Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high production volume chemical with hormone-like properties that has been implicated as a potential carcinogen. Early-life exposure has been linked to increased risk for precancerous lesions in mammary and prostate glands and the uterus, but no prior study has shown a significant association between BPA exposure and cancer development. Isogenic mice were perinatally exposed to BPA through maternal diets containing one of four environmentally relevant doses of BPA (0, 50 ng, 50 ?g, or 50 mg per kilogram of diet), and we followed approximately one male and one female per litter until they were 10 months of age. Animals were tested for known risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma, including bacterial and viral infections.
In one of the first studies to show a significant association between BPA and cancer development, University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers have found liver tumors in mice exposed to the chemical via their mothers during gestation and nursing.
“We found that 27 percent of the mice exposed to one of three different doses of BPA through their mother's diet developed liver tumors and some precancerous lesions. The higher the dosage, the more likely they were to present with tumors,” said Caren Weinhouse, U-M doctoral student in the School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences and first author of the paper published online Feb. 3 in Environmental Health Perspectives.
“This current study showing liver tumors in mice says let's take another look at BPA and cancer in humans,” Weinhouse said, adding that next the lab will look for biomarkers in the mice genes that may signal risk for …
To our knowledge, this is the first report of a statistically significant association between BPA exposure and frank tumors in any organ. Our results link early-life exposure to BPA with the development of hepatic tumors in rodents, and have potential implications for human health and disease.
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