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Pharmacol Toxicol. 1996 Sep;79(3):105-8.

Cadmium-metallothionein nephrotoxicity is increased in genetically diabetic as compared with normal Chinese hamsters.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, Umea University, Sweden.


To investigate the extra susceptibility of diabetics to some nephrotoxic agents, adult normal and diabetic Chinese hamsters (6-7 animals in each group) were injected subcutaneously with different doses of cadmium-metallothionein (Cd-MT) equivalent to 0.0, 0.1 or 0.25 mg Cd/kg body weight and the first 24 hr urinary outputs were collected. Several days prior to exposure to the Cd-MT the diabetic hamsters were hyperglycaemic, and plasma insulin levels and body weights were elevated in some of the diabetics. The higher dose of Cd-MT caused significant spillage of N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase (U-NAG) activity and protein into the urine of both normal and diabetic animals. The higher dose of Cd-MT was more toxic to the diabetic kidneys because U-NAG levels were higher in the diabetics (2.5-fold higher than normal). U-Cd levels were proportional to the injected Cd-MT dose. U-Zn levels were not consistently affected by the injected Cd-MT although it had contained small amounts of Zn. Therefore, genetic diabetes in the Chinese hamster appears to increase susceptibility to acute cadmium-MT nephrotoxicity. The mechanisms underlying this need to be further investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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