Understanding the endocrine-disrupting effects of chemicals used in plastics.

Bisphenol A and phthalates are common chemicals used in plastics. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the release of Bisphenol A to the environment is higher than 1 million pounds per year whereas the annual global production of phthalates is estimated to be 11 billion pounds. Recent studies have suggested a possible link between Bisphenol A/phthalates and type 2 diabetes. Yet, the mode of action of these chemicals are poorly understood.

Insulin signaling
The insulin signaling pathways
Illustration: Jérôme Ruzzin


Skeletal muscle is an insulin-sensitive tissue that regulates glucose homeostasis and plays a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes. As part of a NFR financed project TRANSITION, we want to investigate whether bisphenol A and phthalates can disrupt insulin action and glucose homeostasis in intact skeletal muscle.

Primary objectives of this study

  1. Determine the effects of bisphenol A and phthaltates on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in mouse skeletal muscles.
  2. Determine the insulin signaling proteins targeted by bisphenol A and phthalates in mouse skeletal muscles.


  1. Contribute to establish a research technique using 3H-glucose and 14C-mannitol aimed at assessing insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in mouse skeletal muscles.
  2. Investigate different insulin signaling proteins by gel electrophoresis and western blot.

Requirements and training

  • Rigorous and motivated student
  • Radiation course (registration before September 10th), see "Strålevern-Ioniserende stråling" in the link here.
              Alternatively, internal radiation training will be performed
  • Course in laboratory animal science. Part 1 September 24th-25th 2014 and Part 2 June 2015. See link here

Project start

Schedule of this project should be discussed with the Master student.


You can find a downloadable version to the right.