• Shalini K. V. Department of Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore 641043, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Jeyanthi G. P. Department of Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore 641043, Tamil Nadu, India


Objectives: Jewellery making unit workers are exposed to potent toxic chemicals and heavy metals during the manufacturing process. Various alloys are used during the manufacturing process of gold in which silver is used in higher concentration. The induction of metallothioneins (MTs) might occur due to the occupational exposure to heavy metals. Hence, the relationship of silver or MTs with liver function markers were investigated.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in the jewellery making units located in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. A total of 211 participants [exposed (n = 158) and control (n = 53)] were included for the study and their liver function markers namely alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total protein, albumin, total/direct bilirubin and total cholesterol were estimated. Levels of serum silver and MTs were also assessed.

Results: There were significant (p<0.05) increases of serum silver, MTs, ALT, AST, total cholesterol, total/direct bilirubin and significant (p<0.05) decrease of ALP, total protein and albumin in exposed groups compared to control group. Levels of MTs were positively correlated with ALT, AST, total cholesterol, total/direct bilirubin and were negatively correlated with albumin, total protein and ALP.

Conclusion: The significant changes of liver function enzymes were observed due to the prolonged period of exposure to silver. However releases of these markers were in the normal range which might be due to the induction of MTs. The elevated levels of MT in the serum compared to control group pointed out that it might provide a cellular defense strategy against silver.

Keywords: Silver, Metallothioneins, Occupational exposure


Download data is not yet available.


