Skip to main content

Hydrogen Peroxide Reduces Lead-Induced Oxidative Stress to Mouse Brain and Liver


Lead (Pb) intoxication may initiate many disorders in human and animals. This study investigates the role of exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in inducing mouse tolerance to Pb exposure. Results showed that the simultaneous application of 1.2 μg H2O2 per kg body weight efficiently protected mice against the Pb-caused injury, as revealed by decreased growth suppression caused by the Pb stress, increased antioxidative enzyme activity, reduced lipid peroxidation, and the protective effect on the nuclear DNA integrity. To our knowledge, this is the first finding of this sort.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Aebi HE (1983) Catalase. In: Bergmeyer HU (ed) Methods of enzymatic analyses. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, pp 273–282

    Google Scholar 

  2. Adonaylo VN, Oteiza PI (1999a) Pb2+ promotes lipid oxidation and alterations in membrane physical properties. Toxicology 132:19–32

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Adonaylo VN, Oteiza PI (1999b) Lead intoxication: antioxidant defenses and oxidative damage in rat brain. Toxicology 135:77–85

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Bechara EJH, Medeiros MHG, Monteiro HP, Hermes-Lima M, Pereira B, Demasi M, Costa CA, Abdalla DSP, Onuki J, Wendel CMA, Di Mascio P (1993) A free radical hypothesis of lead poisoning and inborn porphyrias associated with 5-aminolevulinic acid overload. Quim Nova 16:385–392

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Beyer WF, Fridovich Y (1987) Assaying for superoxide dismutase activity: some large consequences of minor changes in conditions. Anal Biochem 161:559–566

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Dat J, Vandenabeele S, Vranová E, Van Montagu M, Inzé D, Van Breusegem F (2000) Dual action of active oxygen species during plant stress responses. Cell Mol Life Sci 57:779–795

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Droge W (2002) Free radicals in the physiological control of cell function. Physiol Rev 82:47–95

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Esterbauer H, Cheeseman KH (1990) Determination of aldehydic lipid peroxidation products: malonaldehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal. Methods Enzymol 186:407–421

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Floyd RA (1999) Antioxidants, oxidative stress, and degenerative neurological disorders. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 222:236–245

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Hartwig A (1994) Role of DNA repair inhibition in lead and cadmium-induced genotoxicity. Environ Health Perspect 102:45–50

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Hemeda HM, Klein BP (1990) Effects of naturally occurring antioxidants on peroxidase activity of vegetable extracts. J Food Sci 55:184–185

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Hermes-Lima M, Pereira B, Bechara EJH (1991) Are free radicals involved in lead poisoning? Xenobiotica 21:1085–1090

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hyslop PA, Zhang Z, Pearson DV, Phebus LA (1995) Measurement of striatal H2O2 by microdialysis following global forebrain ischemia and reperfusion in the rat: correlation with the cytotoxic potential of H2O2 in vitro. Brain Res 671:181–186

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Kanno S, Ishikawa M, Takayanagi M, Takayanagi Y, Sasaki K (2000) Characterization of hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis in mouse primary cultured hepatocytes. Biol Pharm Bull 23:37–42

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Lueken A, Juhl-Strauss U, Krieger G, Witte I (2004) Synergistic DNA damage by oxidative stress (induced by H2O2) and nongenotoxic environmental chemicals in human fibroblasts. Toxicol Lett 147:35–43

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Lockitch G (1993) Perspectives on lead toxicity. Clin Biochem 26:371–381

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Lowry DH, Rosebrough HJ, Farr AL (1951) Protein measurement with Folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193:262–275

    Google Scholar 

  18. Neill S, Desikan R, Hancock J (2002) Hydrogen peroxide signalling. Curr Opin Plant Biol 5:388–395

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Nriagu JO, Pacyna JM (1988) Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soils with trace metals. Nature 333:134–139

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T (1989) Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual, 2nd edn. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

    Google Scholar 

  21. Valko M, Leibfritz D, Moncola J, Cronin MTD, Mazura M, Telser J (2007) Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 39:44–84

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank Dr Sheng T Hou (Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council of Canada) for comments on the manuscript. This research was supported partly by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30570445), Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (No. 20021022), Tackle Key Problem of Science and Technology, Education Department of Liaoning Province (2004D005) and Director Foundation of Experimental Centre, Shenyang Normal University (SY200802).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. Hao.

Additional information

R. G. Li and T. T. Li contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Li, R.G., Li, T.T., Hao, L. et al. Hydrogen Peroxide Reduces Lead-Induced Oxidative Stress to Mouse Brain and Liver. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 82, 419 (2009).

Download citation


  • Mice
  • Lead
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oxidative stress