Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely recognized endocrine disruptor prevalent in many household items. Because experimental and epidemiological data suggest links between prenatal BPA exposure and altered affective behaviors in children, even at levels below the current US FDA No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) of 5mg/kg body weight (bw)/day, there is concern that early life exposure may alter neurodevelopment. The current study was conducted as part of the CLARITY-BPA (Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity) program and examined the full amygdalar transcriptome on postnatal day (PND) 1, with the hypothesis that prenatal BPA exposure would alter the expression of genes and pathways fundamental to sex-specific affective behaviors. NCTR Sprague-Dawley dams were gavaged from gestational day 6 until parturition with BPA (2.5, 25, 250, 2500, or 25000μg/kg bw/day), a reference estrogen (0.05 or 0.5μg ethinyl estradiol (EE2)/kg bw/day), or vehicle. PND 1 amygdalae were microdissected and gene expression was assessed with qRT-PCR (all exposure groups) and RNAseq (vehicle, 25 and 250μg BPA, and 0.5μg EE2 groups only). Our results demonstrate that that prenatal BPA exposure can disrupt the transcriptome of the neonate amygdala, at doses below the FDA NOAEL, in a sex-specific manner and indicate that the female amygdala may be more sensitive to BPA exposure during fetal development. We also provide additional evidence that developmental BPA exposure can interfere with estrogen, oxytocin, and vasopressin signaling pathways in the developing brain and alter signaling pathways critical for synaptic organization and transmission.
Keywords: Androgen; Brain; EDC; Endocrine disruptor; Estrogen; Oxytocin; Sex difference.
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