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Anatomy of lead poisoning

F.I. Duru, A.A. Osinubi, C.O. Alebiosu, B.A. Falana

Abstract


Objective: Lead poisoning and lead toxicity is usually often interchangeably used by different Scientists. The Anatomy of lead poisoning encompasses its effects on different organ-systems of different species of organisms. It also includes environmental, functional and biochemical components associated with most heavy metals that enters biological tissues daily through occupational and environmental exposures. A major outbreak of lead poisoning occurred in Zamfara state Nigeria in 2010, killing over 500 children. Also inMay 2015, Niger state Nigeria was plagued with another outbreak and children were the most affected. Mining activities have increased, oil exploration and pipeline vandalism, have destroyed our ecosystems just to mention a few of the factors responsible for unabated increased levels of heavy metals in our bodies resulting into congenital malformations, infertility, reduced intelligent quotient in children, and cancer.

Methods: Different literature in reputable journals were reviewed in the course of this study. New mechanisms involved in the toxicity of heavy metals were studied. Advances in molecular biology have however tremendously helped in unravelling more mechanisms of lead toxicity. In this review it is perceived that a population of males or females may surfer adverse reproductive sequelae in future.

Results: The primary form of lead toxicity is by oxidative stress mechanisms, apoptosis and necrosis involving cellular pathways including both mitochondria and cytoplasmic pathways.

Conclusions: Lead and heavy metal toxicities can be ameliorated by synergistic activity of trace elements including selenium, cobalt, zinc and boron.

Keywords: Lead poisoning, anatomy, cellular pathways, trace elements.




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