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Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Jun;122(6):601-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1307491. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

Cellular mechanism of the nonmonotonic dose response of bisphenol A in rat cardiac myocytes.

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Department of Cardiology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China.



The need for mechanistic understanding of nonmonotonic dose responses has been identified as one of the major data gaps in the study of bisphenol A (BPA). Previously we reported that acute exposure to BPA promotes arrhythmogenesis in female hearts through alteration of myocyte Ca(2+) handling, and that the dose response of BPA was inverted U-shaped.


We sought to define the cellular mechanism underlying the nonmonotonic dose response of BPA in the heart.


We examined rapid effects of BPA in female rat ventricular myocytes using video-edge detection, confocal and conventional fluorescence imaging, and patch clamp.


The rapid effects of BPA in cardiac myocytes, as measured by multiple end points, including development of arrhythmic activities, myocyte mechanics, and Ca(2+) transient, were characterized by nonmonotonic dose responses. Interestingly, the effects of BPA on individual processes of myocyte Ca(2+) handling were monotonic. Over the concentration range of 10(-12) to 10(-6) M, BPA progressively increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release and Ca(2+) reuptake and inhibited the L-type Ca(2+) current (I(CaL)). These effects on myocyte Ca(2+) handling were mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) β signaling. The nonmonotonic dose responses of BPA can be accounted for by the combined effects of progressively increased SR Ca(2+) reuptake/release and decreased Ca(2+) influx through I(CaL).


The rapid effects of BPA on female rat cardiac myocytes are characterized by nonmonotonic dose responses as measured by multiple end points. The nonmonotonic dose response was produced by ERβ-mediated monotonic effects on multiple cellular Ca(2+) handling processes. This represents a distinct mechanism underlying the nonmonotonicity of BPA's actions.

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