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Toxics 2018, 6(3), 54;

Diabetes and Exposure to Environmental Lead (Pb)

1,2,3,* , 1,4
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Center for Integrative Metabolic and Endocrine Research, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Heavy Metals Toxicology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [254 KB, uploaded 6 September 2018]


Although the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes since the 1950s is thought to be primarily due to coincident alterations in lifestyle factors, another potential contributing factor in industrialized countries is exposure of the population to environmental pollutants and industrial chemicals. Exposure levels of many environmental toxicants have risen in the same time-frame as the disease incidence. Of particular interest in this regard is the metal lead. Although overall lead exposure levels have diminished in recent decades, there is an under-recognized but persistent occurrence of lead exposure in poor underserved urban populations. Although the neural developmental pathologies induced by lead exposures have been well documented, very little is known about the effect of lead exposure on the incidence of chronic metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Although our understanding of the metabolic health effects of lead exposure is incomplete, there are studies in model systems and a small amount of epidemiological data that together suggest a deleterious effect of environmental lead exposure on metabolic health. This article reviews the human, animal and in vitro studies that have examined the effects of lead exposure on the development of diabetes and related metabolic conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: lead (Pb); diabetes; rodent models lead (Pb); diabetes; rodent models
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Leff, T.; Stemmer, P.; Tyrrell, J.; Jog, R. Diabetes and Exposure to Environmental Lead (Pb). Toxics 2018, 6, 54.

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