, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 941–950 | Cite as

The oxidative stress: endoplasmic reticulum stress axis in cadmium toxicity

  • Masanori KitamuraEmail author
  • Nobuhiko Hiramatsu


Cadmium preferentially accumulates in the kidney, the major target for cadmium-related toxicity. Several underlying mechanisms are postulated, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been considered as crucial mediators for tissue injuries. In addition to oxidative stress, we recently disclosed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress also plays a critical role. Cadmium causes ER stress in vitro and in vivo and mediates induction of apoptosis in target tissues. In this article, we describe a role for ER stress and involvement of particular branches of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in cadmium-triggered tissue injury, especially nephrotoxicity. We also discuss relationship between oxidative stress and ER stress, and involvement of selective ROS in the induction of pro-apoptotic branches of the UPR.


Cadmium Endoplasmic reticulum stress Unfolded protein response Reactive oxygen species Apoptosis Nephrotoxicity 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Signaling, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and EngineeringUniversity of YamanashiChuoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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