CINCINNATIResearchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found evidence that, in addition to affecting the heart, brain and nervous system, bisphenol A (BPA), could affect a mammal's ability to reproduce by altering the structure of the uterus in ways that can progress to a potentially fatal infection.
These findings are published in March 9, 2012, advance online edition of the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology.
Infection and inflammation of the uterus, or pyometra, is most commonly seen in animals like dogs and cats but can also affect humans. It is a result of hormonal and structural changes in the uterus lining and can be deadly if left untreated.
BPA is an industrial chemical and environmental pollutant found in many hard plastic products.
"This condition can be caused by chronic exposure to estrogens; however, it is unknown whether estrogenic endocrine disruptors, like bisphenol A, can cause pyometra," says Scott Belcher, PhD, professor in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics and principal investigator on the study. "We wanted to see if dietary exposures to BPA induced the condition in animal models of differing sensitivity to estrogens."
Researchers in this study exposed the models to different dietary doses of BPA in their food, ranging from four to more than 4,000 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, or 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE), a semi-synthetic steroidal estrogen, in doses of one to greater than 150 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. A control group received no dose of BPA or EE.
"Using two different strains of mouse models, we monitored to see which doses of endocrine disruptors affected which strains," Belcher explains. "In a commonly used strain of mice, C57BL/6, pyometra occurred with 15 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day of EE and 33 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day of the BPA treatment groups."
|Contact: Katie Pence|
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center