Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Component in plastic bottles found to cause abnormal pregnancies in mice

01.04.2003


Researchers have found disturbing new evidence suggesting that environmental exposure to a ubiquitous substance may cause chromosomally abnormal pregnancies. They have learned that low levels of a compound used in the manufacture of common plastic food and beverage containers and baby bottles interfere with cell division in the eggs of female mice. The disruption of cell division can result in an abnormal number of chromosomes in the eggs, a condition known as aneuploidy, which is the leading cause of mental retardation and birth defects in humans. Down syndrome is an example of a disorder caused by the addition of an extra chromosome.



Patricia Hunt, Ph.D., lead author of the study appearing in the April issue of the journal Current Biology, is concerned because the compound, called Bisphenol A (BPA), which shows hormone-like properties and mimics the effects of naturally produced estrogens, produces a significant increase in genetic abnormalities at extremely low levels.

“Our studies provide the first direct evidence that environmental exposure to BPA acts to disrupt the maturation of the egg and demonstrate a dose-related increase in abnormalities,” says Hunt, an associate professor of genetics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an expert in the causes of genetic abnormalities in egg cells. “In addition, they show that, at least in the mouse, exposure to very low doses of BPA within the human exposure range produces detectable effects.”


“These studies raise important questions about the potential impact on human reproduction of BPA and other man-made substances that mimic the actions of hormones,” she says.

Hunt’s laboratory began studying the effects of BPA after control (or normal) mice in research projects began showing genetic abnormalities. In mice, the rate of these abnormalities usually is low. The defects were traced to plastic cages and plastic water bottles that had been inadvertently cleaned with a harsh detergent. The detergent caused BPA to leach from the polycarbonate material used to make the cages and bottles. Over several years, Hunt and her team proceeded to determine how much BPA the mice had been inadvertently exposed to, which was a relatively large amount. Then, they scaled back to see how small a dose would produce effects. This amounted to daily doses of 20 parts/billion over five to seven days, an extremely low level. “We can’t say anything about the effects of BPA on humans,” says Hunt. “Nevertheless, the cell division program for eggs is extraordinarily similar in mice and humans, and the results of our studies in mice are disturbing because brief exposure during the final stages of egg growth were sufficient to cause significant increases in meiotic abnormalities.”


Other authors on the study from Case Western Reserve University are K.E. Koehler, C.A. Hodges, A. Ilagan, R.C. Voigt, T. J. Hassold; from Thoren Caging Systems, Inc., S. Thomas, and from RTI International Research Triangle, B.F. Thomas.

George Stamatis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cwru.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>