Influence of cadmium and other trace metals on human alpha1-antitrypsin: an in vitro study

Science  06 Feb 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4226, pp. 480-481
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082168


The effect of trace metals on plasma alpha1-antitrypsin was studied in vitro by adding known concentrations of trace metals, either alone or in combination, to plasma. Cadmium was the only trace metal that reduced the concentration of alpha1-antitrypsin and depressed the trypsin inhibitory capacity. No such effects were found with divalent lead, mercury, nickel, iron, and zinc ions. The present study appears to offer a plausible explanation for the emphysema that occurs in industrial workers exposed to cadmium.