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Korean Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2008;35(3):181-191.
Published online September 1, 2008.
Effects of Bisphenol A on Gene Expression and Apoptosis of Leydig Cells in the Mouse Testis.
Jinwon Eo, Hyunjung Lim
Department of Biomedical Science & Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.
Environmental chemicals alter reproduction, growth, and survival by changing the normal function of the endocrine system. Bisphenol A (BPA), one of the endocrine disruptors, is known to be an estrogen receptor agonist. Therefore, we hypothesized that BPA may affect male reproduction including spermatogenesis in the mouse testis. METHODS: We used 7-week-old ICR mice. The first experiment group received BPA in sesame oil (vehicle, 1 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, and 100 mg/kg) by i.p. injection and mice were sacrificed 24 hr later. The second experiment group received BPA (vehicle, 10 microgram/kg, 1 mg/kg, and 100 mg/kg) daily for 14 days by subcutaneous injection. Expression of cell type-specific marker genes in the testis was evaluated by RT-PCR. Histological analysis, immunofluorescence staining, and TUNEL staining were also performed. RESULTS: RT-PCR analyses showed that expression of luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), a marker gene for the Leydig cell, was notably decreased in the testes of high dose-exposed mice. No obvious difference in the histology of testes was noted among treatment groups. Immunostaining of LHR in the first experiment group did not show noticeable difference in LHR protein expression in Leydig cells. Immunohistochemistry also revealed heightened expression of the immunoreactive Bax in the treatment group, and this was accompanied by positive TUNEL staining in the interstitial area within testis where Leydig cells reside. CONCLUSIONS: Our result suggests that BPA affects Leydig cell functions by altering gene expression and by increasing apoptosis in the mouse testis.
Key Words: Bisphenol A; Mouse; Testis; Leydig cell; Apoptosis


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