Research on the deleterious actions of bisphenol (BP)-A have focused on its effects on insulin secretion during pre/perinatal periods or adulthood. Estrogens also modulate endocrine pancreas physiology in females during aging; however, the effects of BPA on islet morphophysiology after menopause have not been investigated. We evaluated the effects of BPA exposure on glucose homeostasis and islet morphofunction in ovariectomized (OVX) mice fed on a high-fat diet (HFD). Adult Swiss female mice were underwent to bilateral ovariectomy, and with the confirmation of the establishment of surgical menopause, the females were then submitted, or not,to a normolipidic diet or HFD [control (CTL) and HFD groups, respectively] without or with 1 μg/mL BPA in their drinking water (CBPA and HBPA groups) for 90 days. HFD females displayed obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. BPA did not modulate HFD-induced obesity or body glucose impairments in HBPA females, and islets isolated from both the HFD and HBPA groups exhibited insulin hypersecretion. The HBPA islets, however, displayed enlarged islet cells and reduced proliferation, in association with the downregulation of mRNAs encoding PDX-1, NGN3 and CCND2 and upregulation of mRNAs encoding ER-β, GPR30, TNF-α and IL-1β in HBPA islets. BPA consumption in OVX mice impaired the islet-cell hyperplasia response to the HFD, partly mediated by increased expression of ER-β and GPR30, which impaired the expression of major genes involved in islet-cell survival and functionality. Together with higher pro-inflammatory cytokines expression in the islet milieu, these alterations may accelerate β-cell failure in postmenopause.
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