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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2019 Nov 30. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-01980-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Back to Nucleus: Combating with Cadmium Toxicity Using Nrf2 Signaling Pathway as a Promising Therapeutic Target.

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Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Basic Science, Shoushtar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shoushtar, Iran.
Cardiovascular Diseases Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran.


There are concerns about the spread of heavy metals in the environment, and human activities are one of the most important factors in their spread. These agents have the high half-life resulting in their persistence in the environment. So, prevention of their spread is the first step. However, heavy metals are an inevitable part of modern and industrial life and they are applied in different fields. Cadmium is one of the heavy metals which has high carcinogenesis ability. Industrial waste, vehicle emissions, paints, and fertilizers are ways of exposing human to cadmium. This potentially toxic agent harmfully affects the various organs and systems of body such as the liver, kidney, brain, and cardiovascular system. Oxidative stress is one of the most important pathways of cadmium toxicity. So, improving the antioxidant defense system can be considered as a potential target. On the other hand, the Nrf2 signaling pathway involves improving the antioxidant capacity by promoting the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase and superoxide dismutase. At the present review, we demonstrate how Nrf2 signaling pathway can be modulated to diminish the cadmium toxicity.


Antioxidant; Cadmium; Nrf2 signaling pathway; Oxidative stress; Toxicity


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