In type 2 diabetes induced by cigarette smoking, activation of p38 MAPK is involved in pancreatic β-cell apoptosis
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease caused by pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. Exposure to smoke is a risk factor for diabetes; however, its mechanisms are unclear. In an epidemiological study, we determined the relationship between cigarette smoking and β-cell function. T2D patients had a history of heavier smoking than people without T2D, and heavy smokers had more abnormal glucose metabolism. For various smoking populations, there was a dose-effect relationship between decreases of homeostatic model assessment (HOMA)-β levels or the increases of HOMA-insulin resistance (IR) levels and amount of smoking (pack-years), which indicated that smoking induced β-cell dysfunction. For MIN6 cells, cigarette smoke extract (CSE) decreased insulin secretion and content; enhanced apoptosis, as illustrated by decreases of BCL-2 levels, increases of BAX and cleaved caspase-3 levels, and an increased apoptotic index; and activated the p38 MAPK pathway. For MIN6 cells, inhibition of p-p38 MAPK by SB203580 prevented enhanced apoptosis and the dysfunction of insulin secretion induced by CSE. In sum, activation of p38 MAPK is involved in the apoptosis of pancreatic β-cells induced by cigarette smoking, which is a possible mechanism for induction of T2D by cigarette smoke.
KeywordsCigarette smoke Diabetes mellitus Pancreatic β-cell p38 MAPK Apoptosis
The authors thank Donald L. Hill (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA), an experienced, English-speaking scientific editor for editing.
This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundations of China (81573199, 81473011), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151593), the Postgraduate Innovation Project of Jiangsu province (KYLX16_1128), and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (2014).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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