2018 Volume 60 Issue 5 Pages 369-375
Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine blood levels of selected pro-inflammatory cytokines, C reactive protein (CRP), and selected factors that influence angiogenesis in workers exposed to lead for a short period of time. Methods: The study population consisted of 36 male workers (mean age 41 ± 14 years) exposed to lead for 40 days. Results: The mean blood lead level (BLL) was 10.7 ± 7.67 μg/dl at the beginning of the study, and increased to 49.1 ± 14.1 μg/dl at the end of the study period. The levels of macrophage inflammatory protein 1-α (MIP-1α) were significantly higher after the studied exposure to lead compared to the baseline by 71%. Similarly, the values of CRP increased by 35%. Conversely, the values of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) and fibroblast growth factor-basic (FGF-basic) decreased by 14% and 21%, respectively. After the examined period of lead exposure, analysis of correlations showed positive correlations between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels and the levels of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) (R = 0.39), interleukin 6 (IL-6) (R = 0.42), and MIP-1α (R = 0.54). Positive correlations were identified between MIP-1α and FGF-basic (R = 0.38), soluble angiopoietin receptor (sTie-2) (R = 0.41), and sVEGFR-1 (R = 0.47). Discussion: Short-term exposure to lead induces the inflammatory response; however, these mechanisms seem to be different from those observed in chronic lead exposure. Subacute exposure to lead may dysregulate angiogenesis via modifications in the levels of angiogenic factors.