Lead poisoning and brain cell function

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Exposure to excessive amounts of inorganic lead during the toddler years may produce lasting adverse effects upon brain function. Maximal ingestion of lead occurs at an age when major changes are occurring in the density of brain synaptic connections. The developmental reorganization of synapses is, in part, mediated by protein kinases, and these enzymes are particularly sensitive to stimulation by lead. By inappropriately activating specific protein kinases, lead poisoning may disrupt the development of neural networks without producing overt pathological alterations. The blood-brain barrier is another potential vulnerable site for the neurotoxic action of lead. Protein kinases appear to regulate the development of brain capillaries and the expression of the blood-brain barrier properties. Stimulation of protein kinase by lead may disrupt barrier development and alter the precise regulation of the neuronal environment that is required for normal brain function. Together, these findings suggest that the sensitivity of protein kinases to lead may in part underlie the brain dysfunction observed in children poisoned by this toxicant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-94
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume89
StatePublished - 1990

Fingerprint

Industrial poisons
Lead Poisoning
poisoning
Protein Kinases
brain
Brain
protein
Blood-Brain Barrier
blood
Synapses
Eating
Lead
Neural networks
Enzymes
enzyme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Lead poisoning and brain cell function. / Goldstein, Gary William.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 89, 1990, p. 91-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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