Arsenic Toxicity on Metabolism and Autophagy in Adipose and Muscle Tissues

Seung Hyun Ro, Jiyoung Bae, Yura Jang, Jacob F. Myers, Soonkyu Chung, Jiujiu Yu, Sathish Kumar Natarajan, Rodrigo Franco, Hyun Seob Song

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Arsenic, a naturally occurring metalloid derived from the environment, has been studied worldwide for its causative effects in various cancers. However, the effects of arsenic toxicity on the development and progression of metabolic syndrome, including obesity and diabetes, has received less attention. Many studies suggest that metabolic dysfunction and autophagy dysregulation of adipose and muscle tissues are closely related to the development of metabolic disease. In the USA, arsenic contamination has been reported in some ground water, soil and grain samples in major agricultural regions, but the effects on adipose and muscle tissue metabolism and autophagy have not been investigated much. Here, we highlight arsenic toxicity according to the species, dose and exposure time and the effects on adipose and muscle tissue metabolism and autophagy. Historically, arsenic was used as both a poison and medicine, depending on the dose and treatment time. In the modern era, arsenic intoxication has significantly increased due to exposure from water, soil and food, which could be a contributing factor in the development and progression of metabolic disease. From this review, a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms by which arsenic alters metabolism and autophagy regulation could become a cornerstone leading to the development of therapeutic strategies against arsenic-induced toxicity and metabolic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number689
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • adipose
  • arsenic
  • autophagy
  • metabolic disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • metabolism
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • muscle
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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