Effects of developmental exposure to bisphenol A on brain and behavior in mice
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widespread estrogenic chemical used in the production of polycarbonate, and epoxy resins lining food and beverage cans and in dental sealants. During fetal life the intrauterine environment is critical for the normal development, and even small changes in the levels of hormones, such as estradiol or estrogen-mimicking chemicals, can lead to changes in brain function and consequently in behavior. We review here a series of ethological studies on the effects of maternal oral exposure during the last part of gestation (prenatal exposure) or from gestation day 11 to postnatal day 7 (perinatal exposure) to a low, environmentally relevant dose of BPA (10 microg/kg bw/day) on behavioral responses of CD-1 mouse offspring. We examined both male and female offspring and found that maternal exposure to BPA affected: (1) behavioral responses to novelty before puberty and, as adults; (2) exploration and activity in a free-exploratory open field; (3) exploration in the elevated plus maze and (4) sensitivity to amphetamine-induced reward in the conditioned place preference test. A consistent effect of the maternal exposure to BPA is that in all these different experimental settings, while a significant sex difference was observed in the control group, exposure to BPA decreased or eliminated the sex difference in behavior. In addition, exposure of female mice to BPA in both adulthood or during fetal life altered subsequent maternal behavior. These findings, together with those from other laboratories, are evidence of long-term consequences of maternal exposure to low-dose BPA at the level of neurobehavioral development.
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