Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Physiology

Supervisor

Dr. Kaiping Yang

Abstract

Developmental exposure to BPA is associated with liver dysfunction and diseases in adulthood. However, the effects of BPA on liver development are unknown. To address this question, pregnant mice were exposed to BPA via diet from embryonic day 7.5 (E7.5) to E18.5. At E18.5, fetal livers were collected, and analyzed for changes in the expression of key hepatic maturation markers. We found the following significant protein alterations in BPA-exposed female but not male fetal livers: (a) mature hepatocyte markers, albumin and glycogen synthase, were decreased; (b) immature hepatocyte marker, alpha-fetoprotein, was increased; (c) master transcription factor of hepatocyte differentiation, C/EBP-α, was down-regulated; and (d) PCNA (cell proliferation marker) was elevated, while caspase-3 (marker of apoptosis) was reduced. These findings demonstrate that prenatal exposure to BPA disrupts molecular maturation of the mouse fetal liver in a sex-specific manner, and suggest that females are more vulnerable to BPA-induced liver dysfunction and diseases.


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