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Endocrinology. 2015 Mar;156(3):882-95. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1847. Epub 2015 Jan 16.

Bisphenol A alters autonomic tone and extracellular matrix structure and induces sex-specific effects on cardiovascular function in male and female CD-1 mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0575.


The aim of this study was to determine whether bisphenol A (BPA) has adverse effects on cardiovascular functions in CD-1 mice and define sex-specific modes of BPA action in the heart. Dams and analyzed progeny were maintained on a defined diet containing BPA (0.03, 0.3, 3, 30, or 300 ppm) that resulted in BPA exposures from 4-5 to approximately 5000 μg/kg · d or a diet containing 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE; ∼0.02, 0.2, and 0.15 μg/kg · d) as an oral bioavailable estrogen control. Assessment of electrocardiogram parameters using noninvasive methods found that ventricular functions in both male and female mice were not altered by either BPA or EE. However, exposure-related changes in the rates of ventricular contraction, suggestive of a shift in sympathovagal balance of heart rate control toward increased parasympathetic activity, were detected in males. Decreased systolic blood pressure was observed in males exposed to BPA above 5 μg/kg · d and in females from the highest BPA exposure group. Morphometric histological measures revealed sexually dimorphic changes in the composition of the cardiac collagen extracellular matrix, increases in fibrosis, and evidence of modest exposure-related remodeling. Experiments using the α-selective adrenergic agonist phenylephrine found that BPA enhanced reflex bradycardia in females, but not males, revealed that BPA and EE exposure sex specifically altered the sympathetic regulation of the baroreflex circuits. Increased sensitivity to the cardiotoxic effects of the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol was observed in BPA- and EE-exposed females. This effect was not observed in males, in which BPA or EE exposures were protective of isoproterenol-induced ischemic damage and hypertrophy. The results of RNA sequence analysis identified significant sex-specific changes in gene expression in response to BPA that were consistent with the observed exposure-related phenotypic changes in the collagenous and noncollagenous extracellular matrix, cardiac remodeling, altered autonomic responses, changes in ion channel and transporter functions, and altered glycolytic and lipid metabolism.

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