African Journal of Biotechnology

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Lead induced dyslipidemia: The comparative effects of ascorbate and chelation therapy

Regina Ngozi Ugbaja, Beno Okechukwu Onunkwor, Demilade Akinbola Omoniyi


To investigate the comparative effects of ascorbate and chelating agents on some markers of lipid metabolism in lead exposed rats, 35 male Wistar rats were used. They were grouped randomly into five (n=7); 28 of which were administered 75 mg/kg body weight lead acetate (PbAc) orally for 14 days after which their blood samples were assayed for lead. Three of the groups were further administered 30 mg/kg body weight D-penicillamine (D-pen), 30 mg/kg body weight succimer (DMSA) and 500 mg/kg body weight ascorbate (Asc) daily orally, respectively. The control group was however administered normal saline. The blood lipid profiles were determined spectrophotometrically. Lead exposure resulted in significant dyslipidemia (p < 0.05), characterized by 50% hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia and 132% hyperphospholipidemia (plasma) while in the red blood cells, hypocholesterolemia and hypophospholipidemia were observed. During the therapeutic doses, the groups administered chelating agents and Asc showed a significant amelioration in the plasma and red blood cell levels of total cholesterol, triacylglycerols and phospholipids in the order, DMSA > Asc > D-pen. Decrease in blood lead levels after therapy indicated that the chelating agents have an advantage over Asc. The study indicates that administration of the antioxidant, Asc may not be more efficacious than the chelating agents but could be a cheaper and more convenient therapy for lead toxicity.

Keywords: Ascorbate, chelating agents, dyslipidemia, lead exposure, plumbism

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(15), pp. 1845-1852
AJOL African Journals Online