Cadmium (Cd) was administered as CdCl2, Cd-Cys, Cd-partial structural peptide of metallothionein (MT) II, Cd-MT I, and Cd-MT II to rats, and the distribution of and nephropathy caused by the corresponding Cd compounds were examined. Each Cd complex showed dissociation of Cd in vivo and in vitro in the plasma. With Cd-Cys approximately 80% dissociation was observed while Cd-MT showed only 15% dissociation. When the dissociation of the Cd complex in the plasma was less, the distribution of Cd to the liver was decreased but distribution was increased to the kidney and urine. Each Cd complex showed the presence of Cd in the kidney shortly after the administration in the high molecular weight fraction (HM-fr) and also in MT-fr. This was then followed by a decrease in the Cd level in the HM-fr but by an increase in the MT-fr. All Cd compounds except CdCl2caused some transient renal damage. Renal damage shown by significant increases of urinary protein, glucose, and amino acids were observed at the doses of 1.3-1.7 mg Cd/kg in the Cd-Cys group, at 0.51-0.64 mg Cd/kg in the Cd-peptide group, and at 0.16-0.23 mg/kg in the Cd-MT I and II groups. The Cd level in the kidney of rats with renal damage from these complexes was approximately the same in all the groups, that is, 10 μg/g kidney. It is concluded that Cd causes renal damage when its concentration in the kidney is 10 μg/g or higher regardless of the type of Cd complex that is administered. © 1986.
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