2015 Volume 40 Issue 5 Pages 605-613
Vascular endothelium is a target of cadmium (Cd) toxicity. Cd exposure has been reported to be associated with vascular disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of Cd exposure on markers of endothelial function in human subjects chronically exposed to Cd. Based on blood Cd levels, seventy-five women were categorized into non-exposed, Cd-exposed and severely Cd-exposed groups. Nitrite, L-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), and soluble thrombomodulin levels in blood were measured. Nitrite levels were lower in Cd-exposed subjects than non-exposed subjects. Plasma L-arginine decreased while ADMA, an endogenous endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) inhibitor, increased in Cd-exposed subjects. Soluble thrombomodulin also increased in Cd-exposed subjects. In Cd-exposed subjects, plasma malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl groups increased while the erythrocytic glutathione decreased. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a negative association between urinary Cd and nitrite levels in erythrocytes. Our research suggests that subjects with chronic Cd exposure have endothelial dysfunction.