Network-based Toxicogenomics Approach to Unraveling the Influence of Lead and Cadmium Mixture on the Development and Progression of Hypertension

Oluwatoyin Folake Olukunle *

Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences (SLS), Federal University of Technology Akure, P.M.B 704, Akure, Nigeria.

Victor Omoboyede

Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences (SLS), Federal University of Technology Akure, P.M.B 704, Akure, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Heavy metals, generally characterized by high densities and atomic weights, are ubiquitous in the environment and are a public health concern due to the several health issues they pose to humans. Of all heavy metals, lead and cadmium among others are known to be capable of inducing multiple health effects even at a low rate of exposure. Hypertension (HYP), a major cause of death and a risk factor for other cardiovascular diseases, is known to be caused by both lead and cadmium. While the mechanism underlying the development of HYP induced by independent exposure to lead and cadmium has been well studied, the mechanism underlying the induction and progression of HYP upon lead and cadmium co-exposure remains mildly explored. Hence, this study aimed to elucidate the mechanism using a toxicogenomic approach. The set of genes affected by both heavy  metals was identified using the comparative toxicogenomics database (CTD) while HYP targets were retrieved from the Gene Cards database. The shared genes between the heavy metals and the disease were identified and subjected to further analysis. The results of our analysis revealed the signaling pathways that are dysregulated by lead and cadmium co-exposure while oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction were revealed as processes pertinent to the induction and progression of HYP by lead and cadmium co-exposure. Biomarkers that could be used for prognosis evaluation were also identified. Ultimately, this study supports and advances the growing body of finding on the roles played by lead and cadmium co-exposure in inducing HYP.

Keywords: Hypertension (HYP), heavy metals, lead, cadmium, signaling pathways

How to Cite

Olukunle , O. F., & Omoboyede , V. (2023). Network-based Toxicogenomics Approach to Unraveling the Influence of Lead and Cadmium Mixture on the Development and Progression of Hypertension . Biotechnology Journal International, 27(2), 24–34.


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