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Pediatr Res. 1982 Apr;16(4 Pt 1):331-4.

Erythrocyte nucleotides in children--increased blood lead and cytidine triphosphate.


The erythrocyte nucleotides of 25 children, 1-5 years old, with normal and increased blood leads, were assayed by anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography. Red blood cells of the 12 children with blood lead (PbB) below 30 micrograms/dl (20.3 +/- 6 micrograms/dl, mean +/- S.D.) had normal levels of activity of pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N) and their erythrocytes were virtually free of pyrimidine nucleotides except for small amounts of UMP and UDP. The purine nucleotides, predominantly ATP and GTP, were present at values similar to adults. In the 13 children with PbB 30-72 micrograms/dl (45.3 +/- 14.3 micrograms/dl), total cytidine phosphates (CMP, CDP, CTP) were significantly (P less than 0.001) increased from trace values to 8.31 +/- 6.21 nmoles/10(10) erythrocytes. The purine nucleotides were unchanged. P5N activity was 143.3 +/- 22.0 units/g hemoglobin in children with PbB less than 30 micrograms/dl and 75.4 +/- 24.2 units (P less than 0.001) in the high lead subjects. There was a logarithmic correlation of erythrocyte cytidine phosphates with PbB (r = 0.89, P less than 0.001) and an inverse correlation of cytidine phosphates with ln P5N activity (r = 0.59, P less than 0.001), of ln P5N with PbB (r = 0.64, P less than 0.001) and of ln P5N with ln erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin (Protoporphyrin IX) (r = 0.57, P less than 0.001).

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