Bisphenol A: A Multi-modal Endocrine Disruptor
Chapter 5: The Role of Bisphenol A in Development of Autoimmunity
Published:04 Jan 2022
There is a growing prevalence of autoimmune disease in the past few decades that may be attributed to the increasing exposure of the population to various environmental factors, such as bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a common xenoestrogen widely used as a plasticizer. Apart from its typical estrogenic effects on the endocrine and reproductive system, other multisystemic effects have been recognized. It has been found to play a role in the etiopathogenesis of several cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, psychiatric, and oncological disorders. Last, but not least, BPA alters the normal function of the immune system, leading to the development of allergies and autoimmunity. The innate adaptive and humoral immune responses can be affected. Moreover, certain indirect mechanisms have been described, such as mimicking internal molecules and structures of the organism and presenting as a new epitope and mediation via BPA-induced hormonal changes. Furthermore, BPA may promote epigenetic modifications of genes implicated in immune responses. BPA has been found to play an important role in the development of various systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases. However, the clinical data are limited and remain controversial and inconsistent; therefore, further studies are needed.