Effect of bisphenol A on steroid hormone production in rat ovarian theca-interstitial and granulosa cells

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008 Feb 13;283(1-2):12-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2007.10.010. Epub 2007 Oct 25.


Many studies have shown that 2,2-bis 4-hydroxyphenyl propane (BPA), an estrogenic chemical, affects the reproductive health of wildlife and possibly of humans. In this study, we investigated the effects of BPA on steroid hormone production in rat ovarian theca-interstitial cells (T-I cells) and granulosa cells. In T-I cells, BPA increased testosterone synthesis and mRNA expression of 17-alpha hydroxylase (P450c17), cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) at concentrations of 10(-7) to 10(-4)M after a 72 h incubation period. Treatment of granulosa cells with BPA at concentrations of 10(-7) to 10(-5)M caused an increase in progesterone levels and P450scc mRNA expression, with an unexpected decrease at 10(-4)M. BPA (10(-7) to 10(-5)M) tended to elevate the expression of StAR mRNA with a significant increase at 10(-4)M concentration. A significant concentration-dependent inhibitory effect of BPA (10(-6) to 10(-4)M) on estradiol levels and the expression of P450arom mRNA was observed. These results suggest that BPA may interrupt ovarian steroidogenesis by altering the steroidogenic enzymes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aromatase / genetics
  • Aromatase / metabolism
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme / genetics
  • Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme / metabolism
  • Estradiol / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gonadal Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Granulosa Cells / drug effects*
  • Granulosa Cells / enzymology
  • Granulosa Cells / metabolism*
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Progesterone / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Testosterone / biosynthesis
  • Theca Cells / drug effects*
  • Theca Cells / enzymology
  • Theca Cells / metabolism*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Gonadal Hormones
  • Phenols
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • steroidogenic acute regulatory protein
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Aromatase
  • Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme
  • bisphenol A