Background: Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal particularly hazardous for human
health, as it is highly diffused and, therefore, a ubiquitous environmental toxicant. In
fact, in the general population, the main sources of exposure are food, cigarette smoking,
inhalation of ambient air, drinking water, contaminated soil or dust. Furthermore, an occupational
exposure usually involves human during mining, fume inhalation or manufacturing
nickel-cadmium battery, electroplating and paint pigments that utilize Cd.
Methods: We undertook a structured search in literature about Cd. This metal is noxious
on the cells of many organs, among which the kidney, the testis and the brain will be considered
in this review.
Results: The toxic effects induced by Cd include many specific mechanisms, such as the
oxidative stress, cellular death and inflammation. As no specific therapy for the prevention
or treatment of the morbidity and mortality associated with Cd exposure is available,
the state of the art of the therapeutic approaches is illustrated.
Conclusion: Nowadays, a therapy able to counteract Cd toxicity is still lacking and the
development of new therapeutic agents is requested.