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Decrease of erythrocyte and glomerular membrane negative charges in chronic cadmium poisoning.
  1. A M Bernard,
  2. A O Amor,
  3. R R Lauwerys
  1. Industrial Toxicology and Occupational Medicine Unit, University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


    Negative charges on red blood cell membranes were measured by the alcian blue binding test in 11 workers with high exposure to cadmium. Compared with 12 age matched control subjects, cadmium workers showed a significant decrease in red blood cell charge, which on average paralleled both the cadmium body burden and protein excretion. Animal data confirm these observations and also show that the loss of red blood cell charge caused by chronic cadmium poisoning is irreversible and associated with a loss of glomerular negative charges. The present study suggests thus that cadmium can increase the urinary excretion of anionic macromolecules such as albumin by reducing the glomerular polyanion charge.

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