Adipose Tissue Levels of DDT as Risk Factor for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Mar-Apr;25(2):160-165. doi: 10.4103/ijem.ijem_198_21. Epub 2021 Sep 8.


Background: Exposure to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a potent lipophilic organochlorine pesticide, has long been linked as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, its presence in the adipose tissues of the T2DM subjects has not been explored in the Indian population, where this long-banned pesticide is still in use. The present study was conducted to evaluate the possible association of DDT and its metabolites in obese and non-obese T2DM subjects.

Methods: Subjects with normal glucose tolerance (n = 50) and T2DM (n = 50) were divided into equal numbers in obese and non-obese groups. Their plasma glucose levels, HbA1c, and lipid profile were measured. The adipose tissues were collected intraoperatively, and DDT and its metabolites were measured using a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector.

Results: Obese subjects, irrespective of their glycemic status, and T2DM subjects had higher concentrations of DDT. p, p' DDT was found to increase the odds for diabetes, and o, p' DDT for central obesity. p, p' DDD was also strongly correlated with central obesity, glycemic parameters, and triglycerides.

Conclusion: The excess deposition of p, p' DDD, o, p' DDT, and p, p' DDT in obese subjects may proceed to T2DM by disrupting triglycerides and glycemic parameters.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; DDD; DDT; T2DM; central obesity.