Gestational exposure to bisphenol a produces transgenerational changes in behaviors and gene expression
Bisphenol-A BPA, DES and similar compounds are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are substances in the environment that interfere with the proper functioning of hormones.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a plasticizer and an endocrine-disrupting chemical. It is present in a variety of products used daily including food containers, paper, and dental sealants and is now widely detected in human urine and blood. Exposure to BPA during development may affect brain organization and behavior, perhaps as a consequence of its actions as a steroid hormone agonist/antagonist and/or an epigenetic modifier. Here we show that BPA produces transgenerational alterations in genes and behavior. Female mice received phytoestrogen-free chow with or without BPA before mating and throughout gestation. Plasma levels of BPA in supplemented dams were in a range similar to those measured in humans. Juveniles in the first generation exposed to BPA in utero displayed fewer social interactions as compared with control mice, whereas in later generations (F(2) and F(4)), the effect of BPA was to increase these social interactions. Brains from embryos (embryonic d 18.5) exposed to BPA had lower gene transcript levels for several estrogen receptors, oxytocin, and vasopressin as compared with controls; decreased vasopressin mRNA persisted into the F(4) generation, at which time oxytocin was also reduced but only in males. Thus, exposure to a low dose of BPA, only during gestation, has immediate and long-lasting, transgenerational effects on mRNA in brain and social behaviors. Heritable effects of an endocrine-disrupting chemical have implications for complex neurological diseases and highlight the importance of considering gene-environment interactions in the etiology of complex disease.
Sources and more information
Gestational exposure to bisphenol a produces transgenerational changes in behaviors and gene expression, Endocrinology. 2012 Aug;153(8):3828-38. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1195. PMID: 22707478 Epub 2012 Jun 15. Full text.
BPA Exposure Effects May Last for Generations, Endocrine Society, press-release-archives/2012.
Toxic Environmental Exposures Could Cause Reproductive Harm Across Generations
Industry likes to say that the risk isn’t so big or the exposures are not so high. But, in fact, these exposures can have far-reaching effects. Unfortunately, regulators are having difficulty even coming to sensible conclusions on direct effects, let alone transgenerational ones.
The actions of environmental toxicants and relevant mixtures in promoting the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease was investigated with the use of a fungicide, a pesticide mixture, a plastic mixture, dioxin and a hydrocarbon mixture. After transient exposure of an F0 gestating female rat during embryonic gonadal sex determination, the F1 and F3 generation progeny adult onset ovarian disease was assessed. Transgenerational disease phenotypes observed included an increase in cysts resembling human polycystic ovarian disease (PCO) and a decrease in the ovarian primordial follicle pool size resembling primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). The F3 generation granulosa cells were isolated and found to have a transgenerational effect on the transcriptome and epigenome (differential DNA methylation). Epigenetic biomarkers for environmental exposure and associated gene networks were identified. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease states was induced by all the different classes of environmental compounds, suggesting a role of environmental epigenetics in ovarian disease etiology.
Read Toxic Environmental Exposures Could Cause Reproductive Harm Across Generations, Study Suggests, huffingtonpost, 2012/05/03.
In a Statement of Principles unveiled today, The Endocrine Society proposes a streamlined definition for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and offers recommendations that will strengthen the ability of current screening programs to identify EDCs.
An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action. The potential for deleterious effects of EDC must be considered relative to the regulation of hormone synthesis, secretion, and actions and the variability in regulation of these events across the life cycle. The developmental age at which EDC exposures occur is a critical consideration in understanding their effects. Because endocrine systems exhibit tissue-, cell-, and receptor-specific actions during the life cycle, EDC can produce complex, mosaic effects. This complexity causes difficulty when a static approach to toxicity through endocrine mechanisms driven by rigid guidelines is used to identify EDC and manage risk to human and wildlife populations. We propose that principles taken from fundamental endocrinology be employed to identify EDC and manage their risk to exposed populations. We emphasize the importance of developmental stage and, in particular, the realization that exposure to a presumptive “safe” dose of chemical may impact a life stage when there is normally no endogenous hormone exposure, thereby underscoring the potential for very low-dose EDC exposures to have potent and irreversible effects. Finally, with regard to the current program designed to detect putative EDC, namely, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, we offer recommendations for strengthening this program through the incorporation of basic endocrine principles to promote further understanding of complex EDC effects, especially due to developmental exposures.
Read Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Public Health Protection: A Statement of Principles from The Endocrine Society, Endocrinology. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1422, 2012 Sep; 153(9): 4097–4110.
Why ask Zebrafish how body parts react to endocrine disruptors, ask DES mothers, daughters and sons instead! They know too well how DES, the first chemical known to act as an endocrine disruptor, messes up with your whole body and health …!!!
Parabens, commonly found in suntan lotion, are among the endocrine disrupting chemicals under suspicion
These chemicals are called ‘endocrine disruptors‘ and they interfere with our hormone system causing cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Diethylstilbestrol is the perfect example.”They should be used with greater caution”, says the Environment Agency !!!! Not good enough! They should be banned full stop.
BPA: friend or foe? Well, that depends who you talk to. Broadly speaking, if you ask the chemical industry the answer is no, ask anti-BPA campaigners and you will get a yes, but ask the scientists and they really cannot say for sure …
Faces and Voices of People exposed to Diethylstilbestrol
A tribute to the millions of lives upended by exposure to DES, diethylstilbestrol, synthetic estrogen, toxic chemical, and carcinogenic prescription drug. In photographic portraits and interviews, DES daughters, mothers, and sons tell, in their own voice, what it’s like to be DES-exposed. Today the DES story continues to unfold as research brings new findings to light. DES Stories rings with daring honesty—and points to broader concerns about the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.