Estrogen withdrawal and replacement differentially target liver and adipose tissues in female mice fed a high-fat high-sucrose diet: impact of a chronic exposure to a low-dose pollutant mixture

J Nutr Biochem. 2019 Oct;72:108211. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.07.002. Epub 2019 Jul 11.


Postmenopausal women may be at particular risk when exposed to chemicals especially endocrine disruptors because of hormonal deficit. To get more insight, ovariectomized C57Bl6/J mice fed a high-fat high-sucrose diet were chronically exposed from 5 to 20 weeks of age to a low-dose mixture of chemicals with one dioxin, one polychlorobiphenyl, one phthalate and bisphenol A. Part of the mice received as well E2 implants to explore the potential estrogenic dependency of the metabolic alterations. With this model, estrogen loss resulted in glucose but not lipid metabolism impairment, and E2 replacement normalized the enhanced body and fat pad weight, and the glucose intolerance and insulin resistance linked to ovariectomy. It also altered cholesterol metabolism in the liver concurrently with enhanced estrogen receptor Esr1 mRNA level. In addition, fat depots responded differently to estrogen withdrawal (e.g., selective mRNA enhancement of adipogenesis markers in subcutaneous and of inflammation in visceral fat pads) and replacement challenges. Importantly, the pollutant mixture impacted lipid deposition and mRNA expression of several genes related to lipid metabolism but not Esr1 in the liver. Adiponectin levels were altered as well. In addition, the mRNA abundance of the various estrogen receptors was regionally impacted in fat tissues. Besides, xenobiotic processing genes did not change in response to the pollutant mixture in the liver. The present findings bring new light on estrogen-dependent metabolic alterations with regards to situations of loss of estrogens as observed after menopause.

Keywords: Estradiol replacement; High-fat high-sucrose diet; Metabolic disorders; Mixture of pollutants; Ovariectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Estradiol / administration & dosage*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovariectomy
  • Subcutaneous Fat / drug effects*
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Toxicity Tests, Chronic
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Xenobiotics
  • Estradiol
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose