Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 247–257 | Cite as

Studies on the role of iron in the reversal of cadmium toxicity in chicks

  • T. L. Blalock
  • C. H. Hill


Studies were conducted to determine the effect of dietary iron (Fe) levels ranging from a deficiency to an excess on the toxicity of cadmium (Cd) in chicks. In Fe-deficient animals, cadmium was found to be more toxic than in Fe supplemented animals as measured by growth. The liver Cd burdens were increased significantly in the presence of dietary Fe supplementation, and there was a significant Cd−Fe interaction in the Cd concentration of the kidney, indicating that iron deficiency increased the concentration of Cd in the kidneys of those chicks receiving this element. Cd tended to reduce the Fe concentration in both the liver and kidney. The absorption of Cd as measured by the amount of109Cd that disappeared from an isolated duodenal segment in one h was not affected by the Fe content of the diet, but the amount of isotope appearing in the liver compared to the amount present in the blood was increased in the Fe supplemented chicks. Separation of the Cd binding ligands by column chromatography revealed that more of the Cd in the liver, but not the kidney, was associated with ligands which eluted in a column volume that contained metallothionein in those chicks receiving Fe than in the livers from Fe deficient animals. The inverse relationship between the amount of Cd bound to the metallothionein containing fraction and toxicity may be related causally.

Index Entries

Iron, cadmium interaction metallothionein 


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. L. Blalock
    • 1
  • C. H. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Poultry ScienceNC State UniversityRaleigh

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