Effect of Iron Deficiency Anemia On Lead Distribution After Intravenous Dosing in Rats

Robert O. Wright, Howard Hu, Timothy J. Maher, Chitra Amarasiriwardena, Pasarapa Chaiyakul, Alan D. Woolf, Michael W. Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the effect of iron deficiency anemia on blood and tissue lead distribution.Methods: 24 weanling rats were divided into 2 groups. One group received an iron replete diet (200 ppm); the other received a low iron diet (20 ppm). After 24 days, each group was further subdivided into two doses of lead (5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg) which was administered intravenously. Rats were continued on their respective diets for 7 days post-lead injection to allow tissue distribtrtion, then sacrificed and blood and tissue lead concentration measured. Results: Prior to lead administration, baseline blood lead concentrations were not significantly different between groups. At sacrifice, whole blood lead levels were significantly higher in iron deficient animals than in iron replete at both 5 and 10 mg/kg administered lead. Iron deficient animals had comparable lead concentrations to iron replete animals in brain, kidney and liver. Femur lead concentrations were higher at 10 mg/kg administered lead. Conclusion: Iron deficiency alters lead distribution such that increased lead is found in blood for a given exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-551
Number of pages5
JournalToxicology and Industrial Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • hypochromic anemia
  • iron
  • iron deficiency
  • lead
  • lead poisoning


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