Bisphenol A (BPA) is an extremely common polymer that is used in typical everyday products throughout the world, especially in food and beverage containers. Within the last ten years, it has been found that the BPA monomer tends to leach into foodstuffs, and nanogram concentrations of it may cause a variety of deleterious health effects. These health problems are very evident in developing children and in young adults. The aim of this study was to expose developing pigs to dietary BPA at both legally acceptable and ten-fold higher levels. Livers that had been exposed to BPA showed vacuolar degeneration, sinusoidal dilatation, vascular congestion and glycogen depletion that increased with exposure levels. Furthermore, the livers of these models were then examined for irregularities and double-labeled immunofluorescence was used to check the innervated hepatic samples for varying neuronal expression of selected neuronal markers in the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). It was found that both the PSNS and all of the neuronal markers showed increased expression, with some of them being significant even at recommended safe exposure levels. The implications are quite serious since these effects have been observed at recommended safe levels with expression increasing in-line with exposure levels. The increased neuronal markers studied here have been previously correlated with behavioral/psychological disorders of children and young adults, as well as with childhood obesity and diabetes. However, further research must be performed in order to develop a mechanism for the above-mentioned correlations.
Keywords: bisphenol A; hepatic toxicity; immunofluorescence technique; metabolic disorders; parasympathetic nervous system.