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1 December 2010 Endocrine Disrupter Bisphenol A Increases In Situ Estrogen Production in the Mouse Urogenital Sinus
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The balance between androgens and estrogens is very important in the development of the prostate, and even small changes in estrogen levels, including those of estrogen-mimicking chemicals, can lead to serious changes. Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, is a well-known, ubiquitous, estrogenic chemical. To investigate the effects of fetal exposure to low-dose BPA on the development of the prostate, we examined alterations of the in situ sex steroid hormonal environment in the mouse urogenital sinus (UGS). In the BPA-treated UGS, estradiol (E2) levels and CYP19A1 (cytochrome P450 aromatase) activity were significantly increased compared with those of the untreated and diethylstilbestrol (DES)-treated UGS. The mRNAs of steroidogenic enzymes, Cyp19a1 and Cyp11a1, and the sex-determining gene, Nr5a1, were up-regulated specifically in the BPA-treated group. The up-regulation of mRNAs was observed in the mesenchymal component of the UGS as well as in the cerebellum, heart, kidney, and ovary but not in the testis. The number of aromatase-expressing mesenchymal cells in the BPA-treated UGS was approximately twice that in the untreated and DES-treated UGS. The up-regulation of Esrrg mRNA was observed in organs for which mRNAs of steroidogenic enzymes were also up-regulated. We demonstrate here that fetal exposure to low-dose BPA has the unique action of increasing in situ E2 levels and CYP19A1 (aromatase) activity in the mouse UGS. Our data suggest that BPA might interact with in situ steroidogenesis by altering tissue components, such as the accumulation of aromatase-expressing mesenchymal cells, in particular organs.

Shigeki Arase, Kenichiro Ishii, Katsuhide Igarashi, Kenichi Aisaki, Yuko Yoshio, Ayami Matsushima, Yasuyuki Shimohigashi, Kiminobu Arima, Jun Kanno, and Yoshiki Sugimura "Endocrine Disrupter Bisphenol A Increases In Situ Estrogen Production in the Mouse Urogenital Sinus," Biology of Reproduction 84(4), 734-742, (1 December 2010).
Received: 27 July 2010; Accepted: 1 November 2010; Published: 1 December 2010

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