A. Nuri Ozkan

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Robyn P. Hillam


The immunological responsiveness of two groups of mice exposed to 2.5 mg/m3 aerosolized Pb(N03)2 either since birth or for 14 days prior to immunization were compared with mice receiving equivalent quantities Pb(N03)2 (125 ~g/mouse/day) by gastric intubation for 1~ days. Each group was immunized at 5 weeks of age with 108 sheep red blood cells to examine both primary and secondary antibody responses. Lead immunotoxicity was evaluated by comparing total and differential leukocyte counts, cellulose acetate electrophoretic serum profiles, phagocytic index, hemolytic complement activity, hemagglutination antibody titers and organ (lung, thymus, spleen, kidney and liver) to body weight ratios. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry was used to determine the concentration of lead in serum, blood and tissues. None of the immunological parameters examined were significantly affected by lead ingestion. However, aerosolized lead resulted in significant decreases in antibody titers; hemolytic complement activity; phagocytic indices; thymus to body and spleen to body weight ratios; and reduced numbers of monocytes as well as a neutrophilic shift to lymphocytes. Effects were greatest in mice born and reared in the aerosolization chamber. These results indicate the greater immunotoxicity of aerosolized lead compared with ingested lead and thus the daily health hazard aerosolized lead presents. The goal of this research was to compare the chronic immunological effects of aerosolized lead with that of injested lead. An outbred strain of Swiss Webster mice originally obtained from Charles River Laboratories was used throughout this project. Each litter was sexed, distributed equally among groups, and cross-fostered. The effects of chronic aerosolized lead exposure were determined using mice exposed either for 14 days or since birth to aerosolized lead in an aerosolization chamber. Mice which received orally administered lead received an equivalent amount of lead by gastric intubation for 14 days. Both groups of mice had separate control groups. Since the immune and hematopoietic systems are extremely sensitive to chemical toxicity, immunological alteration was deemed to be an effective means of measuring the potential pollutant health hazards caused by lead.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Henatopoietic system -- Diseases
Lead poisoning



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University