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Curr Med Chem. 2018 Feb 21;25(6):748-770. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666171009121001.

Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Universita della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Napoli, Italy.
Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia, Scuola Medica Salernitana, Universita di Salerno, Baronissi, Italy.
Theoreo srl - Spin-off Company of the University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy.
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37403, United States.
Dipartimento di Scienze Motorie e del Benessere, Universita di Napoli Parthenope, Napoli, Italy.



Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin to produce a multitude of consumer products, food and drink containers, and medical devices. BPA is similar to estradiol in structure and thus interferes in steroid signalling with different outcomes on reproductive health depending on doses, life stage, mode, and timing of exposure. In this respect, it has an emerging and controversial role as a "reproductive toxicant" capable of inducing short and long-term effects including the modulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification (i.e. methylation of CpG islands, histone modifications and production of non-coding RNA) with direct and trans-generational effects on exposed organisms and their offspring, respectively.


This review provides an overview about BPA effects on reproductive health and aims to summarize the epigenetic effects of BPA in male and female reproduction.


BPA exerts epigenetic effects in both male and female reproduction. In males, BPA affects spermatogenesis and sperm quality and possible trans-generational effects on the reproductive ability of the offspring. In females, BPA affects ovary, embryo development, and gamete quality for successful in vivo and in vitro fertilization (IVF).


The exact mechanisms of BPA-mediated effects in reproduction are not fully understood; however, the environmental exposure to BPA - especially in fetal and neonatal period - deserves attention to preserve the reproductive ability in both sexes and to reduce the epigenetic risk for the offspring.


Endocrine disrupting chemicals; bisphenol A; embryo development; epigenetics; fertility; gametogenesis; trans-generational effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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