Activity of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and lipid peroxidation in erythrocytes in workers exposed to lead

  • Sławomir Kasperczyk
  • Aleksandra Kasperczyk
  • Alina Ostałwska
  • Maria Dziwisz
  • Ewa Birkner
Original Articles


The aim of this study was to estimate the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in erythrocytes in healthy male employees of zinc and lead steelworks who were occupationally exposed to lead over a long period of time (about 15 yr). Workers were divided into two subgroups: the first included employees with low exposure to lead (LL) (n=75) with blood lead level PbB=25–40 μg/dL and the second with high exposure to lead (HL) (n=62) with PbB over 40 μg/dL. Administration workers (n=35) with normal levels of PbB and zinc protoporphyrin in blood (ZPP) in blood were the control group. The activity of GPx significantly increased in LL when compared to the control group (p<0.001) and decreased when compared to the HL group (p=0.036). There were no significant changes in activity of GR in the study population. MDA erythrocyte concentration significantly increased in the HL group compared to the control (p=0.014) and to the LL group (p=0.024). For the people with low exposure to lead (PbB=25–40 μg/dL), the increase of activity of GPx by about 79% in erythrocytes prevented lipid peroxidation and it appears to be the adaptive mechanism against the toxic effect of lead. People with high exposure to lead (with PbB over 40 μg/dL) have shown an increase in MDA concentration in erythrocytes by about 91%, which seems to have resulted from reduced activity of GPx and the lack of increase in activity of GR in blood red cells.

Index Entries

Lead glutathione peroxidase glutathione reductase malondialdehyde 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sławomir Kasperczyk
    • 1
  • Aleksandra Kasperczyk
    • 1
  • Alina Ostałwska
    • 1
  • Maria Dziwisz
    • 2
  • Ewa Birkner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistrySilesian Medical University in KatowiceZabrzePoland
  2. 2.Eko-Prof.-Med. Miasteczko ŚląskieMiasteczko ŚląskiePoland

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