Consequences of bisphenol a perinatal exposure on immune responses and gut barrier function in mice

Arch Toxicol. 2018 Jan;92(1):347-358. doi: 10.1007/s00204-017-2038-2. Epub 2017 Jul 21.


The potent immunomodulatory effect of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A during development and consequences during life span are of increasing concern. Particular interests have been raised from animal studies regarding the risk of developing food intolerance and infection. We aimed to identify immune disorders in mice triggered by perinatal exposure to bisphenol A. Gravid mice were orally exposed to bisphenol (50 μg/kg body weight/day) from day 15 of pregnancy until weaning. Gut barrier function, local and systemic immunity were assessed in adult female offspring. Mice perinatally exposed to bisphenol showed a decrease in ileal lysozyme expression and a fall of fecal antimicrobial activity. In offspring mice exposed to bisphenol, an increase in colonic permeability was observed associated with an increase in interferon-γ level and a drop of colonic IgA+ cells and fecal IgA production. Interestingly, altered frequency of innate lymphoid cells type 3 occurred in the small intestine, with an increase in IgG response against commensal bacteria in sera. These effects were related to a defect in dendritic cell maturation in the lamina propria and spleen. Activated and regulatory T cells were decreased in the lamina propria. Furthermore, perinatal exposure to bisphenol promoted a sharp increase in interferon-γ and interleukin-17 production in the intestine and elicited a T helper 17 profile in the spleen. To conclude, perinatal exposure to bisphenol weakens protective and regulatory immune functions in the intestine and at systemic level in adult offspring. The increased susceptibility to inflammatory response is an interesting lead supporting bisphenol-mediated adverse consequences on food reactions and infections.

Keywords: Bisphenol A; Immune responses; Intestine; Perinatal exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1
  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiopathology
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Muramidase / metabolism
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / immunology


  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Phenols
  • Aldh1 protein, mouse
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase
  • Muramidase
  • bisphenol A