Xanthine-derived reactive oxygen species exacerbates adipose tissue disorders in male db/db mice induced by real-ambient PM2.5 exposure

Leijian Chen, Huankai Li, Yi Ru, Yuanyuan Song, Yuting Shen, Lifang Zhao, Gefei Huang, Yi Chen, Zenghua Qi, Ruijin Li, Chuan Dong, Jiacheng Fang, Thomas Ka Yam Lam, Zhu Yang*, Zongwei Cai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological and experimental data have associated exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) with various metabolic dysfunctions and diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes. Adipose tissue is an energy pool for storing lipids, a necessary regulator of glucose homeostasis, and an active endocrine organ, playing an essential role in developing various related diseases such as diabetes and obesity. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying PM2.5-impaired functions in adipose tissue have rarely been explored. In this work, metabolomics based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was performed to study the adverse impacts of PM2.5 exposure on brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) in the diabetic mouse model. We found the effects of PM2.5 exposure by comparing the different metabolites in both adipose tissues of male db/db mice using real-ambient PM2.5 exposure. The results showed that PM2.5 exposure changed the purine metabolism in mice, especially the dramatic increase of xanthine content in both WAT and BAT. These changes led to significant oxidative stress. Then the results from real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that PM2.5 exposure could cause the production of inflammatory factors in both adipose tissues. Moreover, the increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) promoted triglyceride accumulation in WAT and inhibited its decomposition, causing increased WAT content in db/db mice. In addition, PM2.5 exposure significantly suppressed thermogenesis and affected energy metabolism in the BAT of male db/db mice, which may deteriorate insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation. This research demonstrated the impact of PM2.5 on the adipose tissue of male db/db mice, which may be necessary for public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163592
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adipose tissue dysfunction
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)
  • Metabolomics
  • PM2.5
  • Type 2 diabetes


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