Toxic effect of acute cadmium and lead exposure in rat blood, liver, and kidney

Milena Andjelkovic, Aleksandra Buha Djordjevic, Evica Antonijevic, Biljana Antonijevic, Momcilo Stanic, Jelena Kotur-Stevuljevic, Vesna Spasojevic-Kalimanovska, Milos Jovanovic, Novica Boricic, David Wallace, Zorica Bulat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

274 Scopus citations


Background: Cadmium and lead are widespread and non-biodegradable pollutants of great concern to human health. In real life scenarios, we are exposed to mixtures of chemicals rather than single chemicals, and it is therefore of paramount importance to assess their toxicity. In this study, we investigated the toxicity of Cd and Pb alone and as a mixture in an animal model of acute exposure. Methods: Experimental groups received a single treatment of aqueous solution of Cd-chloride (15 and 30 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) and Pb-acetate (150 mg/kg b.w.), while the mixture group received 15 mg Cd/kg b.w. and 150 mg Pb/kg b.w. Toxic effects of individual metals and their mixture were investigated on hematological and biochemical parameters, and the redox status in the plasma, liver, and kidneys of treated Wistar rats. Results: Tissue-specific changes were recorded in various parameters of oxidative damage, while the accumulation of metals in tissues accompanied the disturbances of both hematological and biochemical parameters. It was observed that the level of toxic metals in tissues had a different distribution pattern after mixture and single exposure. Conclusions: Comprehensive observations suggest that exposure to Cd and Pb mixtures produces more pronounced effects compared to the response observed after exposure to single metal solutions. However, further research is needed to confirm toxicokinetic or toxicodynamic interactions between these two toxic metals in the organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number274
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mixture
  • Oxidative stress
  • Rats
  • Toxicity


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