A polymorphism in the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase gene may modify the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of lead.
Associations between the presence of a constitutional variant of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD-2) and lead concentrations in blood and bone, as well as between this allele and indices of kidney function, were investigated among 691 members of a construction trade union. The average blood lead level in this group was 7.78 micrograms/dl. No significant difference was observed in blood lead concentration in ALAD-2 carriers compared to those homozygous for the more common ALAD-1 allele (7.78 +/- 3.62 micrograms Pb/dl vs. 7.73 (+/- 3.48 micrograms Pb/dl, respectively; p = 0.73). Bone lead was measured in a subset of 122 of the study subjects. Patella minus tibia lead concentrations for each individual averaged 3.35 +/- 11.99 micrograms Pb/g bone mineral in ALAD-1 homozygotes and 8.62 +/- 9.47 micrograms Pb/g bone mineral in ALAD-2 carriers (p = 0.06). Comparisons of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and uric acid by genotype indicated elevated levels among ALAD-2 individuals (p = 0.03 and 0.07, respectively). In logistic regression models accounting for other variables potentially associated with BUN and uric acid levels, BUN was significantly associated with blood lead levels (p = 0.01). Associations of BUN and uric acid levels with ALAD-2 were of borderline statistical significance in these models (p = 0.06 and 0.07). Taken together, these results suggest that the ALAD-2 genotype may influence the pharmacokinetic distribution and chronic renal toxicity of lead, perhaps due to differential binding of lead to the variant protein.
Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA., ,
Blood Urea Nitrogen
Bone and Bones
Molecular Sequence Data
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.