Main content area

Bone mineral health is sensitively related to environmental cadmium exposure- experimental and human data

Buha, Aleksandra, Jugdaohsingh, Ravin, Matovic, Vesna, Bulat, Zorica, Antonijevic, Biljana, Kerns, Jemma G., Goodship, Allen, Hart, Alister, Powell, Jonathan J.
Environmental research 2019 v.176 pp. 108539
bone density, bone health, cadmium, calcium, cohort studies, femur, humans, males, mineral content, osteoporosis, rats, risk factors, zinc
Exposure to cadmium (Cd) is recognised as one of the risk factors for osteoporosis, although critical exposure levels and exact mechanisms are still unknown.Here, we first confirmed that in male Wistar rats challenged orally with 6 different levels of Cd (0.3–10 mg/kg b.w.), over 28 days, there was a direct dose relationship to bone Cd concentration. Moreover, bone mineral content was significantly diminished by ∼15% (p < 0.0001) plateauing already at the lowest exposure level. For the other essential bone elements zinc (Zn) loss was most marked. Having established the sensitive metrics (measures of Cd exposure), we then applied them to 20 randomly selected human femoral head bone samples from 16 independent subjects. Bone Cd concentration was inversely proportional to trabecular bone mineral density and mineral (calcium) content and Zn content of bone, but not the donor's age.Our findings, through direct bone analyses, support the emerging epidemiological view that bone health, adjudged by mineral density, is extremely sensitive to even background levels of environmental Cd. Importantly, however, our data also suggest that Cd may play an even greater role in compromised bone health than prior indirect estimates of exposure could reveal. Environmental Cd may be a substantially determining factor in osteoporosis and large cohort studies with direct bone analyses are now merited.