Effects of cadmium on metallothionein-I and metallothionein-II mRNA expression in rat ventral, lateral, and dorsal prostatic lobes: quantification by competitive RT-PCR

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Surgery, Division of Urology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Highly sensitive, sequence-specific competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) protocols were established for the detection and quantification of metallothionein (MT)-I and MT-II messages, in absolute values, in rat tissues. Detection limits for these protocols were in the range of 5 to 10 amol per microgram total RNA. Levels of MT-I and MT-II transcripts in the three major prostatic lobes, kidney, and testis were measured in untreated and cadmium (Cd)-treated rats. The dorsal prostate (DP), lateral prostate (LP), kidney, and testis expressed substantial levels of MT-I and MT-II mRNA while the ventral prostate (VP) had extremely low levels of the transcripts. Cd treatment induced higher levels of MT-I and/or MT-II mRNA expression in all tissues studied with the exception of LP. In the LP, Cd treatment caused reductions of MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels. The Cd-induced levels attained in the VP following Cd exposure were still markedly lower than those found in the kidney, testis, LP, and DP of untreated animals. These findings contradict previous claims that the MT genes in rat VP are unresponsive to Cd activation. The susceptibility of VP to Cd toxicity/carcinogenicity may therefore be explained by low levels of Cd-induced expression rather than lack of induction of MTs.

DOI of Published Version



Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1999 Jan 1;154(1):20-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID