The mediated role of complement C3 in PM 2.5 exposure and type 2 diabetes mellitus: an elderly panel study in Beijing, China

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Nov;26(33):34479-34486. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-06487-y. Epub 2019 Oct 22.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common chronic disease worldwide. Ambient air pollution has long been proven to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) progression, but the underlying mechanism is not clear yet. In addition, previous studies mainly focused on the prevention of healthy people against the incidence of T2DM. We designed a panel study including two follow-ups and enrolled 39 patients with T2DM living in Beijing. Linear mixed model was fitted to assess the association between two pairs of variables (ambient air pollution exposure and C3 levels, ambient air pollution exposures and T2DM index). Mediation analysis of C3 between ambient air pollution exposure and indicators of T2DM progression was conducted. We found that PM2.5 exposures is are negatively associated with serum complement C3. Given that C3 might act as a protector of pancreas β cell, PM2.5 exposures could accelerate disease in T2DM populations. No mediation effects were found. This study reveals that exposures to PM2.5 can cause progression of diseases among T2DM populations.

Keywords: C3; Diabetes mellitus; Mediation effects; PM2.5; T2DM population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollution / analysis
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Beijing
  • China / epidemiology
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants
  • C3 protein, human
  • Complement C3
  • Particulate Matter