Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A up-regulates immune responses, including T helper 1 and T helper 2 responses, in mice

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Abstract

SUMMARY

The effect of prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) on the immune system in mice was investigated. Virgin female mice were fed varying doses of BPA, on a daily basis, over a period of 18 days commencing on the day of pairing with stud males (day 0). On day 77, their male offspring of 8 weeks were immunized with hen egg lysozyme (HEL). Three weeks later, anti-HEL immunoglobulin G (IgG) in sera, and proliferative responses of spleen cells to the antigen, were measured. Anti-HEL IgG2a and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), secreted from splenic lymphocytes, were measured as indicators of T helper 1 (Th1) immune responses, while anti-HEL IgG1 and interleukin-4 (IL-4) were measured as indicators of Th2 responses. The results showed that fetal exposure to BPA was followed by significant increases in anti-HEL IgG as well as antigen-specific cell proliferation. Both Th1 responses (including anti-HEL IgG2a and IFN-γ production) and Th2 responses (including anti-HEL IgG1 and IL-4 production) were augmented by prenatal exposure to BPA, although the augmentation of Th1 responses appeared to be greater than that of Th2 responses. Two-colour flow cytometric analysis showed that mice exposed prenatally to BPA had 29% and 100% more splenic CD3+ CD4+ and CD3+ CD8+ cells, respectively, than control animals. Similar results were obtained from females whose mothers had consumed BPA during pregnancy. These results suggest that prenatal exposure to BPA may result in the up-regulation of immune responses, especially Th1 responses, in adulthood.

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