Effects of concurrent administration of lead, cadmium, and arsenic in the rat.
Bottom Line: Specific effects of Pb on heme synthesis were observed, including increased urinary excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid; this increase was reduced by the presence of dietary cadmium.Combinations of As and Cd did not further reduce the activity of this enzyme.Concurrent administration of Cd greatly minimized Pb effects on the kidney under conditions of this experiment.
Humans are exposed to a number of toxic elements in the environment; however, most experiments with laboratory animals investigate only one toxic element. To determine if concomitant exposure to lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and/or arsenic (As) modified the changes produced by any one metal in various parameters of toxicity, 168 male, Sprague-Dawley, young adult rats were fed nutritionally adequate diets to which had been added 0 or 200 ppm Pb as Pb acetate, or 50 ppm Cd as Cd chloride, or 50 ppm As as sodium arsenate or arsanilic acid in a factorial design for a period of 10 weeks. At these concentrations, Cd and As reduced weight gain even when differences in food intake were taken into account; administration of both Cd and As depressed weight gain more than did either metal alone. Pb did not adversely affect food consumption or weight gain. Increased numbers of red blood cells (RBCs) were observed following administration of Pb, Cd, or As; usually more cells were observed when two or three metals were administered, compared to individual metals. Despite increasing numbers of circulating RBCs, hemoglobin and hematocrit were reduced, especially with the Pb-Cd combination and the Cd-arsanilic acid combination. Specific effects of Pb on heme synthesis were observed, including increased urinary excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid; this increase was reduced by the presence of dietary cadmium. Analyses of blood showed values for the laboratory rat within normal ranges for blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, cholesterol, calcium, albumin, total protein, and bilirubin. Uric acid was increased by Pb, with little modification by dietary Cd or As content. Serum glutamate-oxalate transaminase activity was reduced by As. Serum alkaline phosphatase was greatly reduced by either As or Cd but not Pb. Combinations of As and Cd did not further reduce the activity of this enzyme. Kidney weight and kidney weight/body weight ratios were increased by Pb alone, with no effects of Cd or As alone or as interactions. Liver weight/body weight ratios were reduced in animals fed 50 ppm dietary Cd. Kidney histology shows predominantly Pb effects, namely, intranuclear inclusion bodies and cloudy swelling. Ultrastructural evaluation of kidneys from Pb-treated animals disclosed nuclear inclusion bodies of the usual morphology and mitochondrial swelling. Concurrent administration of Cd greatly minimized Pb effects on the kidney under conditions of this experiment. Liver histology suggests an increased rate of cell turnover with either As compound, but few specific changes.
Related in: MedlinePlus