Does a concomitant exposure to lead influence unfavorably the naphthalene subchronic toxicity and toxicokinetics?



Rats were given 20 times during 40 d either naphthalene per gavage or the same and lead acetate intraperitoneally in single doses corresponding to 5% of the respective 50% lethal doses. The concomitant exposure to lead not only added some typical indicators of lead toxicity to the moderate naphthalene intoxication picture but also exaggerated some less specific indices for intoxication. However, a number of such indices testified to attenuation of naphthalene's adverse effects under the impact of lead. Lead also lowered urinary excretion of both total and conjugated naphthalene, while the free- to total naphthalene ratio in urine sharply increased. These results corroborate implicitly the initial hypothesis that lead, being an inhibitor of cytochrome P450, hinders phase I of the naphthalene biotransformation and, thus, the formation of derivates which can be more toxic but are capable of entering into reactions of conjugation with resulting detoxication and elimination of naphthalene from the body. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:152–157. © 2013 SETAC