On April 1, 2015 the Endocrine Society published a press release reporting on a new study linking bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) exposure during pregnancy to mothers’ increased susceptibility to weight gain and diabetes later in life. In the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Endocrinology, Spanish researchers from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Alicante divided pregnant mice into three groups. One group was exposed to 10 μg/kg/day of BPA during days 9-16 of gestation, one was exposed to 100 μg/kg/day during the same period, and one was unexposed (control). After delivery, the researchers conducted glucose tolerance tests to measure the ability of mothers to metabolize sugar. At four months postpartum, BPA-exposed mice began to show signs of impaired glucose tolerance. Seven moths after delivery, the researchers examined the animals’ pancreatic beta cells responsible for insulin production. The researchers observed a significant decrease in beta cell mass and lower levels of insulin secretion in mice exposed to BPA compared to unexposed controls. BPA-exposed mice also tended to have higher body weights than the control animals. These results suggest that pregnancy represents a new window of susceptibility for mothers exposed to BPA. Low-dose BPA exposure during this vulnerable period might lead to increased risk of developing diabetes later in life, explains study’s lead author Angel Nadal.
Endocrine Society (April 1, 2015). “BPA exposure during pregnancy linked to mothers’ future diabetes risk.”
Alonso-Magdalena, P. et al. (2015). “Bisphenol-A treatment during pregnancy in mice: A new window of susceptibility for the development of diabetes in mothers later in life.” Endocrinology (published online April 1, 2015).