Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 126, Issue 1–3, pp 121–128 | Cite as

Effects of Lead on Hepatic Antioxidant Status and Transcription of Superoxide Dismutase Gene in Pigs

  • D. Y. Yu
  • W. F. Li
  • B. Deng
  • X. F. Mao


Ninety-six castrated boars (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire) were randomly divided into four groups, each of which was replicated three times with eight pigs. The groups received the same basal diet supplemented with 0, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg lead, respectively. The malondialdehyde and glutathione levels, antioxidant enzymes activities, and zinc/copper superoxide dismutase (Zn/Cu SOD) mRNA content in the liver were determined to evaluate the lead hepatic intoxication caused by the lead. Results showed the increased lipid peroxides level and the reduced glutathione content, along with a concomitant decrease in the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, the level of hepatic Zn/Cu SOD mRNA was also significantly reduced. We suggest potential mechanism for lead intoxication in liver as follows: lead causes parallel decrease in Zn/Cu SOD mRNA and activities of antioxidant enzymes, leading to the declined ability of scavenging free radicals with excessive production of lipid peroxides, which seriously damages the hepatic structure and function.


Lead Antioxidant status Superoxide dismutase mRNA Pig 



The present research was funded by Zhejiang Science and Technology Committee (Grant Agreement No.: 021122680). The authors wish to express their thanks to Kong Jian-wei, director of Ningbo Zhenning breeding farm, for his kind permission to conduct the feeding trial on the farm and to the farm staff for their assistance and care of animals.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science, Feed Science InstituteZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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