The effects of the Endocrine Disruptor Bisphenol A on puberty and reproduction

Summary. Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC), is known to produce variable effects on female puberty and ovulation. This variability of effects is possibly due to differences in dose and period of exposure. Little is known about the effects of adult exposure to environmentally relevant doses of this EDC and the differences in effect after neonatal exposure. This study sought to compare the effects of neonatal vs adult exposure to a very low dose or a high dose of BPA for 2 weeks on ovulation and folliculogenesis and to explore the hypothalamic mechanisms involved in such disruption by BPA. One-day-old and 90-day-old female rats received daily subcutaneous injections of corn oil (vehicle) or BPA (25 ng/kg/d or 5 mg/kg/d) for 15 days. Neonatal exposure to both BPA doses significantly disrupted the estrous cycle and induced a decrease in primordial follicles. Effects on estrous cyclicity and folliculogenesis persisted into adulthood, consistent with a disruption of organizational mechanisms. During adult exposure, both doses caused a reversible decrease in antral follicles and corpora lutea. A reversible disruption of the estrous cycle associated with a delay and a decrease in the amplitude of the LH surge was also observed. Alterations of the hypothalamic expression of the clock gene Per1 and the reproductive peptide phoenixin indicated a disruption of the hypothalamic control of the preovulatory LH surge by BPA.

This project was held at the laboratory of Prof. Anne-Simone Parent (GIGA-Neuroscience, University of Liege, Belgium).

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