Bisphenol A increases intestinal permeability through disrupting intestinal barrier function in mice

Environ Pollut. 2019 Nov;254(Pt A):112960. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.112960. Epub 2019 Jul 31.


That an alteration of the intestinal permeability is associated with gut barrier function has been increasingly evident, which plays an important role in human and animal health. Bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial compound used worldwide, has recently been classified as an environmental pollutant. One of our earlier studies has demonstrated that BPA disrupts the intestinal barrier function by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting cell proliferation in the human colonic epithelial cells line. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary BPA uptake on the colonic barrier function in mice, as well as the intestinal permeability. Dietary BPA uptake was observed to destroy the morphology of the colonic epithelium and increase the pathology score. The levels of endotoxin, diamine peroxidase, D-lactate, and zonulin were found to have been significantly elevated in both plasma and colonic mucosa. A decline in the number of intestinal goblet cells and in mucin 2 gene expression was observed in the mice belonging to the BPA group. The results of immunohistochemistry revealed that the expression of tight junction proteins (ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-1) in colonic epithelium of BPA mice decreased significantly, and their gene abundance was also inhibited. Moreover, dietary BPA uptake was also found to have significantly reduced colonic microbial diversity and altered microbial structural composition. The functional profiles of colonic bacterial community exhibited adverse effects of dietary BPA intake on the endocrine and digestive systems, as well as the transport and catabolism functions. Collectively, our study highlighted that dietary BPA increased the colonic permeability, and this effect was closely related to the disruption of intestinal chemistry and physical and biological barrier functions.

Keywords: Bisphenol A; Environmental pollution; Intestinal barrier function; Intestinal permeability; Mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Colon
  • Hazardous Substances / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mucin-2
  • Occludin
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Phenols / toxicity*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Hazardous Substances
  • MUC2 protein, human
  • Mucin-2
  • Occludin
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A