Fourteen Sprague-Dawley male rats were randomly divided into 2 groups which were given CdCl2 at the doses of 0 and 1.5 mg /kg for 12 weeks. Before sacrifice, microCT scanning were performed on the proximal tibia and urine were collected for cadmium and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase assay, then all of rats were sacrificed and blood was collected for biomarkers measurement; bone tissues were collected for bone mass, histology and biomechanical analysis. The cadmium in blood, urine, bone and kidney of rats treated with cadmium was significantly higher than those in the control group. The bone mineral density, and bone mineral ability of rats treated with cadmium were obviously decreased by 20%–50% compared to controls. Bone microstructure index and trabecular separation of rats treated with cadmium were obviously lower (−50%) and significantly higher (+150%) than that in the control group. Bone biomechanical property decreased by 30%–60% in cadmium treated rats compared to control. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b and alkaline phosphatase levels of rats treated with cadmium were significantly higher than those in control, but serum osteocalcin level decreased greatly by cadmium. Obvious proximal tubule damage occurred after cadmium exposure. These observations gave clear and comprehensive evidence that cadmium exposure could induce itai-itai-like syndrome in male rats.
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