Exposure of adipocytes to bisphenol-A in vitro interferes with insulin action without enhancing adipogenesis

Elena De Filippis, Ting Li, Evan David Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a lipophilic compound widely used in the manufacture of plastic items and thought to play a role in the growing obesity epidemic. Recent publications suggest that BPA may have a pro-adipogenic effect. Here we explore the effect of low, but environmentally relevant, concentrations of BPA on adipogenesis using a variety of cellular models. Mouse 3T3-L1, C3H10T1/2 and human adipose-derived stromal cells (hADSCs) were cultured with BPA concentrations ranging from 0.1nM to 100μM. We failed to observe positive effects on differentiation at any dose or in any model. 3T3-L1 adipocytes differentiated with high concentrations of BPA showed decreased mRNA expression of several adipocyte markers. Mature adipocytes differentiated in the presence of BPA were insulin resistant, with an approximate 25% reduction in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. This was accompanied by a significant decrease in insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation, and an increase in mRNA levels of inflammatory markers (i.e. IL-6, TNFα). In conclusion, low, but environmentally relevant, doses of BPA may contribute to the development of a chronic, low-grade inflammatory state in exposed adipocytes, which in turn may affect adipose tissue insulin sensitivity, independent of adipogenesis. These studies suggest an alternative mechanism by which BPA may contribute to the development of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0201122
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure of adipocytes to bisphenol-A in vitro interferes with insulin action without enhancing adipogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this