Biomarkers of manganese exposure in a population living close to a mine and mineral processing plant in Mexico.Environ Res. 2008 Jan; 106(1):89-95.ER
Manganese (Mn) is considered an essential metal; nevertheless, excessive Mn exposure in humans is known to affect central nervous system. Mn access to its toxic target, the brain, is a complex phenomenon subject to physiological and physiopathological processes; in which, among others, the route of exposure plays an important role. Mn airborne exposure has gained interest both in occupational and environmental studies in order to understand the effects of low-level, long-term exposure. The objective of the present study was to describe the relationship between blood Mn and prolactin as marker of effect exposure, as well as other variables from subjects dwelling in a mining district in central Mexico environmentally exposed to the metal. This study was conducted on 230 volunteers; blood samples were obtained from cubital vein and hemoglobin, prolactin, lead (Pb), and Mn levels were measured. Non-parametrical Spearman's correlation showed statistical associations between blood and Mn levels and prolactin (rho=0.197), hemoglobin (rho= -0.213), age (rho= -0.186), and blood lead (rho= -0.167). Multiple regression analysis showed that blood Mn levels as an important factor to determine serum prolactin levels (beta=0.111, p=0.029) in a model corrected by gender and age. Results suggest that assessment of Mn exposure by biomarkers on general population is complex due to the variability and characteristics of the metal; however, specific subpopulations such as iron-deficient individuals are suspected to accumulate Mn in blood and thus they may be susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of Mn.