Cadmium accelerates bone loss in ovariectomized mice and fetal rat limb bones in culture

M. H. Bhattacharyya, B. D. Whelton, P. H. Stern, D. P. Peterson

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Loss of bone mineral after ovariectomy was studied in mice exposed to dietary cadmium at 0.25, 5, or 50 ppm. Results show that dietary cadmium at 50 ppm increased bone mineral loss to a significantly greater extent in ovariectomized mice than in sham-operated controls. These results were obtained from two studies, one in which skeletal calcium content was determined 6 months after ovariectomy and a second in which 45Ca release from 45Ca-prelabeled bones was measured immediately after the start of dietary cadmium exposure. Furthermore, experiments with 45Ca-prelabeled fetal rat limb bones in culture demonstrated that Cd at 10 nM in the medium, a concentration estimated to be in the plasma of mice exposed to 50 ppm dietary Cd, strikingly increased bone resorption, from 27 ± 2% (mean ± SEM) 45Ca release in cultures with no added cadmium to 68 ± 6% release in cultures containing cadmium (n = 4). These in vitro results indicate that cadmium may enhance bone mineral loss by a direct action on bone. Results of the in vivo studies are consistent with a significant role of cadmium in the etiology of Itai-Itai disease among postmenopausal women in Japan and may in part explain the increased risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis among women who smoke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8761-8765
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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