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Environ Health Perspect. 2003 October; 111(13): 1613–1619.
PMCID: PMC1241683
Research Article

Associations of renal function with polymorphisms in the delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase, vitamin D receptor, and nitric oxide synthase genes in Korean lead workers.


We analyzed data from 798 lead workers to determine whether polymorphisms in the genes encoding delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) were associated with or modified relations of lead exposure and dose measures with renal outcomes. Lead exposure was assessed with job duration, blood lead, dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA)-chelatable lead, and tibia lead. Renal function was assessed with blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, measured creatinine clearance, calculated creatinine clearance and urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), and retinol-binding protein. Mean (+/- SD) tibia lead, blood lead, and DMSA-chelatable lead levels were 37.2 +/- 40.4 microg/g bone mineral, 32.0 +/- 15.0 microg/dL, and 767.8 +/- 862.1 microg/g creatinine, respectively. After adjustment, participants with the ALAD(2) allele had lower mean serum creatinine and higher calculated creatinine clearance. We observed effect modification by ALAD on associations between blood lead and/or DMSA-chelatable lead and three renal outcomes. Among those with the ALAD(1-2) genotype, higher lead measures were associated with lower BUN and serum creatinine and higher calculated creatinine clearance. Participants with the eNOS variant allele were found to have higher measured creatinine clearance and BUN. In participants with the Asp allele, longer duration working with lead was associated with higher serum creatinine and lower calculated creatinine clearance and NAG; all were significantly different from relations in those with the Glu/Glu genotype except NAG (p = 0.08). No significant differences were seen in renal outcomes by VDR genotype, nor was consistent effect modification observed. The ALAD findings could be explained by lead-induced hyperfiltration.

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Selected References

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