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BMC Genomics. 2016 Aug 9;17:577. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2979-5.

A novel approach to assessing bisphenol-A hazards using an in vitro model system.

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Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-Do, 456-756, Republic of Korea.
Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-Do, 456-756, Republic of Korea.



Although the toxicological impacts of the xenoestrogen bisphenol-A (BPA) have been studied extensively, but the mechanism of action is poorly understood. Eventually, no standard method exists for evaluating the possible health hazards of BPA exposure. Considering mice spermatozoa as a potential in vitro model, we investigated the effects of BPA exposure (0.0001, 0.01, 1, and 100 μM for 6 h) on spermatozoa and the related mechanisms of action. The same doses were also employed to evaluate protein profiles of spermatozoa as a means to monitor their functional affiliation to diseases.


Our results demonstrated that high concentrations of BPA negatively affect sperm motility, viability, mitochondrial functions, and intracellular ATP levels by activating the mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and protein kinase-A pathways. Moreover, short-term exposure of spermatozoa to high concentrations of BPA induced differential expressions of 24 proteins. These effects appeared to be caused by protein degradation and phosphorylation in spermatozoa. Proteins differentially expressed in spermatozoa from BPA treatment groups are putatively involved in the pathogenesis of several diseases, mainly cancer, carcinoma, neoplasm, and infertility.


Based on these results, we propose that BPA adversely affects sperm function by the activation of several kinase pathways in spermatozoa. In addition, BPA-induced changes in the sperm proteome might be partly responsible for the observed effects in spermatozoa, subsequently involve in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Therefore, we anticipated that current strategy might broadly consider for the health hazards assessment of other toxicological agents.


Bioinformatics databases; Bisphenol-A; Diseases; Health hazards; In-vitro; Proteomics; Signaling pathways; Spermatozoa

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