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Acta Medica Medianae
Vol. 51, No 4, December, 2012

UDK 61
ISSN 0365-4478(Printed version)
ISSN 1821-2794(Online)


Correspondence to:

Tanja Vukićević

Faculty of Medicine

Department of Pharmacy

Bulevar Dr Zorana Đinđjica 81

18000 Niš, Serbia

E-mail: tanjavukicevic@gmail.com

Review article                                                                             

UDC: 616.099:546.48





Tanja Vukićević


University of Niš, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacy


Cadmium is one of the heavy metals, it is often used in industry, and exerts toxic effects on human health. Cadmium is classified as a carcinogenic substance for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is in a group I carcinogen. Cadmium affects the development of cell cycle, proliferation, differentiation, DNA repair, replication and apoptosis, as well as promotion of cancer in tissues. Intoxication with cadmium in people usually occurs by inhalation of cigarette smoke, but it is also possible via water, food and air. Cadmium exerts toxic effects on the kidneys, liver, lungs, cardiovascular system, immune system and reproductive system. Metallothionein protects tissues from the toxicity of cadmium. Cadmium-metallothionein complex is distributed in various tissues. There is no way for natural cadmium elimination from the human body. The main route of cadmium in the body is through binding with metallothionein, low molecular weight protein that participates in the homeostasis of certain metals. Cadmium-metallothionein complex is distributed in various tissues. The role of metallothionein in detoxification of cadmium is primarily in the large binding affinity of metals for metallothionein. Acta Medica Medianae 2012;51(4):65-70.


      Key words: cadmium, toxic effects, carcinogenic substance, metallotionein