Vitamin A (retinol) plays a non-substitutable role in a process of growth and differentiation of tissues. Deficit of retinol can be encountered at its long-term diet deprivation (primary deficit), but it can occur also as a consequence of metabolism disorders on various levels (secondary deficit). Secondary deficit of retinol can occur also in people exposed to chemical substances in the long term or people living in an environment polluted by chemicals for a long time. One of the most significant environmental pollutants is polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).
Region of the Eastern Slovak Lowland belongs to regions with high exposure of inhabitants to PCB.
Material and methodology: Serum level of retinol, transthyretine (TTR) and retinol binding protein (RBP) was examined in 24 adults and 43 children from Strážske (PCB). Control group (KON) was comprised of 19 adults from the village Ždaňa and 40 children from Bardejov.
Results: In adults there was no significant difference in serum levels of retinol found. Serum level of TTR was within a normal range. Statistically significant differences were discovered in serum levels of TTR in children, in adults this difference was non-significant. In serum concentrations of RBP in children there were no statistically significant differences found, in adults this difference was significant. We assessed also the ratio RBP/TTR and estimated reserve of retinol in liver. In both cases we discovered significant differences in children as well as in adults.
Conclusion: PCB belong among the most significant disruptors of the environment. RBP together with the ratio RBP/TTR can be suggested as a biomarker of chronic pollution of the environment by PCB.