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Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Jun;123(6):571-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1408679. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Rapid responses and mechanism of action for low-dose bisphenol S on ex vivo rat hearts and isolated myocytes: evidence of female-specific proarrhythmic effects.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.



Bisphenol S (BPS) has increasingly been used as a substitute for bisphenol A (BPA) in some "BPA-free" consumer goods and in thermal papers. Wide human exposure to BPS has been reported; however, the biological and potential toxic effects of BPS are poorly understood.


In this study, we sought to elucidate the sex-specific rapid effect of BPS in rat hearts and its underlying mechanism.


We examined the rapid effects of BPS in rat hearts using electrophysiology, confocal and conventional fluorescence imaging, and immunoblotting. Treatment was administered via acute perfusion of excised hearts or isolated cardiac myocytes.


In female rat hearts acutely exposed to 10-9 M BPS, the heart rate was increased; in the presence of catecholamine-induced stress, the frequency of ventricular arrhythmia events was markedly increased. BPS-exposed hearts showed increased incidence of arrhythmogenic-triggered activities in female ventricular myocytes and altered myocyte Ca2+ handling, particularly spontaneous Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The dose responses of BPS actions were inverted U-shaped. The impact of BPS on myocyte Ca2+ handling was mediated by estrogen receptor β signaling and by rapid increases in the phosphorylation of key Ca2+ handling proteins, including ryanodine receptor and phospholamban. The proarrhythmic effects of BPS were female specific; male rat hearts were not affected by BPS at the organ, myocyte, or protein levels.


Rapid exposure to low-dose BPS showed proarrhythmic impact on female rat hearts; these effects at the organ, cellular, and molecular levels are remarkably similar to those reported for BPA. Evaluation of the bioactivity and safety of BPS and other BPA analogs is necessary before they are used as BPA alternatives in consumer products.

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