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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1164;

Joint Toxicity of Different Heavy Metal Mixtures after a Short-Term Oral Repeated-Administration in Rats

Department of Preventative Medicine, Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Pathophysiology, Medicine School of Ningbo University, 818 Fenghua Road, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China
Ningbo Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ningbo 315010, Zhejiang, China
Toxicology and Molecular Biology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
School of Public Health, Key Laboratory of Environment and Gene Related Diseases of Ministry of Education, Health Science Center, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, Shaanxi, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 1 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4481 KB, uploaded 1 October 2017]   |  


The systemic toxicity of different combinations of heavy metal mixtures (HMMs) was studied according to equivalent proportions of the eight most common detectable heavy metals found in fish consumption in the Ningbo area of China. The ion mass proportions of Zn, Cu, Mn, Cr, Ni, Cd, Pb, and Hg were 1070.0, 312.6, 173.1, 82.6, 30.0, 13.3, 6.6, and 1.0, respectively. In this study, 10 experimental groups were set as follows: M8 (Pb + Cd + Hg + Ni + Cu + Zn + Mn + Cr); M5 (Pb + Cd + Hg + Ni + Cr); M4A (Pb + Cd + Hg + Ni); M4B (Cu + Zn + Mn + Cr); M3 (Cu + Zn + Mn); Cr; Cu; Zn; Mn; and control. Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were orally treated with a single dose of each group every three days (10 times in total) for 34 days. After Morris water maze test, blood and tissue samples were collected to obtain biochemical, histopathological and western blot analysis. Results show abnormalities could be observed in different treatment groups, the M4B combination had the most significant change compared to all other groups. In conclusion, combination HMMs may have adverse effects on the hematologic, hepatic, renal and neurobehavioral function, and may also disturb electrolyte and lipid balance. Why M4B combination generated much higher toxic effects than any other combination mixtures or individual heavy metal needs to be further evaluated. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals; heavy metal mixtures (HMMs); fish consumption; joint toxicity; SD rat heavy metals; heavy metal mixtures (HMMs); fish consumption; joint toxicity; SD rat

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Su, H.; Li, Z.; Fiati Kenston, S.S.; Shi, H.; Wang, Y.; Song, X.; Gu, Y.; Barber, T.; Aldinger, J.; Zou, B.; Ding, M.; Zhao, J.; Lin, X. Joint Toxicity of Different Heavy Metal Mixtures after a Short-Term Oral Repeated-Administration in Rats. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1164.

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