Effects of Dietary Lead and Cholesterol Supplementation on Hemolysis in the Sprague-Dawley Rat
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v98, n2 (March, 1998), 18-22
Hemolytic anemia has been observed in a number of organisms exposed to lead. Previous investigators have proposed that heavy metals inhibit cholesterol synthesis, which leaves insufficient cholesterol for the maintenance of cell membranes. This causes hemolysis and the release of hemoglobin and membrane associated proteins into the serum. Lead-exposed fish have displayed depressed serum cholesterol and elevated serum protein concentrations. The goals of the present investigation were to determine whether these hematological changes occur in mammals exposed to dietary lead and to test the hypothesis that lead induces a cholesterol deficiency responsible for this hemolytic effect. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: an untreated control (group I), a group fed a 4% cholesterol supplemented diet (group II), a group exposed to lead nitrate via the drinking water (250 mg lead/liter) (group III), and a group given both lead nitrate and cholesterol (group IV). Blood samples were collected weekly for five weeks. Mean hematocrit, mean serum hemoglobin, and mean serum cholesterol concentrations were not significantly different (p >0.05) in lead exposed animals. These results indicate that dietary lead exposure does not induce a cholesterol deficiency and subsequent hemolysis in the Sprague-Dawley rat.
Author Institution: Laboratory for Sensory Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University
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