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Neonatal Exposure to Bisphenol A and Reproductive and Endocrine Alterations Resembling the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Adult Rats

 

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component of polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins, and polystyrene. Because BPA has been reported to have endocrine-disrupting effects, concerns have been raised about possible long-term effects on reproductive function after developmental exposure. Fernández et al. (p. 1217) studied the effects of neonatal exposure to BPA on the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from hypothalamic explants and serum sexual hormone levels, ovarian morphology, ovulation, and fertility in laboratory animals. The authors report that neonatal exposure to a relatively high dose of BPA resulted in irreversible alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, which led to anovulation and infertility. Exposure to a lower dose was associated with more subtle changes, such as subfertility. These findings support the hypothesis that some diseases appearing in adulthood may be associated with exposure to environmental agents during development.

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