Bisphenol A (BPA), used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, has a widespread exposure to humans. BPA is of concern for developmental exposure resulting in immunomodulation and disease development due to its ability to cross the placental barrier and presence in breast milk. BPA can use various mechanisms to modulate the immune system and affect diseases, including agonistic and antagonistic effects on many receptors (e.g., estrogen receptors), epigenetic modifications, acting on cell signaling pathways and, likely, the gut microbiome. Immune cell populations and function from the innate and adaptive immune system are altered by developmental BPA exposure, including decreased T regulatory (Treg) cells and upregulated pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Developmental BPA exposure can also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, allergy, asthma and mammary cancer disease by altering immune function. Multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus may also be exacerbated by BPA, although more research is needed. Additionally, BPA analogs, such as bisphenol S (BPS), have been increasing in use, and currently, little is known about their immune effects. Therefore, more studies should be conducted to determine if developmental exposure BPA and its analogs modulate immune responses and lead to immune-related diseases.
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