We investigated whether treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduces oxidative stress
intensity and restores the expression and activities of superoxide dismutase (Sod1,
SOD), catalase (Cat, CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx1, GPx) in lead-exposed workers.
The exposed population was divided randomly into two groups. Workers in the first
group (reference group, n=49) were not administered any drugs, while workers in the
second group (n=122) were treated with NAC at three doses for 12 weeks (200 mg, 400
mg, 800 mg/day). NAC administered orally to lead-exposed workers normalized antioxidant
enzyme activities in blood cells. Oxidative stress intensity measured as malondialdehyde
(MDA) levels in serum, leukocytes and erythrocytes significantly decreased after NAC
administration. NAC may be an alternative therapy for chronic lead intoxication.