Concerns have been raised regarding the potential for endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) to alter brain development and behavior. Developmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous EDC, has been linked to altered sociosexual and mood-related behaviors in various animal models and children but effects are inconsistent across laboratories and animal models creating confusion about potential risk in humans. Exposure to endocrine active diets, such as soy, which is rich in phytoestrogens, may contribute to this variability. Here, we tested the individual and combined effects of low dose oral BPA and soy diet or the individual isoflavone genistein (GEN; administered as the aglycone genistin (GIN)) on rat sociosexual behaviors with the hypothesis that soy would obfuscate any BPA-related effects. Social and activity levels were unchanged by developmental exposure to BPA but soy diet had sex specific effects including suppressed novelty preference, and open field exploration in females. The data presented here reinforce that environmental factors, including anthropogenic chemical exposure and hormone active diets, can shape complex behaviors and even reverse expected sex differences.
Experimental data in rodents suggest that the adverse reproductive health effects of bisphenol A (BPA) can be modified by intake of soy phytoestrogens. Whether the same is true in humans is not known.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether soy consumption modifies the relation between urinary BPA levels and infertility treatment outcomes among women undergoing assisted reproduction.
The study was conducted in a fertility center in a teaching hospital.
We evaluated 239 women enrolled between 2007 and 2012 in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study, a prospective cohort study, who underwent 347 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire and provided up to 2 urine samples in each treatment cycle before oocyte retrieval. IVF outcomes were abstracted from electronic medical records. We used generalized linear mixed models with interaction terms to evaluate whether the association between urinary BPA concentrations and IVF outcomes was modified by soy intake.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:
Live birth rates per initiated treatment cycle were measured.
Soy food consumption modified the association of urinary BPA concentration with live birth rates (P for interaction = .01). Among women who did not consume soy foods, the adjusted live birth rates per initiated cycle in increasing quartiles of cycle-specific urinary BPA concentrations were 54%, 35%, 31%, and 17% (P for trend = .03). The corresponding live birth rates among women reporting pretreatment consumption of soy foods were 38%, 42%, 47%, and 49% (P for trend = 0.35). A similar pattern was found for implantation (P for interaction = .02) and clinical pregnancy rates (P for interaction = .03) per initiated cycle, where urinary BPA was inversely related to these outcomes among women not consuming soy foods but unrelated to them among soy consumers.
Soy food intake may protect against the adverse reproductive effects of BPA. As these findings represent the first report suggesting a potential interaction between soy and BPA in humans, they should be further evaluated in other populations.
Emerging evidence from epidemiological studies suggests a link between environmental chemical exposure and progression of aggressive breast cancer subtypes. Of all clinically distinct types of breast cancers, the most lethal phenotypic variant is inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR/HER2) along with estrogen receptor (ER) negativity is common in IBC tumor cells, which instead of a solid mass present as rapidly proliferating diffuse tumor cell clusters. Our previous studies have demonstrated a role of an adaptive response of increased antioxidants in acquired resistance to EGFR-targeting drugs in IBC. Environmental chemicals are known to induce oxidative stress resulting in perturbations in signal transduction pathways. It is therefore of interest to identify chemicals that can potentiate EGFR mitogenic effects in IBC. Herein, we assessed in ER-negative IBC cells a subset of chemicals from the EPA ToxCast set for their effect on EGFR activation and in multiple cancer phenotypic assays. We demonstrated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane can increase EGFR/ERK signaling. BPA also caused a corresponding increase in expression of SOD1 and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, key markers of antioxidant and anti-apoptotic processes. BPA potentiated clonogenic growth and tumor spheroid formation in vitro, reflecting IBC-specific pathological characteristics. Furthermore, we identified that BPA was able to attenuate the inhibitory effect of an EGFR targeted drug in a longer-term anchorage-independent growth assay. These findings provide a potential mechanistic basis for environmental chemicals such as BPA in potentiating a hyperproliferative and death-resistant phenotype in cancer cells by activating mitogenic pathways to which the tumor cells are addicted for survival.