Effects of prenatal bisphenol A exposure on the hepatic transcriptome and proteome in rat offspring

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jun 10:720:137568. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137568. Epub 2020 Feb 25.


Developmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) is associated with liver dysfunction and diseases in adulthood. The aims of this study were to assess the effects of prenatal BPA exposure on the hepatic transcriptome and proteome in female and male offspring and to understand adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) to observed phenotypic effects. Pregnant Wistar rats were exposed to 50 or 5000 μg BPA/kg bw/day, or 17β-estradiol (E2, 50 μg/kg bw/day) from embryonic day 3 to 18. The liver transcriptome and proteome profiles were analyzed in the newborn (postnatal day 1; PND1) and weaning (PND21) rat offspring. Based on the differentially expressed genes/proteins derived from transcriptome and proteome profiles, we performed pathway, transcription factor, and disease enrichment analyses. A principal component analysis of transcriptome data demonstrated that prenatal BPA exposure caused masculinization of the hepatic transcriptome in females. Both of transcriptomic and proteomic data showed that prenatal BPA exposure led to the disruption of cell cycle, lipid homeostasis, and hormone balance in offspring. Most of the effects at the transcript level were extended from newborn to weaning in males, but were moderated until weaning in females. The alterations at the transcript and protein levels were accordant with the observation of increases in body weight and anogenital distance and changes in hepatosomatic index in the offspring. Collectively, we constructed AOPs with evidence of sex- and age-specific actions of prenatal BPA exposure in the offspring.

Keywords: Adverse outcome pathway; Bisphenol A; Liver; Prenatal exposure; Proteome; Transcriptome.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Female
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Phenols
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Proteome*
  • Proteomics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transcriptome*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Proteome
  • bisphenol A