The exposure to different substances present in the environment can affect the ability of the human body to maintain glucose homeostasis. Some review studies summarized the current evidence about the relationships between environment and insulin resistance or beta-cell dysfunction. Instead, no reviews focused on the relationships between the environment and the alpha cell, although in recent years clear indications have emerged for the pivotal role of the alpha cell in glucose regulation. Thus, the aim of this review was to analyze the studies about the effects of chemical, biological, and physical environmental factors on the alpha cell. Notably, we found studies focusing on the effects of different categories of compounds, including air pollutants, compounds of known toxicity present in common objects, pharmacological agents, and compounds possibly present in food, plus studies on the effects of physical factors (mainly heat exposure). However, the overall number of relevant studies was limited, especially when compared to studies related to the environment and insulin sensitivity or beta-cell function. In our opinion, this was likely due to the underestimation of the alpha-cell role in glucose homeostasis, but since such a role has recently emerged with increasing strength, we expect several new studies about the environment and alpha-cell in the near future.

Chemical Compounds and Ambient Factors Affecting Pancreatic Alpha-Cells Mass and Function: What Evidence?

Morettini M.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The exposure to different substances present in the environment can affect the ability of the human body to maintain glucose homeostasis. Some review studies summarized the current evidence about the relationships between environment and insulin resistance or beta-cell dysfunction. Instead, no reviews focused on the relationships between the environment and the alpha cell, although in recent years clear indications have emerged for the pivotal role of the alpha cell in glucose regulation. Thus, the aim of this review was to analyze the studies about the effects of chemical, biological, and physical environmental factors on the alpha cell. Notably, we found studies focusing on the effects of different categories of compounds, including air pollutants, compounds of known toxicity present in common objects, pharmacological agents, and compounds possibly present in food, plus studies on the effects of physical factors (mainly heat exposure). However, the overall number of relevant studies was limited, especially when compared to studies related to the environment and insulin sensitivity or beta-cell function. In our opinion, this was likely due to the underestimation of the alpha-cell role in glucose homeostasis, but since such a role has recently emerged with increasing strength, we expect several new studies about the environment and alpha-cell in the near future.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/309611
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