Replacement Bisphenols Adversely Affect Mouse Gametogenesis with Consequences for Subsequent Generations

20 years ago, accidental bisphenol A (BPA) exposure caused a sudden increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs from our control mice. Subsequent rodent studies demonstrated developmental effects of exposure with repercussions on adult health and fertility. Studies in monkeys, humans, fish, and worms suggest BPA effects extend across species. Widespread use has resulted in ubiquitous environmental contamination and human BPA exposure. Consumer concern resulted in “BPA-free” products produced using structurally similar bisphenols that are now detectable environmental and human contaminants. In the present study, the authors report meiotic changes mirroring previous BPA experience and implicating exposure to BPS (a common BPA replacement) from damaged polysulfone cages. Like with BPA, the data shows that exposure to common replacement bisphenols induces germline effects in both sexes that may affect multiple generations. These findings add to growing evidence of the biological risks posed by this class of chemicals. Rapid production of structural variants of BPA and other EDCs circumvents efforts to eliminate dangerous chemicals, exacerbates the regulatory burden of safety assessment, and increases environmental contamination. The authors experience suggests that these environmental contaminants pose a risk not only to reproductive health but also to the integrity of the research environment. EDCs, like endogenous hormones, can affect diverse processes. The sensitivity of the germline allows us to detect effects that, although not immediately apparent in other systems, may induce variability that undermines experimental reproducibility and impedes scientific advancement.

Authors: Horan TS, Pulcastro H, Lawson C, Gerona R, Martin S, Gieske MC, Sartain CV, Hunt PA. ; Full Source: Current Biology. 2018 Sep 24;28(18):2948-2954.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.070. Epub 2018 Sep 13.