Manara - Qatar Research Repository
10.1007_s11356-022-19980-8.pdf (1.42 MB)

Lead Nitrate Induces Inflammation and Apoptosis in Rat Lungs Through the Activation of NF-κB and AhR Signaling Pathways

Download (1.42 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-22, 21:14 authored by Ibraheem M. Attafi, Saleh A. Bakheet, Sheikh F. Ahmad, Osamah M. Belali, Fawaz E. Alanazi, Suliman A. Aljarboa, Ibrahim A. AL-Alallah, Hesham M. Korashy

Lead (Pb) is one of the most frequent hazardous air contaminants, where the lungs are particularly vulnerable to its toxicity. However, the Pb distribution and its impact on lung inflammation/apoptosis and particularly the involvement of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling pathways in Pb-induced lung toxicity have not yet been fully investigated. Adult male Wistar albino rats were exposed to Pb nitrate 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg b.w. orally for 3 days. The histopathological changes of several rat organs were analyzed using hematoxylin and eosin staining. The concentrations of Pb ion in different organ tissues were quantified using inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry, while gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to identify organic compounds. The changes in the mRNA and protein expression levels of inflammatory and apoptotic genes in response to Pb exposure were quantified by using RT-PCR and Western blot analyses, respectively. Treatment of rats with Pb for three consecutive days significantly increased the accumulation of Pb in lung tissues causing severe interstitial inflammation. Pb treatment also increased the percentage of lung apoptotic cells and modulated apoptotic genes (Bc2, p53, and TGF-α), inflammatory markers (IL-4, IL-10, TNF-α), and oxidative stress biomarkers (iNOS, CYP1A1, EphX) in rat lung tissues. These effects were associated with a significant increase in organic compounds, such as 3-nitrotyrosine and myeloperoxidase, and some inorganic elements, such as selenium. Importantly, the Pb-induced lung inflammation and apoptosis were associated with a proportional increase in the expression of NF-κB and AhR mRNAs and proteins. These findings clearly show that Pb induces severe inflammation and apoptosis in rat lungs and suggest that NF-κB and AhR may play a role in Pb-induced lung toxicity.

Other Information

Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
See article on publisher's website:



  • English


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2022

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University

Usage metrics

    Manara - Qatar Research Repository



    Ref. manager