Advances in Understanding How Heavy Metal Pollution Triggers Gastric Cancer.
Biomed Res Int. 2016 ;2016:7825432. Epub 2016 Oct 10. PMID: 27803929
With the development of industrialization and urbanization, heavy metals contamination has become a major environmental problem. Numerous investigations have revealed an association between heavy metal exposure and the incidence and mortality of gastric cancer. The mechanisms of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and arsenic) contamination leading to gastric cancer are concluded in this review. There are four main potential mechanisms: (1) Heavy metals disrupt the gastric mucosal barrier by decreasing mucosal thickness, mucus content, and basal acid output, thereby affecting the function of E-cadherin and inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage. (2) Heavy metals directly or indirectly induce ROS generation and cause gastric mucosal and DNA lesions, which subsequently alter gene regulation, signal transduction, and cell growth, ultimately leading to carcinogenesis. Exposure to heavy metals also enhances gastric cancer cell invasion and metastasis. (3) Heavy metals inhibit DNA damage repair or cause inefficient lesion repair. (4) Heavy metals may induce other gene abnormalities. In addition, heavy metals can induce the expression of proinflammatory chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) and microRNAs, which promotes tumorigenesis. The present review is an effort to underline the human health problem caused by heavy metal with recent development in order to garner a broader perspective.