Indexed on: 28 Oct '99Published on: 28 Oct '99Published in: Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used primarily as a monomer in the manufacture of numerous chemical products, such as epoxy resins and polycarbonate. The objective of this study was to evaluate potential effects of BPA on sexual development of male rats and was designed to clarify low-dose observations reported as preliminary results by Sharpe et al. (1996). The protocol for the present study followed the same treatment schedule as reported by Sharpe et al. (1995, 1996), but included more treatment groups, a greater number of animals per group, and a more comprehensive number of reproductive endpoints. Groups of 28 female Han-Wistar albino rats were exposed to drinking water that contained 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0, or 10 ppm BPA or 0.1 ppm diethylstilbestrol (DES), 7 days per week, for a total of 10 weeks. Treatment of the females began at 10 weeks of age and continued throughout a 2-week premating period, 2 weeks of mating (to untreated males), 21-22 days of gestation, and 22 days of lactation. Offspring weanling males were given untreated drinking water and maintained until 90 days of age when evaluations were made of various reproductive organs. Consistent with Sharpe et al. (1996) the female offspring were not evaluated. No treatment-related effects on growth or reproductive endpoints were observed in adult females exposed to any concentration of BPA. Similarly, no treatment-related effects were observed on the growth, survival, or reproductive parameters (including testes, prostate and preputial gland weights, sperm count, daily sperm production, or testes histopathology) of male offspring from dams exposed to BPA during gestation and lactation. DES administered in the drinking water at 0. 1 ppm resulted in decreased body weight, body weight change, and food consumption in adult females. In addition, an increase in the duration of gestation and a decrease in the number of pups delivered and number of live pups were also observed in animals exposed to DES. In conclusion, these results do not confirm the previous findings of Sharpe et al. (1996) and show that low doses of BPA had no effects on male sexual development in the rat.