1. Singh N, Kumar D, Sahu AP. Arsenic in the environment: effect on human health and possible prevention. J Environ Biol 2007;28:259-365.
2. Gold Fields Minerals Services (GFMS), World Silver Survey 2004 a summary. Washington DC: The Silver Institute: London, UK; 2004. ISBN 1-880936-12-7.
3. Bleehen SS, Gould DJ, Harrington CL, Durrant TE, Slater DN, Underwood JC. Occupational argyria: light and electron microsopic studies and X-ray microanalysis. Br J Dermatol 1981;104(1):19–26.
4. Lansdown ABG. A pharmacological and toxicological profile of silver as an antimicrobial agent in medical devices. Adv Pharm Sci 2010;2010:16.
5. Lansdown ABG. Critical observations on the neurotoxicity of silver. Crit Rev Toxicol 2007;37:237–50.
6. Manoj K, Padhy PK. Oxidative stress and heavy metals: an appraisal with reference to environmental biology. Int Res J Biol Sci 2013;2(10):91-101.
7. Hasan S, Prakash J, Singh N. Mycorrhizae and phytochelators as remedy in heavy metal contaminated land remediation. Inte Res J Environ Sci 2013;2(1):74-8.
8. Sakulsak N, Talek K, Sukjai K, Hipkaeo W. Metallothionein and epidermal growth factor expressions in wild rodent submandibular gland living in cadmium-contaminated area, Mae Sot, Tak by immunohistochemistry staining. The 32nd AAT Annual Conference,:Thailand; 2009. p. 53-5.
9. Luoma SN, Rainbow PS. Metal contamination in aquatic environments: science and lateral management: Cambridge University Press ISBN; 2008. p. 978-0-521-86057-4.
10. Boosalis MG, McCall JT, Ahrenhalz DH, Solem LI, McClain CJ. Serum and urinary silver levels in thermal injury patients. Surgery 1987;101(1):40-3.
11. Viarengo A, Ponzano E, Dondero F, Fabbri R. A simple spectrophotometric method for MT evaluation in marine organisms: an application to mediterranean and antarctic mollusks. Mar Environ Res 1997;44:69-84.
12. Reitman S, Frankel S. A colorimetric method for the determination of serum glutamic oxaloacetic and glutamic pyruvic transaminases. Am J Clin Pathol 1957;28(1):56–63.
13. Doumas BT, Watson WA, Biggs HG. Albumin standards and the measurement of serum albumin with bromocresol green. Clin Chimica Acta 1971;31:87-96.
14. Young DS, Pestaner LC, Gibberman V. Effects of drugs on clinical laboratory tests. Clin Chem 1975;21(5):351D-3D.
15. Roeschlau P, Bernt E, Gruber W. Enzymatic determination of total cholesterol in serum. Z Klin Chem Klin Biochem 1974;12(5):226–6.
16. Pearlman PC, Lee RT. Detection and measurement of total bilirubin in serum with use of surfactants as solubilising agents. Clin Chem 1974;20:447.
17. Trinder P. Enzymatic method of glucose estimation. Ann Clin Biochem 1969;6:24-33.
18. Tietz NW. Study group on alkaline phosphatase: a reference method for measurement of alkaline phophatase activity in human serum. Clin Chem 1983;29:751.
19. Kim YS, Kim JS, Cho HS, Rha DS, Kim JM, Park JD, et al. Twenty-eight-day oral toxicity, genotoxicity, and gender-related tissue distribution of silver nanoparticles in sprague-dawley rats. Inhalation Toxicol 2008;20(6):575-83.
20. Tochikubo O, Ikeda A, Miyajima E, Ishii M. Effects of insufficient sleep on blood pressure monitored by a new multibiomedical recorder. Hypertens 1996;27:1318-24.
21. Sung JH, Ji JH, Park JD, Yoon JU, Kim DS, Jeon KS, et al. Subchronic inhalation toxicity of silver nanoparticles. Toxicol Sci 2009;108(2):452–61.
22. Eisses JF, Kaplan JH. The mechanism of copper uptake mediated by human CTR1:a mutational analysis. J Biol Chem 2005;280:37159–68.
23. Hanson SR, Donley SA, Linder MC. Transport of silver in virgin and lactating rats and relation to copper. J Trace Elements Med Biol 2001;15:243–53.
24. Chang XL, Jin TY, Chen L, Lei LJ. Zhou YF. Application of metallothionein gene isoforms expression as biomarkers in cadmium exposure. Chin J Ind Hyg Occup Dis 2006;24(1):12-5.
25. Liang Y, Li H, Xiang C, Lei L, Jin T, Nordberg M, et al. Increased hepatic and decreased urinary metallothionein in rats after cessation of oral cadmium exposure. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2010;106 (4):348–55.
26. Kara H, Karatas F, Canatan H, Servi K. Effects of exogenous metallothionein on acute cadmium toxicity in rats. Biol Trace Element Res 2005;104(3):223-32.
27. Chen QX, Zheng WZ, Lin JY, Shi Y, Xie WZ, Zhou HM. Effect of metal ions on the activity of green crab (Scylla serrata) alkaline phosphatase. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2000;32(8):879-85.
28. Saadat M, Ansari-Lari M. Alterations of liver function test indices of filling station workers with respect of genetic polymorphisms of GSTM1 and GSTT1. Cancer Lett 2005;227(2):163-7.
29. Patil AJ, Bhagwat VR, Patil JA, Dongre NN, Ambekar JG, Das KK. Occupational lead exposure in battery manufacturing workers, silver jewellery workers and spray painters in western Maharashtra (India): effect on liver and kidney function. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol 2007;18(2):87-100.
30. Oner M, Atli G, Canli M. Changes in serum biochemical parameters of freshwater fish Oreochromis niloticus following prolonged metal (Ag, Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn) exposures. Environ Toxicol Chem 2008;27(2):360–6.
31. Larregle EV, Varas SM, Oliveros LB, Martinez LD, Anton R, Marchevsky E, et al. Lipid metabolism in liver of rat exposed to cadmium. Food Chem Toxicol 2008; 46(5):1786–92.
32. Shebl M, Sarhan E. Liver functions of workers occupationally exposed to soluble nickel compounds. Menoufiya Med J 2008;21(1):233-40.
33. Brodkin CA, Moon J-D, Camp J, Echeverria D, Redlich CA, Willsona RA, et al. Serum hepatic biochemical activity in two populations of workers exposed to styrene. Occup Environ Med 2001;58:95-102.
34. Abumourad IMK, Authman MMN, Abbas WT. Heavy metal pollution and metallothionein expression: a survey on Egyptian tilapia farms. J Applied Sci Res 2013;9(1):612-9.
196 Views | 187 Downloads
How to Cite
K. V., S., and J. G. P. “EVALUATION OF LIVER FUNCTION MARKERS AMONG WORKERS IN JEWELLERY UNITS”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 6, no. 10, 1, pp. 388-92, https://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ijpps/article/view/2915.
Original Article(s)