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QUESTION: The cellular mechanisms of lead transport and the cellular uptake of lead. 6 May 2004, Queensland Australia

To whom it may concern,

I am a first year medical student and am currently researching for an assignment. I am having some difficulty finding information on one of my topics and I was wondering if you would be able to help me.

My topic is:

"The cellular mechanisms of lead transport and the cellular uptake of lead."

If you have any information would be able to email it to me? Also I would really appreciate it if you could point me towards some other helpful sources of information.

Thank you for your time

ANSWER: 06 May 2004

Dear Madam,

I do apologise for the delay in responding but I'm the only volunteer answering a truckload of inquiries and it was only when a similar question came in from a doctor in Kenya that I was able to find the time to write the following answer. If you have found any information in the meantime or indeed finished your assignment, I would be very grateful for anything you would be able to send for our library. In case you are still researching the question, I have cc'ed this to Professor Chris Winder as he may have some information he could email both of us on the topic.

See the article whose Abstract states:

"Cadmium, lead, mercury, and aluminium are toxic metals that may interact metabolically with nutritionally essential metals. Iron deficiency increases absorption of cadmium, lead, and aluminium. Lead interacts with calcium in the nervous system to impair cognitive development. Cadmium and aluminium interact with calcium in the skeletal system to produce osteodystrophies. Lead replaces zinc on heme enzymes and cadmium replaces zinc on metallothionein. Selenium protects from mercury and methyl mercury toxicity. Aluminium interacts with calcium in bone and kidneys, resulting in aluminium osteodystrophy. Calcium deficiency along with low dietary magnesium may contribute to aluminium-induced degenerative nervous disease."

 [REF: Toxic and Essential Metal Interactions by Robert A. Goyer in Annual Review of Nutrition, July 1997, Vol. 17, pp. 37-50, you can purchase the full article online for US $ 15.00]

I asked a retired Chemistry lecturer from Sydney University to write a fact sheet explaining the mechanism for lead poisoning and he wrote  "Heavy Metals And Amino acids - The Chemical Background of Lead Poisoning"

I hope this helps.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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