Heavy metals and their derivatives can cause various diseases. Numerous studies have evaluated
the possible link between exposure to heavy metals and various cancers. Recent data show a correlation
between heavy metals and aberration of genetic and epigenetic patterns. From a literature search we noticed few experimental
and epidemiological studies that evaluate a possible correlation between heavy metals and brain tumors. Gliomas
arise due to genetic and epigenetic alterations of glial cells. Changes in gene expression result in the alteration of the cellular
division process. Epigenetic alterations in brain tumors include the hypermethylation of CpG group, hypomethylation
of specific genes, aberrant activation of genes, and changes in the position of various histones. Heavy metals are capable
of generating reactive oxygen assumes that key functions in various pathological mechanisms. Alteration of homeostasis
of metals could cause the overproduction of reactive oxygen species and induce DNA damage, lipid peroxidation,
and alteration of proteins. In this study we summarize the possible correlation between heavy metals, epigenetic alterations
and brain tumors. We report, moreover, the review of relevant literature.
Keywords: Cancer, Environment, Epigenetic, Glioma, Heavy metals, Microglia, Oxidative stress.
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