In utero exposure to DES alters the mRNA levels of GATA4 and ID2 in the adult testis

Effects of in utero exposure to Bisphenol A or diethylstilbestrol on the adult male reproductive system

2011 Study Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether in utero exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) induced reproductive tract abnormalities in the adult male testis.

Using the C57/Bl6 mouse, we examined sex-organ weights, anogenital distance, and testis histopathology in adult males exposed in utero via oral gavage to sesame oil, 50 µg/kg BPA, 1000 µg/kg BPA, or 2 µg/kg diethylstilbestrol (DES) as a positive control from gestational days 10 to 16.

No changes in sperm production or germ cell apoptosis were observed in adult testes after exposure to either chemical. Adult mRNA levels of genes associated with sexual maturation and differentiation, GATA4 and ID2, were significantly lower only in DES-exposed testes.

In summary, the data indicate no gross alterations in spermatogenesis after in utero exposure to BPA or DES. At the molecular level, in utero exposure to DES, but not BPA, leads to decreased mRNA expression of genes associated with Sertoli cell differentiation.

In utero exposure to DES, but not BPA, alters the mRNA levels of GATA4 and ID2in the adult testis

In the adult testis, mRNA levels of genes associated with sexual differentiation and maturation of the testis, GATA4 and ID2, were significantly lower in the F1 adult male DES exposure group; and there was a trend for decreased expression of inhibin B (p=0.07) a marker of Sertoli cell function suggesting that in utero exposure to DES alters gene expression in the testis.

In contrast to the gene changes observed following in utero exposure to DES, no changes in gene expression in the panel of genes examined were observed in the adult testes of F1 male mice exposed in utero to BPA.

Sources and more information
  • Full study (free access) Effects of In Utero Exposure to Bisphenol A or Diethylstilbestrol on the Adult Male Reproductive System, Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol, NCBI PubMed PMC3237790, 2011 Sep 15.
  • Gene expression of adult C57/Bl6 male mice following in utero exposure to sesame oil, 50 μg/kg BPA, 1,000 μg/kg BPA, or 2 μg/kg DES featured image credit PMC3237790/figure/F4.
DES DIETHYLSTILBESTROL RESOURCES

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