Metabolomic Characteristics of Arsenic-Associated Diabetes in a Prospective Cohort in Chihuahua, Mexico

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Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, yet the specific disease phenotype and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In the present study we set out to identify iAs exposure-associated metabolites with altered abundance in nondiabetic and diabetic individuals in an effort to understand the relationship between exposure, metabolomic response, and disease status. A nested study design was used to profile metabolomic shifts in urine and plasma collected from 90 diabetic and 86 nondiabetic individuals matched for varying iAs concentrations in drinking water, body mass index, age, and sex. Diabetes diagnosis was based on measures of fasting plasma glucose and 2-h blood glucose. Multivariable models were used to identify metabolites with altered abundance associated with iAs exposure among diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. A total of 132 metabolites were identified to shift in urine or plasma in response to iAs exposure characterized by the sum of iAs metabolites in urine (U-tAs). Although many metabolites were altered in both diabetic and nondiabetic 35 subjects, diabetic individuals displayed a unique response to iAs exposure with 59 altered metabolites including those that play a role in tricarboxylic acid cycle and amino acid metabolism. Taken together, these data highlight the broad impact of iAs exposure on the human metabolome, and demonstrate some specificity of the metabolomic response between diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. These data may provide novel insights into the mechanisms and phenotype of diabetes associated with iAs exposure.

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