Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 128  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 335-352

Nephrotoxicity of cadmium & lead


Division of Nephrology, West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Los Angeles, California 90073, USA

Correspondence Address:
H C Gonick
Division of Nephrology, West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Los Angeles, California 90073, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19106433

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Cadmium and lead are divalent cations with a propensity to settle in the proximal tubule of the nephron, leading to nephrotoxicity. The pathophysiological results, however, tend to diverge. Cadmium in sufficient cumulative dosage leads to the production of the Fanconi syndrome, a generalized proximal tubular reabsorptive defect thought to be related to inhibition of both ATP production and Na-K-ATPase activity. On the other hand, lead accumulation in the proximal tubule leads to hyperuricaemia and gout, presumably by inhibiting uric acid secretion, and diminished glomerular filteration rate (GFR). Fanconi syndrome is seen unusually only in children and experimental animals. Cadmium nephrotoxicity is heralded by increased excretion of beta2-microglobulin, retinol binding protein and alpha1-microglobulin, indicative of decreased proximal tubule function. Beta2-microglobulinuria is not found in lead nephropathy. In lead nephropathy albuminuria is absent or minimal whereas in cadmium nephropathy albuminuria is variable. From the standpoint of pathology, both entities are characterized by tubulointerstitial disease and fibrosis, but only early lead nephropathy is characterized by the presence of proximal tubule nuclear inclusion bodies, due to the combination of lead with a lead binding-protein.


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