Prevention by zinc of cadmium-induced alterations in pancreatic and hepatic functions

Br J Pharmacol. 1976 Aug;57(4):573-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1976.tb10387.x.


Subacute cadmium treatment (CdCl2, 1 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days) in rats disturbs glucose homeostasis as shown by hyperglycemia and decreased glucose tolerance associated with suppression of insulin release, enhancement of hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes and decrease in hepatic glycogen content. 2 Exposure to cadmium increases hepatic cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and this is accompanied by stimulation of basal, adrenaline- as well as glucagon-stimulated form(s) of adenylate cyclase. 3 In contrast to cadmium, subacute administration of zinc (ZnCl2, 2 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days) fails to alter the activities of hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes, cyclic AMP synthesis, as well as glucose clearance and insulin release in response to a glucose load. 4 Zinc, when administered at the same time as cadmium, prevents the cadmium-induced lesions in both hepatic and pancreatic functions. 5 The results are discussed in relation to the possible mechanisms of cadmium toxicity and to the role of sulphydryl groups in the protection exercised by zinc.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cadmium / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cadmium / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Gluconeogenesis / drug effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Time Factors
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Cadmium
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Glucose
  • Zinc