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Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr;116(4):514-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10829.

Exposure to Bisphenol A prenatally or in adulthood promotes T(H)2 cytokine production associated with reduction of CD4CD25 regulatory T cells.

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  • 1Department of Infection and Host Defense, Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widespread endocrine-disrupting chemical that can affect humans and animals.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated the effects of adult or prenatal exposure to BPA on T-helper (T(H))1/T(H)2 immune responses and the mechanisms underlying these effects.

METHODS:

To evaluate the effects of exposure to BPA in adulthood, male Leishmania major-susceptible BALB/c and -resistant C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously injected with 0.625, 1.25, 2.5, and 5 micromol BPA 1 week before being infected with L. major. To evaluate prenatal exposure, female mice were given BPA-containing drinking water at concentrations of 1, 10, and 100 nM for 2 weeks, then mated, and given BPA for another week. Male 10-week-old offspring were infected with L. major. Footpad swelling was assessed as a measure of the course of infection.

RESULTS:

Mice exposed to BPA prenatally or in adulthood showed a dose-dependent increase in footpad swelling after being infected with L. major. Exposure to BPA in adulthood significantly promoted antigen-stimulated production of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and IL-13 but not interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). However, mice prenatally exposed to BPA showed increased production of not only IL-4 but also IFN-gamma. The percentages of CD4(+)CD25(+) cells were decreased in mice exposed to BPA either prenatally or in adulthood. Effects of prenatal BPA exposure were far more pronounced than effects of exposure in adulthood.

CONCLUSION:

BPA promotes the development of T(H)2 cells in adulthood and both T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells in prenatal stages by reducing the number of regulatory T cells.

KEYWORDS:

bisphenol A; cytokine; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; prenatal exposure; regulatory T-cells

PMID:
18414636
PMCID:
PMC2290985
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.10829
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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