Lipid Metabolism Alterations in a Rat Model of Chronic and Intergenerational Exposure to Arsenic

Biomed Res Int. 2019 Oct 15;2019:4978018. doi: 10.1155/2019/4978018. eCollection 2019.


Chronic exposure to arsenic (As), whether directly through the consumption of contaminated drinking water or indirectly through the daily intake of As-contaminated food, is a health threat for more than 150 million people worldwide. Epidemiological studies found an association between chronic consumption of As and several pathologies, the most common being cancer-related disorders. However, As consumption has also been associated with metabolic disorders that could lead to diverse pathologies, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity. Here, we used ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled to electrospray ionization/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-QToF) to assess the effect of chronic intergenerational As exposure on the lipid metabolism profiles of serum from 4-month-old Wistar rats exposed to As prenatally and also during early life in drinking water (3 ppm). Significant differences in the levels of certain identified lysophospholipids, phosphatidylcholines, and triglycerides were found between the exposed rats and the control groups, as well as between the sexes. Significantly increased lipid oxidation determined by the malondialdehyde (MDA) method was found in exposed rats compared with controls. Chronic intergenerational As exposure alters the rat lipidome, increases lipid oxidation, and dysregulates metabolic pathways, the factors associated with the chronic inflammation present in different diseases associated with chronic exposure to As (i.e., keratosis, Bowen's disease, and kidney, liver, bladder, and lung cancer).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drinking Water / adverse effects*
  • Drinking Water / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lysophospholipids / blood*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Drinking Water
  • Lysophospholipids
  • Arsenic