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Levels of Cadmium in Human Mandibular Bone


Levels of Cadmium in Human Mandibular Bone

Andrew W Browar et al. Toxics.


Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental toxicant that accumulates in bone and alters bone turnover and metabolism. Periodontal disease is characterized by tooth loss and tissue destruction, specifically, loss of supporting bone around the teeth. We have previously shown that Cd causes loss of dental alveolar (tooth supporting) bone in a rodent model of long-term Cd poisoning. The overall goal of this study was to determine the possible association between levels of Cd in alveolar bone and evidence of periodontal disease in human cadavers. The extent of Cd accumulation in human mandible samples was analyzed. Levels of Cd in mandibular alveolar bone were compared to those in basal bone as well as the renal cortex in samples obtained from the cadavers. Alveolar bone contained significantly higher levels of Cd when compared to basal bone (p < 0.01). Cd levels in mandibular bone were significantly higher in female compared to male cadavers (p < 0.05). The kidney cortex had greater than 15-fold higher Cd levels compared to mandible bone. Additional analyses showed a possible association between levels of Cd in basal bone and the presence of periodontal disease in cadavers from which the samples were obtained. This study shows that Cd accumulates to relatively high levels within alveolar bone as compared to basal bone in the mandible and thus may have a significant and direct effect in the progression of changes in bone associated with periodontal disease.

Keywords: One Health; bioaccumulation; body burden; bone; cadmium; gender differences; mandible; periodontal disease.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Image showing a representative human mandible jaw section after gross dissection where alveolar bone (blue outline) and basal bone (red outline) samples were harvested to be analyzed for cadmium (Cd) content.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Image showing a representative human mandible jaw section after gross dissection where basal cortical bone samples (BC) and basal spongy bone samples (BS) were harvested to be analyzed for Cd content.
Figure 3
Figure 3
A significant and positive correlation exists in Cd content between pairs of alveolar and basal mandible bone samples in human cadavers (n = 12). Four values were below the limit of detection (<0.01 µg/g Cd dry weight)—one subject in both alveolar and basal bone, and two in basal bone only.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Human cadaver periodontal scores were correlated with basal mandible bone Cd content (n = 5).

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