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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-109

Neopterin: A candidate biomarker for the early assessment of toxicity of aluminum among bauxite dust exposed mine workers

Department of Biochemistry, National Institute of Miners' Health, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Shubhangi K Pingle
Department of Biochemistry, National Institute of MinersĀí Health, JNARDDC Campus, Wadi, Nagpur - 440 023, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: All authors would like to thank the ministry of mines (S and T) for funding the study. Authors would also like to acknowledge the director of National Institute of Miners' Health for their constant support and encouragement, Conflict of Interest: None declared.

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.165332

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Introduction: Bauxite ore is a major source of aluminum (Al) which contains approximately 35–60% Al by weight. Occupational and environmental bauxite dust exposure may cause toxicity by interaction with human biological systems resulting in oxidative stress (OS) and cell death. A neopterin derivative as an antioxidant is able to modulate cytotoxicity by the induction of OS. Materials and Methods: A total of 273 subjects were selected for blood collection from three different major Al producing bauxite mines and were categorized into three groups as experimental (Exp) (n = 150), experimental controls (ExC) (n = 73) and control (Con) (n = 50). Whole blood and serum samples were used for measurement of Al, neopterin, urea and creatinine values. Statistical analysis was performed using R-2.15.1 programming language. Results and Discussion: The result showed that age, body mass index and the behavioral habits, that is, smoking, tobacco and alcohol consumption have possible effects on neopterin level. Serum neopterin levels were found to be significantly higher (P <0.0001) in the experimental group as compared to other groups. Significantly positive correlation (P < 0.0001) was observed between neopterin and creatinine. It was also observed that neopterin level increases as the duration of exposure increases. Conclusion: On the basis of findings it was concluded that exposure to bauxite dust (even at low levels of Al) changes biochemical profile leading to high levels of serum neopterin. Levels of serum neopterin in workers exposed to bauxite dust were probably examined for the 1st time in India. The outcome of this study suggested that serum neopterin may be used as potential biomarker for early detection of health risks associated with bauxite dust exposed population.


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