Overview of the cardiovascular effects of environmental metals: New preclinical and clinical insights

Jiapeng Huang, Karim El-Kersh, Koren K. Mann, Katherine A. James, Lu Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Environmental causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are global health issues. In particular, an association between metal exposure and CVDs has become evident but causal evidence still lacks. Therefore, this symposium at the Society of Toxicology 2022 annual meeting addressed epidemiological, clinical, pre-clinical animal model-derived and mechanism-based evidence by five presentations: 1) An epidemiologic study on potential CVD risks of individuals exposed occupationally and environmentally to heavy metals; 2) Both presentations of the second and third were clinical studies focusing on the potential link between heavy metals and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), by presenting altered blood metal concentrations of both non-essential and essential metals in the patients with PAH and potential therapeutic approaches; 3) Arsenic-induced atherosclerosis via inflammatory cells in mouse model; 4) Pathogenic effects on the heart by adult chronic exposure to very low-dose cadmium via epigenetic mechanisms and whole life exposure to low dose cadmium via exacerbating high-fat-diet-lipotoxicity. This symposium has brought epidemiologists, therapeutic industry, physicians, and translational scientists together to discuss the health risks of occupational and environmental exposure to heavy metals through direct cardiotoxicity and indirect disruption of homeostatic mechanisms regulating essential metals, as well as lipid levels. The data summarized by the presenters infers a potential causal link between multiple metals and CVDs and defines differences and commonalities. Therefore, summary of these presentations may accelerate the development of efficient preventive and therapeutic strategies by facilitating collaborations among multidisciplinary investigators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116247
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Epidemiological evidence
  • Metal toxicities
  • Pulmonary hypertension, arsenics, cadmium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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