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Cadmium induces apoptosis in a human T cell line

Abstract : Cadmium, a potent toxic metal, poses a serious environmental threat but the mechanisms of its toxicity remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the nature of cadmium-induced cell death in the human T cell line CEM-C12. Cadmium was time- and dose-dependently toxic for CEM-C12 cells, cell death being preceded by chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation. Quantification of the latter indicated an increase above 4 µM cadmium, with maximal fragmentation at 8 to 10 µM. By contrast, when CEM-C12 cells were exposed to higher cadmium concentrations (50 µM), cell death increased without concomitant chromatin condensation or DNA fragmentation. Thus, cadmium at low and high concentration kills CEM-C12 cells by apoptosis and necrosis, respectively. Addition of cycloheximide reduced the apoptotic effect of cadmium, suggesting that cadmium-induced apoptosis is an process depending on protein synthesis. Verapamil, a calcium/potassium channel blocker, markedly increased the viability of CEM-C12 cells treated by low cadmium concentrations and prevented DNA fragmentation. The apoptotic effect of cadmium suggests a possible mechanism for lymphocyte damage occurring after in vivo exposure to cadmium.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 21, 2014 - 1:26:46 PM
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B. El Azzouzi, G.T. Tsangaris, O. Pellegrini, Y. Manuel, J. Benveniste, et al.. Cadmium induces apoptosis in a human T cell line. Toxicology, Elsevier, 1994, 88, pp.127-139. ⟨ineris-00962568⟩



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