Estrogenicity of bisphenol A and bisphenol A dimethacrylate in vitro

Tara E Schafer, Carol A. Lapp, Carole M Hanes, Jill B. Lewis, John C. Wataha, George S. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Although pit and fissure sealants have been utilized extensively in dentistry as a way of preventing occlusal caries, results described by Olea et al. (1996) raised concerns about the safety of sealants and other resin- based dental materials due to the reported presence of bisphenol A (BPA) and its dimethacrylate ester (BPA-DM). Although the release of these compounds from dental materials has not been substantiated by two subsequent studies, we believed it was important to confirm or refute the report that BPA and BPA-DM have estrogenic activity in vitro. We grew breast cancer cells (MCF- 7, T-47D, ZR-75-1) known to proliferate under estrogenic stimulation in phenol red-free DMEM containing human serum and concentrations of BPA or BPA- DM ranging from 10-8M to 5 x 10-6M. After 1 week, plates were harvested for crystal violet or sulforhodamine-B assays, and the optical densities of groups of treated cells were compared with values from control cells. At concentrations at or above 10-6M, both BPA and BPA-DM significantly increased cell proliferation (p < 0.05), comparable to the increase seen with 10-9M of estrogen. Flow cytometric methods demonstrated that these mitogenic effects occurred within 24 h of exposure to estrogen, BPA, or BPA- DM. The increase in DNA synthesis was analogous to that seen with estrogen stimulation. Thus, we confirmed that BPA and BPA-DM cause cell proliferation at micromolar concentrations that exceed the effective concentrations of estrogen by 1 to 10,000-fold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-197
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Bisphenol A dimethacrylate
  • Dental sealants
  • Hisphenol A
  • MCF-7 cells
  • Xenoestrogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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