In Vivo Indices of Oxidative Stress in Lead-exposed C57BL/6 Mice Are Reduced by Treatment with Meso-2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid Or N-acetylcysteine


Knowledge of lead's capacity to disrupt the prooxidant/antioxidant balance within mammalian tissues suggests that definitive therapy for chronic lead poisoning should encompass both chelating and antioxidant actions. The dithiol meso-2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA) is the first orally administered metal chelating agent to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of childhood plumbism and possesses the potential to function as an antioxidant by removing lead from the site of deleterious oxidation reactions. Five weeks of lead exposure was found to deplete glutathione (GSH) levels, increase oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and promote malondialdehyde (MDA) production in both liver and brain samples taken from C57BL/6 mice. GSH levels increased and GSSG and MDA levels decreased in groups of lead-exposed mice that received 1 mmol/kg DMSA or 5.5 mmol/kg N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for 7 d prior to sacrifice. Treatment with DMSA caused a reduction in blood, liver, and brain lead levels consistent with its function as a chelating agent, while treatment with NAC did not reduce these lead levels. However, NAC did cause a reduction in indices of oxidative stress in both brain and liver samples, which implies that this synthetic thiol-containing antioxidant is capable of abrogating lead-induced oxidative stress in vivo. Overall, these results suggest that lead-induced oxidative stress in vivo can be mitigated by pharmacologic interventions, which encompass both chelating as well as thiol-mediated antioxidant functions.



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© 1996 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

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01 Jan 1996