Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure During Breastfeeding on the Biochemical and Endocrine Profiles in Rats

Horm Metab Res. 2018 Jun;50(6):491-503. doi: 10.1055/a-0628-6708. Epub 2018 Jun 8.


Neonates can be exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) through placenta and milk, and BPA is associated with disorders such as precocious puberty and obesity. We evaluated the effects of BPA exposure during breastfeeding on the biochemical and endocrine profiles in young and adult rat progeny. From postnatal day (PND) 3 to 15 dams were divided into low-dose BPA treatment [50 μg/kg/day s.c. (BPA-LD)], high-dose BPA treatment [5 mg/kg/day s.c. (BPA-HD)], and Control (vehicle) groups. Milk was collected at PND15 and 21, which represents the end of exposure and 6 days after withdrawal, respectively. Dams were euthanized at weaning. Offspring of both genders were euthanized at PND15, 21, and 180. Milk estradiol levels were lower in the BPA-HD group than in the control group at PND 15; however, they were higher at PND21. Female rats whose mothers were BPA-exposed showed more significant differences from those in the control group, including better glycemic control and lipid profiles and higher food intake without higher adiposity, in adulthood than in the weaning period, when they presented with higher adiposity and hyperestrogenism. Conversely, male rats showed more abnormalities after BPA exposure compared to control rats, including insulin, leptin, testosterone, and thyroid hormone changes, when young but exhibited fewer alterations in adulthood, with increase only in LDLc in the BPA-HD rats. Taken together, the present findings suggest that exposure to BPA exclusively through milk affects adiposity, metabolism, and/or hormones of offspring in the short and long term, possibly compromising normal development in both sexes.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Endocrine System / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Lactation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors
  • Weaning


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A