Effect of cadmium on collagen content and solubility in rat bone.
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The toxic action of cadmium in the bone tissue is known, but its mechanisms are still unexplained. We examined whether Cd influences collagen content and its solubility in the femoral bone of three-week-old female rats exposed to 5 or 50 mg Cd/l in drinking water. Non-cross linked collagen was extracted with 0.5 M acetic acid, and two acid-insoluble collagen fractions were extracted with pepsin and 4.0 M guanidine hydrochloride, respectively. SDS/PAGE showed the presence of two collagen types, I and V, in all three extracted fractions. Exposure of rats to Cd for 6 months increased the amount of acid-soluble collagens type I and V and decreased the level of acid-insoluble collagens. The amount of total collagen extracted from the bones of rats exposed to 50 mg Cd/l was reduced by about 14% as compared to control and those intoxicated with 5 mg Cd/l. The solubility of type I bone collagen (determined as the percentage of acetic-soluble fraction of total collagen) was increased 2.9- and 3.0-fold in rats intoxicated with 5 and 50 mg Cd/l, respectively. Similarly, the solubility of type V collagen was increased 2.3- and 2.7-fold, respectively. Our results indicate that Cd treatment affects bone collagen by decreasing its content and increasing its solubility.
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