Evaluation of activity of erythrocyte pyrimidine 5′-nucleotidase (P5N) in lead exposed workers: With focus on the effect on hemoglobin

Yangho Kim, Cheol In Yoo, Choong Ryeol Lee, Ji Ho Lee, Hun Lee, Sung Ryul Kim, Seoung Hoon Chang, Won Jin Lee, Cheon Hyun Hwang, Young Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Anemia that accompanies lead poisoning is in part the result of various inhibitory effects of lead on heme biosynthesis. Lead also increases the rate of red blood cell destruction due to the profoundly depressed activities of erythrocyte pyrimidine 5′-nucleotidase (P5N) activities. We studied parameters of the two metabolic pathways in the workers exposed to lead to evaluate P5N in the lead exposed workers and which pathway has an effect on hemoglobin (Hb) level. 29 male workers in the secondary lead smelting as high exposure group, 46 male workers in the manufacturer of inorganic pigment as low exposure group and 56 clerical male workers from another plant as non-exposed group were studied. Activity of P5N, lead concentration in whole blood (PbB), zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP), Hb, and ferritin were determined. In the present study, P5N activity of nucleotide metabolic pathway correlated with Hb after controlling indices of iron deficiency anemia (ferritin) occurring concurrently and heme biosynthetic pathway (ZPP) in the high exposure group while heme biosynthetic pathway did not correlate with Hb after controlling other two variables in exposure groups. These findings suggest that P5N rather than heme biosynthetic pathway has a major effect on Hb level even in workers without manifest hemolytic anemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Erythrocyte pyrimidine 5′-nucleotidase (P5N)
  • Heme biosynthesis
  • Lead exposure
  • Nucleotide metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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