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Your Environment. Your Health.

Prenatal BPA Exposure Linked with Higher Levels of Oxidative Damage

Dana Dolinoy, Ph.D.,Vasantha Padmanabhan, Ph.D., Heather B. Patisaul, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, North Carolina State University
NIEHS Grants: R01ES016541, P01ES022844, P30ES017885, R01ES017005, R01ES017005, R01ES016001, R01ES017524

NIEHS grantees report that exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy can cause oxidative damage that may increase a child’s risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life. The researchers tested multiple species of animals to replicate and strengthen human studies that showed BPA exposure during pregnancy can bring about a specific type of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is associated with insulin resistance and inflammation, which are risk factors for diabetes and other metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular disease. For the human study, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 24 mother and infant pairs. The women were divided into two groups based on their levels of BPA determined from blood draws taken during their first trimester of pregnancy. Mothers and their infants with higher levels of BPA showed increased levels of 3-nitrotyrosine. 3-nitrotyrosine is a marker of nitrosative stress, a type of oxidative stress brought about by the free radical nitric oxide or reactive species derived from it. For the animal studies, the researchers examined the effects of BPA on sheep, rats, and mice by prenatally treating the animals with BPA at doses similar to what people would experience. The animals showed increased systemic nitrosative stress, which indicates a causal link between BPA exposure and this type of oxidative stress.

Overall, the findings demonstrate an association between increased BPA exposure and increased systemic nitrosative stress. The results also support the potential use of maternal 3-nitrotyrosine as a health status biomarker for future offspring.

Citation: Veiga-Lopez A, Pennathur S, Kannan K, Patisaul HB, Dolinoy DC, Zeng L, Padmanabhan V. 2015. Impact of gestational bisphenol A on oxidative stress and free fatty acids: human association and interspecies animal testing studies. Endocrinology; doi:10.1210/en.2014-1863 [Online 20 January 2015].

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