Possible Obesogenic Effects of Bisphenols Accumulation in the Human Brain

Pantelis Charisiadis, Xanthi D Andrianou, Thomas P van der Meer, Wilfred F A den Dunnen, Dick F Swaab, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Konstantinos C Makris, Jana V van Vliet-Ostaptchouk

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Evidence of bisphenols' obesogenic effects on humans is mixed and inconsistent. We aimed to explore the presence of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol F (BPF) and chlorinated BPA (ClBPA), collectively called the bisphenols, in different brain regions and their association with obesity using post-mortem hypothalamic and white matter brain material from twelve pairs of obese (body mass index (BMI) >30 kg/m2) and normal-weight individuals (BMI <25 kg/m2). Mean ratios of hypothalamus:white matter for BPA, BPF and ClBPA were 1.5, 0.92, 0.95, respectively, suggesting no preferential accumulation of the bisphenols in the grey matter (hypothalamic) or white matter-enriched brain areas. We observed differences in hypothalamic concentrations among the bisphenols, with highest median level detected for ClBPA (median: 2.4 ng/g), followed by BPF (2.2 ng/g) and BPA (1.2 ng/g); similar ranking was observed for the white matter samples (median for: ClBPA-2.5 ng/g, BPF-2.3 ng/g, and BPA-1.0 ng/g). Furthermore, all bisphenol concentrations, except for white-matter BPF were associated with obesity (p < 0.05). This is the first study reporting the presence of bisphenols in two distinct regions of the human brain. Bisphenols accumulation in the white matter-enriched brain tissue could signify that they are able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8186
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Journal Article

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