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Gagandeep Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, Saurabh Sharma*


Due to higher pervasiveness of heavy metals in the environment, exposure to heavy metals is the common phenomenon for nephrotoxicity. This review summarizes the possible diverse mechanisms of nephrotoxicity induced by heavy metals. Various mechanisms depending upon the type of heavy metal and its exposure are oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, inhibition of antioxidant enzymes etc. The roles of molecular factors such as metalbinding proteins, inclusion bodies, and cell-specific receptor like proteins that appear to influence renal tubule cell expression, have attracted increased interest as determinants that modulate cell populations as special risk for toxicity and renal cancer. We also review the mechanisms of carcinogenesis caused by heavy metals emphasizing on the involvement of signalling pathways by metal-induced generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress generation in cancer progression.

Keywords: Heavy metals, Nephrotoxicity, Oxidative stress, Reactive oxygen species, Apoptosis, Metal binding proteins

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