This review is focused on recent developments on hydroxypyri(mi)dines, as aluminum and actinide chelating agents to combat the toxicity due to accumulations of these metal ions in human body resulting from excessive metal exposure. After a brief update revision of the most common processes of aluminum (Al) exposure, as well as the associated toxicities and pathologies, we will focus on the current available Al chelators and future perspective as potential antidotes of Al toxicity. Due to the similarity between Al and Fe, a major emphasis is given to the hydroxypyridinone and hydroxypyrimidinone chelators, since they are analogues of the current iron chelators in clinical use (DFP and DFO). This review includes issues such as molecular design strategies and corresponding effects on the associated physico-chemical properties, lipo-hydrophilic balance, toxicity, in vivo bioassays and current clinical applications. The hydroxypyri(mi)dine chelators are also suitable for other hard metal ions, such as the radiotoxic actinides, and so a brief review is included on the applications of these chelators in actinides scavenging.
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