Non-cytotoxic nanomolar concentrations of bisphenol A induce human mesenchymal stem cell adipogenesis and osteogenesis

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2018 Nov 30;164:448-454. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.08.052. Epub 2018 Aug 22.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a typical endocrine disrupting chemical with extensive applications, and has been correlated with various hazardous health effects, including obesity and other metabolic-related diseases. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), due to their abilities to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts, can be a good in vitro model to assess chemical-dependent toxicity on adipogenesis or osteogenesis. Here, we employed hMSCs as an evaluation system to assess BPA-related effects on cell viability, oxidative stress induction, self-renewal, and differentiation. Our results revealed that low concentrations (1 and 10 nM) of BPA did not impair cell proliferation nor self-renewal capacity, but stimulated adipogenesis and osteogenesis. Our findings support the concern of BPA contributing to the epidemic of obesity, and also reveal its underlying toxicity on osteogenesis.

Keywords: Adipogenesis; Bisphenol A (BPA); Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs); Metabolic diseases; Obesity; Osteogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phenols / toxicity*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A