Figure 6: Mechanisms of oxidant stress and nephrotoxicity induced by heavy metals. Metal exposure produces an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) activating signaling pathways, such as nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) generating the activation of antioxidant response, as well as inflammation. This response elicits oxidative and nitrosative stress, which damages DNA, lipids, and proteins. One of the consequences of oxidative stress is the disruption of the tight junction (TJ) proteins that may cause renal dysfunction.