Changes in Serum Adiponectin in Mice Chronically Exposed to Inorganic Arsenic in Drinking Water

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017 Sep;179(1):140-147. doi: 10.1007/s12011-017-0950-1. Epub 2017 Feb 11.


Cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus are prominent features of glucose and lipid metabolism disorders. Adiponectin is a key adipokine that is largely involved in glucose and lipid metabolism processes. A growing body of evidence suggests that chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic is associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. We hypothesized that arsenic exposure may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus by affecting the level of adiponectin. In this study, we examined serum adiponectin levels, as well as serum levels of metabolic measures (including fasting blood glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol) in C57BL/6 mice exposed to inorganic arsenic in drinking water (5 and 50 ppm NaAsO2) for 18 weeks. Body mass and adiposity were monitored throughout the study. We found no significant changes in serum insulin and glucose levels in mice treated with arsenic for 18 weeks. However, arsenic exposure decreased serum levels of adiponectin, triglyceride, and HDL-cholesterol. Further, an inverse relationship was observed between urinary concentrations of total arsenic and serum levels of adiponectin. This study suggests that arsenic exposure could disturb the metabolism of lipids and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing the level of adiponectin.

Keywords: Adiponectin,; Arsenic,; Lipid metabolism,; Mice.

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Animals
  • Arsenites / administration & dosage*
  • Arsenites / toxicity*
  • Arsenites / urine
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Drinking Water / administration & dosage*
  • Drinking Water / chemistry*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Sodium Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium Compounds / toxicity*
  • Sodium Compounds / urine


  • Adiponectin
  • Arsenites
  • Drinking Water
  • Lipids
  • Sodium Compounds
  • sodium arsenite