Journal of toxicology and environmental health

Pulmonary toxicity of systemic terbium chloride in mice.

PMID 8637060


Terbium (Tb) is a rare earth metal that finds use in several emerging technologies. However, little is known about the biological effects of Tb. Thus, in this study the pulmonary toxicity of systemic Tb in mice was investigated. Mice were treated intravenously with a single dose of 20 or 200 mumol Tb/kg, as TbCly and killed at 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, or 72 h later. Administration of Tb at a dose of 200 mumol/kg increased pulmonary weight, lipid peroxidation, and protein content but decreased pulmonary glutathione content. Pulmonary gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GTP) activity was increased after Tb administration at a dose of 200 mumol/kg. Pulmonary alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was also increased after Tb administration at a dose of 200 mumol/kg. Investigation of the defense system against oxidative damage in the lung showed that superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were all decreased after Tb administration at the higher dose. The concentrations of Tb, Ca, and P in lung was increased by the dose of 200 mumol/kg. These results suggest that pulmonary lipid peroxidation may be an early and sensitive consequence of Tb exposure and that SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px might be considered as potential modulators of Tb-induced lipid peroxidation. The mechanisms involved in Tb-induced pulmonary lipid peroxidation deserve further study.