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Toxicol Lett. 2010 Dec 15;199(3):372-6. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.09.022. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

Lactational transfer of bisphenol A in Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Division of Biochemical Toxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 3900 NCRT Road, Jefferson, AR 72079, USA.


Bisphenol A (BPA), an important industrial chemical to which humans are exposed on a daily basis, has long been associated with endocrine disruption in experimental animal models. Such exposures are of concern, particularly during fetal and early neonatal periods, because of greater vulnerability of developing organs to aberrant endocrine signaling. Although rarely reported, information about internal exposures to the receptor-active aglycone form of BPA during the perinatal period is essential to accurate assessment of potential risks. Lactating Sprague-Dawley dams were treated by daily gavage with 100 μg/kg bw d6-BPA starting at birth. Conjugated and aglycone forms of BPA were then measured by using LC/MS/MS in milk from lactating dams on PND 7 and in serum from dams and their pups on PND 10. All samples were collected 1h after dosing, a time selected to produce nearly maximal levels. While aglycone BPA was detected in all dam serum and milk samples, none was detected in pup serum (<0.2 nM). Doses delivered to pups lactationally, estimated from milk concentrations and body weights, were 300-fold lower than the dose administered to the dams. Similarly, serum concentrations of total BPA in pups were 300-fold lower than those in their dams. Furthermore, plasma concentrations of total BPA in PND 10 rat pups were 500-fold lower than peak levels achieved following direct oral delivery of the same dose to the same age pups. These findings of significant dose attenuation for the active aglycone form of BPA, relative to that of the dam, suggest high potency for toxicological effects derived exclusively from lactational transfer. Alternatively, studies that include lactational exposure and report minimal effects from BPA should consider the possibility that inadequate internal exposures were achieved during the critical postnatal period.

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