The regulation of cellular apoptosis by the ROS-triggered PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway plays a vital role in bisphenol A-induced male reproductive toxicity

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Bisphenol A (2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane, BPA) is ubiquitous in the environment, wildlife, and humans. Evidence from past studies suggests that BPA is associated with decreased semen quality. However, the molecular basis for the adverse effect of BPA on male reproductive toxicity remains unclear. We evaluated the effect of BPA on mouse spermatocytes GC-2 cells and adult mice, and we explored the potential mechanism of its action. The results showed that BPA inhibited cell proliferation and increased the apoptosis rate. The testes from BPA-treated mice showed fewer spermatogenic cells and sperm in the seminiferous tubules. In addition, BPA caused reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Previous study has verified that mitochondrion was the organelle affected by the BPA-triggered ROS accumulation. We found that BPA induced damage to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in addition to mitochondria, and most ER stress-related proteins were activated in cellular and animal models. Knocking down of the PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway, one of the ER stress pathways, partially recovered the BPA-induced cell apoptosis. In addition, an ROS scavenger attenuated the expression of the PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway-related proteins. Taken together, these data suggested that the ROS regulated PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway played a vital role in BPA-induced male reproductive toxicity.Graphical abstractHighlightsBPA exposure caused the damage of the endoplasmic reticulum.BPA exposure activated ER stress related proteins in male reproductive system.ROS regulated PERK/EIF2α/chop pathway played a vital role in BPA-induced toxicity.

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