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Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig. 2011 Mar 1;5(2):45-52.

Exposure to the Endocrine Disruptor Bisphenol A Alters Susceptibility for Mammary Cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetically made chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Recent studies have shown over ninety percent of humans investigated have detectable BPA concentrations. Yet, the biggest concern for BPA is exposure during early development because BPA has been shown to bind to the estrogen receptors (ER) and cause developmental and reproductive toxicity. We have investigated the potential of perinatal BPA to alter susceptibility for chemically-induced mammary cancer in rats. We demonstrate that prepubertal exposure to low concentrations of orally administered BPA given to lactating dams resulted in a significantly decreased tumor latency and increased tumor multiplicity in the dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) model of rodent mammary carcinogenesis. Our data suggested that the mechanism of action behind this carcinogenic response was mediated through increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and centered on an up-regulation of steroid receptor coactivators (SRCs) 1-3, erbB3, and increased Akt signaling in the mammary gland.Also, we demonstrate that prenatal exposure to BPA shifts the time of susceptibility from 50 days to 100 days for chemically-induced mammary carcinogenesis. Proteomic data suggest that prenatal BPA exposure alters the expression of several proteins involved in regulating protein metabolism, signal transduction, developmental processes, and cell cycle and proliferation. Increases in ER-alpha, SRCs 1-3, Bcl-2, epidermal growth factor-receptor (EGFR), phospho-IGF-1R, phospho-c-Raf, phospho-ERKs 1/2, phospho-ErbB2 and phospho-Akt are accompanied by increase in cell proliferation. We conclude that exposure to low concentrations of BPA during the prenatal and early postnatal periods of life can predispose for chemically-induced mammary cancer.

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