1. The prevalence of diabetes and the other metabolic disorders has noticeably increased worldwide. A causal link between increasing risk of type 2 diabetes and exposure to environmental pollutants has been reported.
2. We hypothesized that exposure to methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), an oxygenate additive to gasoline would hinder zinc and glucose homeostasis in rats.
3. Male Sprague–Dawley rats received MTBE in drinking water for 90 days. At the end of the treatment, pancreas and blood samples were collected for biochemical and molecular examinations. Expression of four candidate genes, including Insulin1, Insulin2, MT1A, SLC30A8 by Real-Time Quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) as well as biochemical parameters, including fasting blood glucose (FBS), triglycerides (TG), cholesterol (CHO), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), copper (Cu2+) and calcium (Ca2+) levels as well as High-sensitive C-reactive protein were assessed as endpoints.
4. This study suggested that MTBE exposure can be associated with disruption in zinc homeostasis and glucose tolerance.