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Erythrocyte arginase, pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N), and deoxypyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (dP5N) as indices of lead exposure.
  1. L R Cook,
  2. C R Angle,
  3. S J Stohs

    Abstract

    The activities of three erythrocyte (rbc) enzymes, arginase, pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N), and deoxypyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (dP5N), were compared in 16 lead workers and 14 age matched controls as correlates of blood lead (PbB) and unextracted zinc protoporphyrin (EP) concentrations. Subjects with PbB of 0.9-2.5 microM (19-52 micrograms/dl) had 6.5 +/- 0.6 IU of P5N activity with uridine monophosphate (UMP) as substrate, significantly less (p less than 0.001) than the 12.0 +/- 0.7 IU activity of controls with PbB 0.3-0.6 microM (6-12 micrograms/dl). The mean activity of rbc dP5N with either deoxyuridine monophosphate (dUMP) or thymidine monophosphate as substrate, and of rbc arginase, did not differentiate the two groups. The correlation coefficients of ln PbB with the selected substrates for P5N and dP5N were: UMP, r = -0.75; dUMP, r = -0.61; TMP, r = -0.23. The correlation coefficient of ln PbB and arginase activity was -0.03. Rbc P5N (UMPase) is a significant correlate of PbB, equivalent to rbc protoporphyrin. HPLC assay of rbc UMPase activity is a sensitive and rapid assay that appears to meet criteria for a reliable clinical laboratory index of blood lead concentrations.

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