Effects of long-term cadmium exposure on the immune system in mice

The effects upon the immune system of long-term exposure to cadmium, as 600 ppm CdCl2 in drinking water, was determined in CBA/H mice and compared to control mice given normal drinking water. Cadmium effects on the general health of the animals were evidenced by decreased weight and hematocrit and proteinuria indicative of kidney damage. The effects of cadmium on the immune system were measured by determining bone marrow cellularity, number and proportion of granulocyte-monocyte progenitor cells, effects on long-term bone marrow cultures, and effects on phagocytic capability of isolated Kupffer cells and resident and activated peritoneal macrophages. Cadmium treatment produced a decrease in cellularity and granulocyte-monocyte progenitor cell numbers in fresh bone marrow. Evidence for a cadmium-induced defect in the ability of bone marrow granulocyte-monocyte progenitor cells to proliferate and differentiate was provided by the results of weekly monitoring of long-term bone marrow cultures. (See more in text.)

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