Similarity of bisphenol A pharmacokinetics in rhesus monkeys and mice: relevance for human exposure

Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Apr;119(4):422-30. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002514. Epub 2010 Sep 20.


Objective: Daily adult human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been estimated at <1 µg/kg, with virtually complete first-pass conjugation in the liver in primates but not in mice. We measured unconjugated and conjugated BPA levels in serum from adult female rhesus monkeys and adult female mice after oral administration of BPA and compared findings in mice and monkeys with prior published data in women.

Methods: Eleven adult female rhesus macaques were fed 400 µg/kg deuterated BPA (dBPA) daily for 7 days. Levels of serum dBPA were analyzed by isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (0.2 ng/mL limit of quantitation) over 24 hr on day 1 and on day 7. The same dose of BPA was fed to adult female CD-1 mice; other female mice were administered 3H-BPA at doses ranging from 2 to 100,000 µg/kg.

Results: In monkeys, the maximum unconjugated serum dBPA concentration of 4 ng/mL was reached 1 hr after feeding and declined to low levels by 24 hr, with no significant bioaccumulation after seven daily doses. Mice and monkeys cleared unconjugated serum BPA at virtually identical rates. We observed a linear (proportional) relationship between administered dose and serum BPA in mice.

Conclusions: BPA pharmacokinetics in women, female monkeys, and mice is very similar. By comparison with approximately 2 ng/mL unconjugated serum BPA reported in multiple human studies, the average 24-hr unconjugated serum BPA concentration of 0.5 ng/mL in both monkeys and mice after a 400 µg/kg oral dose suggests that total daily human exposure is via multiple routes and is much higher than previously assumed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors / blood*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / metabolism
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Environmental Pollutants / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Mice
  • Phenols / blood*
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Species Specificity


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A