Endocrine activities and adipogenic effects of bisphenol AF and its main metabolite

Chemosphere. 2019 Jan;215:870-880. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.10.129. Epub 2018 Oct 18.


Bisphenol AF (BPAF) is a fluorinated analog of bisphenol A (BPA), and it is a more potent estrogen receptor (ER) agonist. BPAF is mainly metabolized to BPAF-glucuronide (BPAF-G), which has been reported to lack ER agonist activity and is believed to be biologically inactive. The main goal of the current study was to examine the influence of the metabolism of BPAF via glucuronidation on its ER activity and adipogenesis. Also, as metabolites can have different biological activities, the effects of BPAF-G on other nuclear receptors were evaluated. First, in-vitro BPAF glucuronidation was investigated using recombinant human enzymes. Specific reporter-gene assays were used to determine BPAF and BPAF-G effects on estrogen, androgen, glucocorticoid, and thyroid receptor pathways, and on PXR, FXR, and PPARγ pathways. Their effects on lipid accumulation and differentiation were determined in murine 3T3L1 preadipocytes using Nile Red, with mRNA expression analysis of the adipogenic markers adiponectin, Fabp4, Cebpα, and PPARγ. BPAF showed strong agonistic activity for hERα and moderate antagonistic activities for androgen and thyroid receptors, and for PXR. BPAF-G was antagonistic for PXR and PPARγ. BPAF (0.1 μM) and BPAF-G (1.0 μM) induced lipid accumulation and increased expression of key adipogenic markers in murine preadipocytes. BPAF-G is therefore not an inactive metabolite of BPAF. Further toxicological and epidemiological investigations of BPAF effects on human health are warranted, to provide better understanding of the metabolic end-elimination of BPAF.

Keywords: Bisphenol AF; Bisphenol AF glucuronide; Endocrine activities; Glucuronidation; Lipid accumulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Glucuronides / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Glucuronides
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A