Lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and manganese (Mn) have many potential adverse health effects in vitro and in animal models of clinical toxicity. The current study investigated the dyslipidaemic and oxidative stress effects of chronic low-dose oral exposure to Pb, Cd and Mn and the combination (Pb+Cd+Mn) in rats for 15 weeks. Chronic exposure to the metals did not significantly (P>0.05) alter serum lipid profiles. However, the atherogenic index decreased by 32.2% in the Pb+Cd+Mn group, relative to the control. The triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio decreased by 39.4% in the Pb+Cd+Mn group, relative to the control, and elevated by 81.8, 94.8 and 20.8%, relative to the Pb, Cd and Mn groups, respectively. While the serum concentrations of malondialdehyde significantly increased in the Mn and Pb+Cd+Mn groups, that of glutathione peroxidase-1 decreased in the Pb+Cd+Mn group, and metallothionein-1 and zinc concentrations markedly decreased in all the metal treatment groups. The results suggest that long-term exposure of rats to Pb+Cd+Mn may result in hypolipidaemia, mediated via oxidative stress and metal interactions. Individuals who are constantly exposed to environmentally relevant levels of the metals may be at risk of hypolipidaemia.
Keywords: Lead; cadmium; hypolipidaemia; manganese; oxidative stress; zinc.
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