Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 80, Issue 7, pp 394–398 | Cite as

A polymorphism in the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase gene modifies plasma/whole blood lead ratio

  • Marcelo F. Montenegro
  • Fernando Barbosa Jr
  • Valeria C. Sandrim
  • Raquel F. Gerlach
  • Jose E. Tanus-SantosEmail author
Inorganic Compounds


Delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) plays an important role in lead poisoning. This study was carried out to examine the effects of ALAD gene polymorphism (G177C) on %Pb-P(plasma lead)/Pb-B(whole blood) ratio in 142 subjects environmentally exposed to lead. Genotypes for the ALAD G177C polymorphism were determined by PCR and restriction fragment length digestion. Pb-P and Pb-B were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, respectively. The allele frequencies for ALAD1 and ALAD2 alleles were 0.897 and 0.103, respectively. We combined both ALAD 1-2 and ALAD 2-2 genotypes together (ALAD 1-2/2-2 group) and compared with the ALAD 1-1 genotype group. While no significant differences were found in Pb-B, subjects from the ALAD 1-2/2-2 genotype group presented significantly higher Pb-P concentrations and %Pb-P/Pb-B ratios (0.89±0.07 μg/l, and 1.45±0.10%, respectively) when compared with subjects from the ALAD 1-1 genotype group (0.44±0.05 μg/l, and 0.48±0.02, respectively; both P<0.0001). The higher %Pb-P/Pb-B ratios in carriers of the ALAD-2 allele compared with noncarriers indicate that ALAD 1-2/2-2 subjects are probably at increased health risks associated with lead exposure.


ALAD polymorphism Delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase Lead toxicology Plasma lead Whole blood lead Plasma/whole blood lead ratio 



This study was supported by Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento e Cientifico e Tecnológico (CNPq).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo F. Montenegro
    • 1
  • Fernando Barbosa Jr
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valeria C. Sandrim
    • 1
  • Raquel F. Gerlach
    • 3
  • Jose E. Tanus-Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao PretoUniversity of Sao PauloRibeirao Preto, SPBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Clinical, Toxicological and Food Science AnalysisFaculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirao PretoRibeirao Preto, SPBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Morphology, Estomatology and PhysiologyDental School of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao PauloRibeirao Preto, SPBrazil

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