Low-dose persistent organic pollutants impair insulin secretory function of pancreatic b-cells: Human and in vitro evidence

Yu Mi Lee, Chae Myeong Ha, Se A. Kim, Themis Thoudam, Young Ran Yoon, Dae Jung Kim, Hyeon Chang Kim, Hyo Bang Moon, Sungmi Park, In Kyu Lee, Duk Hee Lee

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Low-dose persistent organic pollutants (POPs), especially organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have emerged as a new risk factor for type 2 diabetes. We evaluated whether chronic exposure to low-dose POPs affects insulin secretory function of b-cells in humans and in vitro cells. Serum concentrations of OCPs and PCBs were measured in 200 adults without diabetes. Mathematical model–based insulin secretion indices were estimated by using a 2-h seven-sample oral glucose tolerance test. Insulin secretion by INS-1E b-cells was measured after 48 h of treatment with three OCPs or one PCB mixture. Static second-phase insulin secretion significantly decreased with increasing serum concentrations of OCPs. Adjusted means were 63.2, 39.3, 44.1, 39.3, 39.7, and 22.3 across six categories of a summary measure of OCPs (Ptrend = 0.02). Dynamic first-phase insulin secretion remarkably decreased with increasing concentrations of OCPs among only insulin-sensitive individuals (Ptrend = 0.02); the insulin levels among individuals with high OCPs were ?30% of those with low OCPs. Compared with OCPs, PCBs showed weaker associations. The decreased insulin secretion by INS-1E b-cells was observed for even 1 pmol/L OCP. The data from human and in vitro cell experiments suggest that chronic exposure to low-dose POPs, especially OCPs, can induce pancreatic b-cell dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2669-2680
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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