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Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22(3):471-8.

Induction of oxidative stress by chronic administration of sodium dichromate [chromium VI] and cadmium chloride [cadmium II] to rats.

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School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178, USA.


Recent studies have demonstrated that both chromium (VI) and cadmium (II) induce an oxidative stress, as determined by increased hepatic lipid peroxidation, hepatic glutathione depletion, hepatic nuclear DNA damage, and excretion of urinary lipid metabolites. However, whether chronic exposure to low levels of Cr(VI) and Cd(II) will produce an oxidative stress is not shown. The effects of oral, low (0.05 LD50) doses of sodium dichromate [Cr(VI); 2.5 mg/kg/d] and cadmium chloride [Cd(II); 4.4 mg/kg/d] in water on hepatic and brain mitochondrial and microsomal lipid peroxidation, excretion of urinary lipid metabolites including malondialdehyde, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone, and hepatic nuclear DNA-single strand breaks (SSB) were examined in female Sprague-Dawley rats over a period of 120 d. The animals were treated daily using an intragastric feeding needle. Maximum increases in hepatic and brain lipid peroxidation were observed between 60 and 75 d of treatment with both cations. Following Cr(VI) administration for 75 d, maximum increases in the urinary excretion of malondialdehyde, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone were 2.1-, 1.8-, 2.1-, and 2.1-fold, respectively, while under the same conditions involving Cd(II) administration approximately 1.8-, 1.5-, 1.9-, and 1.5-fold increases were observed, respectively, as compared to control values. Following administration of Cr(VI) and Cd(II) for 75 d, approximately 2.4- and 3.8-fold increases in hepatic nuclear DNA-SSB were observed, respectively, while approximately 1.3- and 2.0-fold increases in brain nuclear DNA-SSB were observed, respectively. The results clearly indicate that low dose chronic administration of sodium dichromate and cadmium chloride induces an oxidative stress resulting in tissue damaging effects that may contribute to the toxicity and carcinogenicity of these two cations.

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