Catalase Deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes

  1. László Góth, DSC
  1. From the Department of Medical Laboratory Analytics, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  1. Corresponding author: László Góth, goth{at}

Recent data suggest that at low concentrations hydrogen peroxide acts as a cellular messenger in insulin signaling, whereas at high concentrations it is toxic, particularly in pancreatic cells, which are catalase poor. Erythrocyte catalase is the main regulator of hydrogen peroxide metabolism; any inherited or acquired deficiencies in erythrocyte catalase may cause increased hydrogen peroxide concentrations with both toxic and physiological effects.

Examination of 23,150 Hungarian subjects detected 2 acatalasemic homozygotes and 63 hypocatalasemic heterozygotes. The two acatalasemic subjects and five of the hypocatalasemic subjects had type 2 diabetes, and one hypocatalasemic subject had type 1 diabetes. The 11% frequency of type 2 diabetes among the 65 catalase-deficient subjects was significantly different (P < 0.005) from the 0% frequency among their normocatalasemic relatives and the 1.75% frequency …

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