Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 84, Issue 7, pp 501–520

Chemical and biological properties of toxic metals and use of chelating agents for the pharmacological treatment of metal poisoning

  • Maria Stefania Sinicropi
  • Diana Amantea
  • Anna Caruso
  • Carmela Saturnino
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00204-010-0544-6

Cite this article as:
Sinicropi, M.S., Amantea, D., Caruso, A. et al. Arch Toxicol (2010) 84: 501. doi:10.1007/s00204-010-0544-6

Abstract

Exposure to toxic metals is a well-known problem in industrialized countries. Metals interfere with a number of physiological processes, including central nervous system (CNS), haematopoietic, hepatic and renal functions. In the evaluation of the toxicity of a particular metal it is crucial to consider many parameters: chemical forms (elemental, organic or inorganic), binding capability, presence of specific proteins that selectively bind metals, etc. Medical treatment of acute and chronic metal toxicity is provided by chelating agents, namely organic compounds capable of interacting with metal ions to form structures called chelates. The present review attempts to provide updated information about the mechanisms, the cellular targets and the effects of toxic metals.

Keywords

Metal poisoning Lead Cadmium Mercury Arsenic Chromium Nickel Chelating agents 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Stefania Sinicropi
    • 1
  • Diana Amantea
    • 2
  • Anna Caruso
    • 1
  • Carmela Saturnino
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRende (CS)Italy
  2. 2.Department of PharmacobiologyUniversity of CalabriaRende (CS)Italy
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of SalernoFisciano (SA)Italy

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