Oxidative stress induced by lead, cadmium and arsenic mixtures: 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day drinking water studies in rats: an overview

Biometals. 2004 Oct;17(5):567-8. doi: 10.1023/b:biom.0000045740.52182.9d.


Humans are frequently exposed to combinations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and Arsenic (As) but there is a paucity of actual data on the molecular effects of these agents at low dose levels. The present factorial design studies were undertaken in rats to examine the effects of these agents at LOEL dose levels on a number of molecular parameters of oxidative stress in hematopoietic and renal organ systems following oral exposure in drinking water at 30, 90 and 180 day time points. Results of these studies demonstrated dynamic, time-dependent alterations in both molecular targets and inducible oxidative stress protective systems in target cell populations. In general, cellular protective systems, which protected against oxidative damage at the 90 day time point, appeared to be finite such that molecular manifestations of oxidative stress became statistically significant at the 180 day time point for several of the combination exposure groups. These data demonstrate the importance of duration of exposure in assessing the toxic potential of Pb, Cd and As mixtures at low dose levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aminolevulinic Acid / urine
  • Animals
  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Lead / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Time Factors
  • Water Supply


  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • Arsenic