The role of arsenic compounds in oxidative stress and in the development of diabetes
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Katedra i Zakład Biomedycznych Analiz Środowiskowych, Wydział Farmaceutyczny, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu
Studenckie Koło Naukowe przy Katedrze i Zakładzie Biomedycznych Analiz Środowiskowych, Wydział Farmaceutyczny, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu Kierownik katedry i zakładu: prof. dr hab. H. Milnerowicz Rektor Uniwersytetu Medycznego im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu: prof. dr hab. M. Ziętek
Anna Bizoń   

Katedra i Zakład Biomedycznych Analiz Środowiskowych Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu ul. Borowska 211 50-556 Wrocław tel. 71 784 01 75, fax: 71 784 01 72
Med Srod. 2013;16(3):47–53
For many years arsenic compounds were used in medicine, including treatment of skin diseases, malaria, diabetes, malaria, stomach ulcers, leukemia and in the eighteenth and the nineteenth century formed the basis of contemporary pharmacology. Due to its toxicity and carcinogenic activity, most of the compounds of this element were removed from use. The major cause of human arsenic toxicity is attributed to contamination of potable water from natural geologicalsources rather than from mining, smelting and agricultural sources (pesticides or fertilizers). Tobacco smoke also contains arsenic compounds. The characteristics of severe acute arsenic toxicity in humans include gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, skin lesions or even death. Chronic exposure frequently causes vascoocclusive disease (such as Blackfoot disease), and the development of lung, skin, liver, kidney and bladder cancers. Arsenic is a pro-inflammatory metal and appears to induce oxidative stress, apoptosis, affect cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Generation of free radicals by arsenic is associated with its genotoxicity and contributes to the development of neoplastic lesions. Exposure to arsenic can also cause damage of the central nervous system, peripheral neuropathies, and behavioral changes. It was shown the association of exposure to arsenic and type 2 diabetes. Compounds with +3 oxidation state are more toxic and can induce tumor development. Arsenic interacts with other heavy metals, e.g. enhances the toxicity of cadmium nephropathy and acts antagonistically relative to selenium. Studies on the mechanism of interacting the toxicity of arsenic in the human body are crucial and point to lack of access to pure potable water in some regions of the world. People should be aware of the risks that are associated with exposure to arsenic because it is ubiquitous in the industry, as well as the environment. Arsenic is also involved in the spread of lifestyle diseases, especially cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, understanding of the mechanisms responsible for toxicity of arsenic compounds is significant.
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