematofluorometry. Chemotaxis was carried out in Boyden chambers using zymosan activated serum as chemotactic stimulus. Intracellular killing activity of neutrophils was measured using nitroblue tetrazolium reduction test, measured of 515 nm in spectrophotometry. In lead-exposed workers a significant decrease in chemotaxis and random migration of neutrophils (p < 0.001) was observed compared to controls. Intracellular killing activity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes have also seemed to be slightly but not significantly reduced. These results suggest that human chronic exposure to lead may diminish neutrophil function in man. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.