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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011 May;60(4):734-41. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9580-8. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

The effect of cadmium on steroid hormones and their receptors in women with uterine myomas.

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  • 1Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University, 90-151 Lodz, Poland.

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  • Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2012 Feb;62(2):359.


Cadmium (Cd) is one of the environmental metalloestrogens, and its role in uterine tissues has not yet been fully elucidated. The aim of the study was to investigate estrogenic properties of Cd in uterine tissues by analyzing the expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) as well as estrogen and progesterone levels in serum and Cd concentrations in blood and tissues. The samples of tissues (leiomyoma and surrounding myometrium) collected intrasurgically and blood samples drawn from 53 women (age 39 to 52 years) with uterine myomas were thoroughly analyzed. In the study group, blood Cd concentration ranged from 0.33 to 3.5 μg/L. Cd concentration in leiomyoma tissues was twice as low [corrected] as that in surrounding myometrium (0.047 and 0.075 μg Cd/g [corrected] wet tissue, respectively), albeit the difference was not statistically significant. Cd concentrations in blood significantly correlated with Cd concentrations in tissues (leiomyoma and surrounding myometrium). The measurement of ER expression showed no difference between leiomyoma tissues and surrounding myometrium. The statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between ER expression and Cd concentration in both tissues under study. An additional statistical analysis (path analysis) demonstrated the correlation of uterine tissue levels of Cd and ER expression. However, there was no association between ER expression in both tissues and E(2) level in serum. Our results suggest a metalloestrogenic effect of Cd by way of ER stimulation in the uterus.

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