Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S Induce Distinct Transcriptional Profiles in Differentiating Human Primary Preadipocytes

PLoS One. 2016 Sep 29;11(9):e0163318. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163318. eCollection 2016.


Bisphenol S (BPS) is increasingly used as a replacement plasticizer for bisphenol A (BPA) but its effects on human health have not been thoroughly examined. Recent evidence indicates that both BPA and BPS induce adipogenesis, although the mechanisms leading to this effect are unclear. In an effort to identify common and distinct mechanisms of action in inducing adipogenesis, transcriptional profiles of differentiating human preadipocytes exposed to BPA or BPS were compared. Human subcutaneous primary preadipocytes were differentiated in the presence of either 25 μM BPA or BPS for 2 and 4 days. Poly-A RNA-sequencing was used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Functional analysis of DEGs was undertaken in Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. BPA-treatment resulted in 472 and 176 DEGs on days 2 and 4, respectively, affecting pathways such as liver X receptor (LXR)/retinoid X receptor (RXR) activation, hepatic fibrosis and cholestasis. BPS-treatment resulted in 195 and 51 DEGs on days 2 and 4, respectively, revealing enrichment of genes associated with adipogenesis and lipid metabolism including the adipogenesis pathway and cholesterol biosynthesis. Interestingly, the transcription repressor N-CoR was identified as a negative upstream regulator in both BPA- and BPS-treated cells. This study presents the first comparison of BPA- and BPS-induced transcriptional profiles in human differentiating preadipocytes. While we previously showed that BPA and BPS both induce adipogenesis, the results from this study show that BPS affects adipose specific transcriptional changes earlier than BPA, and alters the expression of genes specifically related to adipogenesis and lipid metabolism. The findings provide insight into potential BPS and BPA-mediated mechanisms of action in inducing adipogenesis in human primary preadipocytes.

Grants and funding

Grant funding for E.A. was provided by the Health Canada Chemical Management Plan. J.G.B. was funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Visiting Scientist Fellowship.