Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 299–309 | Cite as

Bisphenol A: Targeting metabolic tissues

  • Nicolas Chevalier
  • Patrick Fénichel


The prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased worldwide over the last few decades. Although genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors like decreased physical activity and energy-dense diet are well-known factors in the pathophysiology of these conditions, accumulating evidence suggests that the increase in endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment also explains a substantial part of the incidence of these metabolic diseases. Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the highest-volume chemicals produced worldwide. Most people are exposed to it daily by consuming food and beverages into which BPA has leached from polycarbonate containers, including reusable bottles and baby bottles. Although initially considered to be a weak environmental estrogen, BPA may be similar in potency to 17β-estradiol in stimulating cellular responses, especially at low but environmentally relevant doses (nM), as more recent studies have demonstrated. In this review, we summarize both epidemiological evidence and in vivo experimental data that point to an association between BPA exposure and the induction of insulin resistance and/or disruption of pancreatic beta cell function and/or obesity. We then discuss the in vitro data and explain the potential mechanisms involved in the metabolic disorders observed after BPA exposure.


Bisphenol A Diabetes Type 2 diabetes Obesity Xenoestrogen Estrogens Fetal programming Endocrine disruptors 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest concerning this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, Hôpital de l’Archet 2, Service d’Endocrinologie, Diabétologie et Médecine de la ReproductionNice Cedex 3France
  2. 2.Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Faculté de MédecineInstitut Signalisation et Pathologie (IFR 50)NiceFrance
  3. 3.Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) UMR U1065/UNS, Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire (C3M), Equipe 5 “Environnement, Reproduction et Cancers Hormono-Dépendants”NiceFrance

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