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Horm Behav. 2013 Sep;64(4):598-604. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.08.014. Epub 2013 Sep 1.

Does preconception paternal exposure to a physiologically relevant level of bisphenol A alter spatial memory in an adult rat?

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Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China; Wuhan Mental Health Center, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China. Electronic address:


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous environmental endocrine disrupting compound (EDC); public health concerns have been fueled by findings that maternal BPA exposure can change sex differences in the brain and in some behaviors. We investigated whether a physiologically relevant dose of BPA ingested by male rats before conception would affect spatial memory and hippocampal acetylcholinesterase (AchE) in their adult offspring. Twenty-two 60-day-old male rats (F0) received either a BPA diet (50 μg/kg/day) or vehicle alone for 10 weeks before being mated with non-exposed females. The paternal rats and their forty adult offspring's (F1) behaviors were then examined in the Morris Water Maze (MWM) and their AchE activities in the hippocampus were evaluated. BPA exposure led to spatial memory deficits along with decreased AchE activities in the hippocampus (p = 0.01) in adult F0 rats. This paternal exposure also induced impairment in spatial memory acquisition in both sexes while retention only in females in F1 rats, as well as abolished sex differences in the hippocampus AchE. Overall, these data provide new evidence that paternal BPA exposure, at a "safe" dose, may induce transgenerational alterations in spatial memory in a sex-specific manner.


Acetylcholinesterase; Bisphenol A; Low dose; Paternal exposure; Water maze

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