Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread environmental contaminant that causes severe bone metabolism disease, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and osteomalacia. The present review aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms of Cd-induced bone injury starting from bone cell function and teeth development. Cd inhibits the differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into osteoblasts, and directly causes BMSC apoptosis. In the case of osteoporosis, Cd mainly affects the activation of osteoclasts and promotes bone resorption. Cd-induces osteoblast injury and oxidative stress, which causes DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum stress, resulting in apoptosis. In addition, the development of osteoarthritis (OA) might be related to Cd-induced chondrocyte damage. The high expression of metallothionein (MT) might reduce Cd toxicity toward osteocytes. The toxicity of Cd toward teeth mainly focuses on enamel development and dental caries. Understanding the effect of Cd on bone cell function and teeth development could contribute to revealing the mechanisms of Cd-induced bone damage. This review explores Cd-induced bone disease from cellular and molecular levels, and provides new directions for removing this heavy metal from the environment.
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