Use of a Mouse Model of Experimentally Induced Endometriosis to Evaluate and Compare the Effects of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol AF Exposure

Environ Health Perspect. 2018 Dec;126(12):127004. doi: 10.1289/EHP3802.


Background: Endometriosis is a gynecological disease affecting 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Endometriosis incidence has risen; however, whether this rise is due to disease awareness or environmental contamination is not known.

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine if bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol AF (BPAF) potentiate the development of endometriosis and if hormonal status alters how toxicant exposure affects disease.

Methods: A mouse model of endometriosis, where minced uterine tissue is injected into the peritoneal cavity of a host mouse, was used to examine the effects of BPA and BPAF on endometriosis lesion development in ovariectomized and hormonally intact mice. BPA and BPAF were delivered through diet to include no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the low-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) exposure levels. After six weeks (at necropsy), lesions, ovaries, and blood were collected to examine characteristics, gene expression, and hormonal regulation.

Results: BPA and BPAF treatments affected endometriosis in a manner specific to dose and hormonal status of the host mouse. Estrogen and endometriosis-mediated differences in lesion target gene expression also depended on hormonal status. In intact mice, ovarian steroidogenic pathways were disrupted, progesterone levels were lowered, and atretic oocyte numbers were higher with toxicant exposure. BPAF, more so than BPA, resulted in more endometriosis lesion growth, but both toxicants disrupted normal ovarian signaling.

Conclusion: These findings further our understanding of the effects and hormonal impacts of BPA and BPAF on endometriosis perturbation in ovariectomized and hormonally intact mice. BPAF appeared to be similar if not more estrogenic than BPA and may be affecting an environmental contribution of the increased incidence of endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology*
  • Estrogens
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Oocytes
  • Ovariectomy
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Estrogens
  • Phenols
  • Progesterone
  • bisphenol A
  • 4,4'-hexafluorisopropylidene diphenol