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J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2015 Dec;6(6):539-52. doi: 10.1017/S2040174415001488. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

Sex-dependent effects of developmental exposure to bisphenol A and ethinyl estradiol on metabolic parameters and voluntary physical activity.

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1Bond Life Sciences Center,University of Missouri,Columbia,MO,USA.
3Agriculture Experimental Station-Statistics,University of Missouri,Columbia,MO,USA.
4Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory,Department of Veterinary Pathobiology,College of Veterinary Medicine,University of Missouri,Columbia,MO,USA.
5Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology,Research Service-Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center,Medicine-Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,University of Missouri,Columbia,Missouri,MO,USA.


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) have received considerable attention as potential obesogens. Past studies examining obesogenic potential of one widespread EDC, bisphenol A (BPA), have generally focused on metabolic and adipose tissue effects. However, physical inactivity has been proposed to be a leading cause of obesity. A paucity of studies has considered whether EDC, including BPA, affects this behavior. To test whether early exposure to BPA and ethinyl estradiol (EE, estrogen present in birth control pills) results in metabolic and such behavioral disruptions, California mice developmentally exposed to BPA and EE were tested as adults for energy expenditure (indirect calorimetry), body composition (echoMRI) and physical activity (measured by beam breaks and voluntary wheel running). Serum glucose and metabolic hormones were measured. No differences in body weight or food consumption were detected. BPA-exposed females exhibited greater variation in weight than females in control and EE groups. During the dark and light cycles, BPA females exhibited a higher average respiratory quotient than control females, indicative of metabolizing carbohydrates rather than fats. Various assessments of voluntary physical activity in the home cage confirmed that during the dark cycle, BPA and EE-exposed females were significantly less active in this setting than control females. Similar effects were not observed in BPA or EE-exposed males. No significant differences were detected in serum glucose, insulin, adiponectin and leptin concentrations. Results suggest that females developmentally exposed to BPA exhibit decreased motivation to engage in voluntary physical activity and altered metabolism of carbohydrates v. fats, which could have important health implications.


BPA; California mouse; DOHaD; EDC; exercise

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