Low birth weight (LBW) is a worldwide public health problem as it is the most important cause of infant deaths and contributes significantly to the burden of childhood problems. There are many studies that have investigated the relationship between LBW and lead exposure, but the mechanism underlying lead exposure and increased risk of LBW are still unknown. In our study, we aimed to determine the effect of lead on endothelial dysfunction by investigating the relationship between the severity of exposure, birth weight and methylated arginines in pregnant women. The study was carried with 165 pregnant women. Placental methylated arginines (ADMA, SDMA, L-NMMA), arginine, citrulline, homoarginine cadmium and lead levels were analyzed. Pb level was significantly higher in the 25% and below percentile group compared with other groups. There was a negative correlation between birth weight and Pb levels. A statistically significant correlation was found between Pb and birth length, Cd, ADMA and SDMA. It is possible to say that the underlying mechanism in fetal growth retardation due to lead exposure can be linked to placental endothelial dysfunction.
Lead exposure, Low Birth Weight, fetal toxicology, ADMA, SDMA, endothelial dysfunction