Effects of Noise Exposure on Systemic and Tissue-Level Markers of Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Resistance in Male Mice

Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Sep;124(9):1390-8. doi: 10.1289/EHP162. Epub 2016 Apr 29.


Background: Epidemiological studies have indicated that noise exposure is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, the nature of the connection between noise exposure and T2DM remains to be explored.

Objectives: We explored whether and how noise exposure affects glucose homeostasis in mice as the initial step toward T2DM development.

Methods: Male ICR mice were randomly assigned to one of four groups: the control group and three noise groups (N20D, N10D, and N1D), in which the animals were exposed to white noise at 95 decibel sound pressure level (dB SPL) for 4 hr per day for 20 successive days, 10 successive days, or 1 day, respectively. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were evaluated 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after the final noise exposure (1DPN, 1WPN, and 1MPN). Standard immunoblots, immunohistochemical methods, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were performed to assess insulin signaling in skeletal muscle, the morphology of β cells, and plasma corticosterone levels.

Results: Noise exposure for 1 day caused transient glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, whereas noise exposure for 10 and 20 days had no effect on glucose tolerance but did cause prolonged insulin resistance and an increased insulin response to glucose challenge. Akt phosphorylation and GLUT4 translocation in response to exogenous insulin were decreased in the skeletal muscle of noise-exposed animals.

Conclusions: Noise exposure at 95 dB SPL caused insulin resistance in male ICR mice, which was prolonged with longer noise exposure and was likely related to the observed blunted insulin signaling in skeletal muscle.

Citation: Liu L, Wang F, Lu H, Cao S, Du Z, Wang Y, Feng X, Gao Y, Zha M, Guo M, Sun Z, Wang J. 2016. Effects of noise exposure on systemic and tissue-level markers of glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance in male mice. Environ Health Perspect 124:1390-1398; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP162.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose