A reliable in vitro model to determine the potential estrogenic activity of chemicals of interest is still unavailable. To further investigate the usefulness of a human-derived cell line, we determined the transcriptional changes induced by bisphenol A (BPA) in Ishikawa cells at various doses (1 nM, 100 nM, 10 microM, and 100 microM) and time points (8, 24 and 48 h) by comparing the response of approximately 38,500 human genes and ESTs between treatment groups and controls (vehicle-treated). By trend analysis, we determined that the expression of 2794 genes was modified by BPA in a dose- and time-dependent manner (p< or =0.0001). However, the majority of gene expression changes induced in Ishikawa cells were elicited by the highest doses of BPA evaluated (10-100 microM), while the genomic response of the cells exposed to low doses of BPA was essentially negligible. By comparing the Ishikawa cells' response to BPA vs.17 alpha-ethynyl estradiol we determined that the change in the expression of 307 genes was identical in the direction of the change, although the magnitude of the change for some genes was different. Further, the response of Ishikawa cells to high doses of BPA shared similarities to the estrogenic response of the rat uterus, specifically, 362 genes were regulated in a similar manner in vivo as well as in vitro. Gene ontology analysis indicated that BPA results in changes to multiple molecular pathways affecting various biological processes particularly associated with cell organization and biogenesis, regulation of translation, cell proliferation, and intracellular transport; processes also affected by estrogen exposure in the uterus of the rat. These results indicate that Ishikawa cells are capable of generating a biologically relevant estrogenic response after exposure to chemicals with varied estrogenic activity, and offer an in vitro model to assess this mode of action.
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