Fully Cancerous Tumors found in Mice Organs in Response to BPA Exposure at Low Doses

Is bisphenol-A a carcinogen?

Dose-Dependent Incidence of Hepatic Tumors in Adult Mice following Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol A


Sarah Vogel
Sarah Vogel, Ph.D., is Director of EDF’s Health Program

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a high production – volume chemical with hormone – like properties that has been implicated as a potential carcinogen. Early life exposure has been linked to increased risk for precancerous lesions in mammary and prostate glands and the uterus, but no prior study has shown a significant association between BPA exposure and cancer development.

We explored the effects of exposure to BPA during gestation and lactation on adult incidence of hepatic tumors in mice.

Isogenic mice were perinatally exposed to BPA through maternal diets containing one of four environmentally relevant doses (0, 50 ng, 50 µg, or 50 mg of BPA per kg diet) and approximately one male and one female per litter were followed until 10 months of age. Animals were tested for known risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma, including bacterial and viral infections.

We report dose-dependent incidence of hepatic tumors in exposed 10-month mice. 23% of offspring presented with hepatic tumors or preneoplastic lesions. A statistically significant dose-response relationship was observed, with an odds ratio for neoplastic and preneoplastic lesions of 7.23 (95% CI: 3.23, 16.17) for mice exposed to 50 mg BPA per kg diet compared with unexposed controls. Observed early disease onset, absence of bacterial or viral infection, and lack of characteristic sexual dimorphism in tumor incidence support a non-classical etiology.

To our knowledge, this is the first report of a statistically significant association between BPA exposure and frank tumors in any organ. Our results link early life exposure to BPA with the development of hepatic tumors in rodents, with potential implications for human health and disease.


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