A Comparative Study of Metallothionein Gene Expression in Peripheral Lymphocytes and Blood Cadmium Level among Die Casting Male Workers

  •  Ooi Keok Loo    
  •  Mohd Yusoff Adon    
  •  Cheah Yoke Kqueen    
  •  Patimah Ismail    
  •  Abdul Manan Mat Jais    


Cadmium were found in the die casting factory as by product of zinc alloy that used in the manufacturing of die
cast. Metallothionein (MT) a carrier protein plays an important role in the detoxification process of cadmium in
human. The usefulness of MT gene expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) as a biomarker of
cadmium exposure and susceptibility could be determine by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction
(RT-PCR). 41 male workers from die casting factory were involved in the cross-sectional comparative study and
were divided into exposed and comparative group. MT gene expressions were found to proportionates increase
with blood cadmium (BCd) levels. MT basal expression levels were significantly correlated with the BCd levels
with r-value 0.616 for exposed group and 0.639 for comparative group. MT induction expression level were
significant correlated with BCd level (r = 0.188 for exposed group, r = 0.342 for comparative group). This
suggested that MT gene expression in PBLs can be used as a biomarker of susceptibility to cadmium.

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