Bisphenol compounds regulate decidualized stromal cells in modulating trophoblastic spheroid outgrowth and invasion in vitro

Hongjie Fan, Luhan Jiang, Yin Lau Lee, Chris K C Wong, Ernest H Y Ng, William S B Yeung, Kai Fai Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly found in epoxy resins used in the manufacture of plastic coatings in food packaging and beverage cans. There is a growing concern about BPA as a weak estrogenic compound that can affect human endocrine function. Chemicals structurally similar to BPA, such as bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol S (BPS), have been developed as substitutes in the manufacturing industry. Whether these bisphenol substitutes have adverse effects on human endocrine and reproductive systems remains largely unknown. This study investigated the effects of BPA, BPF, and BPS on regulating the function of decidualized human primary endometrial stromal cells on trophoblast outgrowth and invasion by indirect and direct co-culture models. All three bisphenols did not affect the stromal cell decidualization process. However, BPA- and BPF-treated decidualized stromal cells stimulated trophoblastic spheroid invasion in the indirect coculture model. The BPA-treated decidualized stromal cells had upregulated expressions of several invasion-related molecules including leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), whereas both BPA- and BPF-treated decidualized stromal cells had downregulated expressions of anti-invasion molecules including plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα). Taken together, BPA and BPF altered the expression of invasive and anti-invasive molecules in decidualized stromal cells modulating its function on trophoblast outgrowth and invasion, which could affect the implantation process and subsequent pregnancy outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-704
Number of pages12
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • attachment
  • bisphenols
  • decidualization
  • invasion
  • outgrowth
  • spheroid


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