Fish exposed to BPA passing adverse reproductive effects onto three generations of offsprings

Laboratory Study Shows Future Generations of Fish Affected by EDCs Exposure

Bisphenol A (BPA)  is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for contaminants, including BPA. University of Missouri researchers and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) findings suggest that BPA could have adverse reproductive effects for humans and their offspring who are exposed to BPA as well.

Medaka, or Japanese rice fish, were used in the study to determine reproductive function following exposure to BPA. University of Missouri scientists determined that fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals will pass adverse reproductive effects onto their offspring as many as three generations later.

2015 Study Abstract

The transgenerational consequences of environmental contaminant exposures of aquatic vertebrates have the potential for broad ecological impacts, yet are largely uninvestigated. Bisphenol A (BPA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) are two ubiquitous estrogenic chemicals present in aquatic environments throughout the United States and many other countries. Aquatic organisms, including fish, are exposed to varying concentrations of these chemicals at various stages of their life history. Here, we tested the ability of embryonic exposure to BPA or EE2 to cause adverse health outcomes at later life stages and transgenerational abnormalities in medaka fish. Exposures of F0 medaka to either BPA (100 μg/L) or EE2 (0.05 μg/L) during the first 7 days of embryonic development, when germ cells are differentiating, did not cause any apparent phenotypic abnormalities in F0 or F1 generations, but led to a significant reduction in the fertilization rate in offspring two generations later (F2) as well as a reduction of embryo survival in offspring three generations later (F3). Our present observations suggest that BPA or EE2 exposure during development induces transgenerational phenotypes of reproductive impairment and compromised embryonic survival in fish of subsequent generations. These adverse outcomes may have negative impacts on populations of fish inhabiting contaminated aquatic environments.

Sources and more information
  • Laboratory Study Shows Future Generations of Fish Affected by Endocrine Disruptor Exposure, USGS, 3/24/2015.
  • Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals can Adversely Affect Reproduction of Future Generations of Fish, University of Missouri, March 24, 2015.
  • Transgenerational effects from early developmental exposures to bisphenol A or 17α-ethinylestradiol in medaka, Oryzias latipes, nature, doi:10.1038/srep09303, 20 March 2015.

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