State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Tianjin University of Science & Technology，Tianjin, 300457,China; Demonstration center of food quality and safety testing technology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, 300457, Tianjin, China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Food Science and Health, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Lead (Pb), which widely recognized as a nonessential heavy metal and a major environmental contamination, is a growing threat to the ecosystem and human body. In the present study, Malus micromalus Makino cv. 'Dong Hong' phenolic extract (MMPE) has been used to antagonise Pb-induced erythrocyte injury, hepatic and renal dysfunction in mice. Six-week-old male Kunming mice were gavaged with PbCl2 (20 mg/kg mouse/day) and/or MMPE (100 mg/kg mouse/day) by gavage administration for 10 days. We evaluated erythrocyte fragility, relative organ mass, biochemical parameters and histopathological changes to evaluate the protection effect of MMPE on the injury of liver and kidney in Pb-treated mice. MMPE significantly inhibited the increase of protein kinase C-α, B-cell lymphoma-2-associated X, cytochrome C and Caspase-3 protein levels and decreased calreticulin protein expression level in Pb-exposed mice. MMPE supplementation could maintain the integrity of erythrocyte membranes and ameliorate the endoplasmic reticulum stress in Pb-treated mice. It suggested MMPE as a natural nutritional supplement to alleviate Pb-induced hazardous effects in Pb-exposed humans.