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Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Dec;119(12):1788-93. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103809. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Bisphenol A exposure is associated with in vivo estrogenic gene expression in adults.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Public Health, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic estrogen commonly used in polycarbonate plastic and resin-lined food and beverage containers. Exposure of animal and cell models to doses of BPA below the recommended tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 50 μg/kg/day have been shown to alter specific estrogen-responsive gene expression, but this has not previously been shown in humans.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated associations between BPA exposure and in vivo estrogenic gene expression in humans.

METHODS:

We studied 96 adult men from the InCHIANTI population study and examined in vivo expression of six estrogen receptor, estrogen-related receptor, and androgen receptor genes in peripheral blood leukocytes.

RESULTS:

The geometric mean urinary BPA concentration was 3.65 ng/mL [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.13, 4.28], giving an estimated mean excretion of 5.84 μg/day (95% CI: 5.00, 6.85), significantly below the current TDI. In age-adjusted models, there were positive associations between higher BPA concentrations and higher ESR2 [estrogen receptor 2 (ER beta)] expression (unstandardized linear regression coefficient = 0.1804; 95% CI: 0.0388, 0.3221; p = 0.013) and ESRRA (estrogen related receptor alpha) expression (coefficient = 0.1718; 95% CI: 0.0213, 0.3223; p = 0.026): These associations were little changed after adjusting for potential confounders, including obesity, serum lipid concentrations, and white cell subtype percentages. Upper-tertile BPA excretors (urinary BPA > 4.6 ng/mL) had 65% higher mean ESR2 expression than did lower-tertile BPA excretors (0-2.4 ng/mL).

CONCLUSIONS:

Because activation of nuclear-receptor-mediated pathways by BPA is consistently found in laboratory studies, such activation in humans provides evidence that BPA is likely to function as a xenoestrogen in this sample of adults.

Comment in

PMID:
21831745
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3261992
Free PMC Article

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