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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 839538, 8 pages
Research Article

Impact Assessment of Cadmium Toxicity and Its Bioavailability in Human Cell Lines (Caco-2 and HL-7702)

1Ministry of Education Key, Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Department of Environmental Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
3College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
4Indian River Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
5Department of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat 26000, Pakistan

Received 21 August 2013; Revised 23 October 2013; Accepted 9 November 2013; Published 16 February 2014

Academic Editor: Qaisar Mahmood

Copyright © 2014 Rukhsanda Aziz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread environmental toxic contaminant, which causes serious health-related problems. In this study, human intestinal cell line (Caco-2 cells) and normal human liver cell line (HL-7702 cells) were used to investigate the toxicity and bioavailability of Cd to both cell lines and to validate these cell lines as in vitro models for studying Cd accumulation and toxicity in human intestine and liver. Results showed that Cd uptake by both cell lines increased in a dose-dependent manner and its uptake by Caco-2 cells (720.15 µg mg−1 cell protein) was significantly higher than HL-7702 cells (229.01 µg mg−1 cell protein) at 10 mg L−1. A time- and dose-dependent effect of Cd on cytotoxicity assays (LDH release, MTT assay) was observed in both Cd-treated cell lines. The activities of antioxidant enzymes and differentiation markers (SOD, GPX, and AKP) of the HL-7702 cells were higher than those of Caco-2 cells, although both of them decreased significantly with raising Cd levels. The results from the present study indicate that Cd above a certain level inhibits cellular antioxidant activities and HL-7702 cells are more sensitive to Cd exposure than Caco-2 cells. However, Cd concentrations <0.5 mg L−1 pose no toxic effects on both cell lines.