Arsenic, lead and cadmium, potent environmental toxicants have been reported to induce diabetes mellitus, but their potential biological mechanism(s) have not been much investigated. The present study was designed to correlate parameters of pro/antioxidant balance with occupational exposure on heavy metals and smoking in smelters with diabetes compared on control group. The results showed a significant increase in the concentration of arsenic, cadmium and lead in the blood and urine of smelters, while smoking caused a further increase in the concentration of these metals. Increasing γ-glutamyltransferase activity and lead concentration due to occupational exposure in copper foundry, tobacco smoke and co-existing diabetes were observed. Also these factors have synergistic effects on metallothionein and glutathione concentrations as well as glutathione dependent enzymes activities. Our data suggests that sub-chronic arsenic, lead and cadmium exposure induces diabetic condition which may be mediated due to increased oxidative stress in blood.
Keywords: Diabetes; Occupational exposure; Pro/antioxidant balance; Smelters; Smoking.
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