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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2017 Oct;73(3):401-409. doi: 10.1007/s00244-017-0443-4. Epub 2017 Aug 17.

Low-Level Environmental Cadmium Exposure Induces Kidney Tubule Damage in the General Population of Korean Adults.

Author information

1
College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, 221 Heukseok-Dong, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul, 156-756, Korea.
3
Advanced Analysis Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea.
4
College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.
5
College of Medicine, Chonnam University, Kwangju, Seoul, Korea.
6
College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea.
7
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, 221 Heukseok-Dong, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul, 156-756, Korea. jdpark@cau.ac.kr.

Abstract

Cadmium (Cd) is the most potent nephrotoxic heavy metal and may affect bone; it also has a long biological half-life in the human body. This study was designed to assess the effect of environmental low-level Cd exposure on kidney function and bone in the general population. The subjects of this cross-sectional study were 1907 healthy Korean adults who had not been exposed to Cd occupationally. We analyzed the concentrations of Cd in the urine, markers of renal tubule damage, such as β2-microglobulin (β2-MG) and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity in the urine, calculated the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using serum creatinine, and measured bone mineral density (BMD). Also, we analyzed malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the urine. The geometric mean concentration of Cd in urine was higher in women (1.36 μg/g creatinine) than in men (0.82 μg/g creatinine). Urinary Cd was significantly positively correlated with urinary β2-MG and NAG activity, whereas it was negatively correlated with eGFR and BMD. The risk of renal tubule damage was significantly associated with urine Cd level, and the association remained significant after controlling for various confounding variables. However, no association was observed between urinary Cd level and glomerular dysfunction or bone damage. The concentration of MDA was increased with urinary Cd level in a dose-dependent manner. These findings suggest that low-level environmental Cd exposure may cause microscopic damage to renal tubules through oxidative stress but might not impair kidney glomeruli or bones.

PMID:
28819681
DOI:
10.1007/s00244-017-0443-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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