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J Toxicol Sci. 2018;43(2):89-100. doi: 10.2131/jts.43.89.

Effects of long-term cadmium exposure on urinary metabolite profiles in mice.

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Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Canada.
Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Aichi Gakuin University.
Laboratory of Molecular Biochemical Toxicology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University.


Cadmium (Cd) is a common environmental pollutant with known toxic effects on the kidney. Urinary metabolomics is a promising approach to study mechanism by which Cd-induced nephrotoxicity. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of Cd toxicity and to develop specific biomarkers by identifying urinary metabolic changes after a long-term of Cd exposure and with the critical concentration of Cd in the kidney. Urine samples were collected from wild-type 129/Sv mice after 67 weeks of 300 ppm Cd exposure and analyzed by ultra performance liquid chromatography connected with quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer (UPLC-QTOF-MS) based metabolomics approach. A total of 40 most differentiated metabolites (9 down-regulated and 31 up-regulated) between the control and Cd-exposed group were identified. The majority of the regulated metabolites are amino acids (glutamine, L-aspartic acid, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and D-proline) indicating that amino acid metabolism pathways are affected by long-term exposure of Cd. However, there are also some nucleotides (guanosine, guanosine monophosphate, cyclic AMP, uridine), amino acid derivatives (homoserine, N-acetyl-L-aspartate, N-acetylglutamine, acetyl-phenylalanine, carboxymethyllysine), and peptides. Results of pathway analysis showed that the arginine and proline metabolism, purine metabolism, alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, and aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis were affected compared to the control. This study demonstrates that metabolomics is useful to elucidate the metabolic responses and biological effects induced by Cd-exposure.


Cadmium; Kidney; Long-term exposure; Urine metabolome

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