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting environmental contaminant used in a wide variety of products, and BPA metabolites are found in almost everyone’s urine, suggesting widespread exposure from multiple sources. Regulatory agencies estimate that virtually all BPA exposure is from food and beverage packaging. However, free BPA is applied to the outer layer of thermal receipt paper present in very high (∼20 mg BPA/g paper) quantities as a print developer. Not taken into account when considering thermal paper as a source of BPA exposure is that some commonly used hand sanitizers, as well as other skin care products, contain mixtures of dermal penetration enhancing chemicals that can increase by up to 100 fold the dermal absorption of lipophilic compounds such as BPA. We found that when men and women held thermal receipt paper immediately after using a hand sanitizer with penetration enhancing chemicals, significant free BPA was transferred to their hands and then to French fries that were eaten, and the combination of dermal and oral BPA absorption led to a rapid and dramatic average maximum increase (Cmax) in unconjugated (bioactive) BPA of ∼7 ng/mL in serum and ∼20 µg total BPA/g creatinine in urine within 90 min. The default method used by regulatory agencies to test for hazards posed by chemicals is intra-gastric gavage. For BPA this approach results in less than 1% of the administered dose being bioavailable in blood. It also ignores dermal absorption as well as sublingual absorption in the mouth that both bypass first-pass liver metabolism. The elevated levels of BPA that we observed due to holding thermal paper after using a product containing dermal penetration enhancing chemicals have been related to an increased risk for a wide range of developmental abnormalities as well as diseases in adults.
Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in the manufacture of plastic food containers and refillable drinks bottles, dysregulates authophagy-regulated lipid metabolism in hepatocytes, according to new research published in Endocrinology.
Over 6 billion pounds per year of the estrogenic monomer bisphenol A (BPA) are used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic products, in resins lining metal cans, in dental sealants, and in blends with other types of plastic products. The ester bond linking BPA molecules in polycarbonate and resins undergoes hydrolysis, resulting in the release of free BPA into food, beverages, and the environment, and numerous monitoring studies now show almost ubiquitous human exposure to biologically active levels of this chemical. BPA exerts estrogenic effects through the classical nuclear estrogen receptors, and BPA acts as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. However, BPA also initiates rapid responses via estrogen receptors presumably associated with the plasma membrane. Similar to estradiol, BPA causes changes in some cell functions at concentrations between 1 pm and 1 nm, and the mean and median range of unconjugated BPA measured by multiple techniques in human pregnant maternal, fetal, and adult blood and other tissues exceeds these levels. In contrast to these published findings, BPA manufacturers persist in describing BPA as a weak estrogen and insist there is little concern with human exposure levels. Our concern with human exposure to BPA derives from 1) identification of molecular mechanisms mediating effects in human and animal tissues at very low doses, 2) in vivo effects in experimental animals caused by low doses within the range of human exposure, and 3) widespread human exposure to levels of BPA that cause adverse effects in animals.
A chemical found in plastics may put women exposed to it at greater risk of developing breast cancer, it seems. A study in mice has found that minute doses of the oestrogen-like substance increase breast tissue development, and higher density breast tissue is a risk factor for cancer.
Many hard plastics contain the compound bisphenol A, which can leach into food after heating. The chemical also appears in some dental fillings and the linings of tin cans. Industry began using bisphenol A in the 1950s, but in recent years scientists have documented how it mimics the hormone oestrogen.
Some scientists worry that because oestrogen plays such a crucial role in the development of a fetus’s reproductive system and other organs, exposure to bisphenol A in the womb could cause problems. A recent study of mice exposed in this way found that the artificial compound caused abnormally high levels of growth in the male animals’ prostate glands1.
Now, another team of researchers has investigated the effects of this chemical on female mice: the results are reported in the journal Endocrinology2.