PloS one

Lifetime-dependent effects of bisphenol A on asthma development in an experimental mouse model.

PMID 24950052


Environmental factors are thought to contribute significantly to the increase of asthma prevalence in the last two decades. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a xenoestrogen commonly used in consumer products and the plastic industry. There is evidence and an ongoing discussion that endocrine disruptors like BPA may affect human health and also exert alterations on in the immune system. The aim of this study was to investigate age-dependent effects of BPA on the asthma risk using a murine model to explain the controversial results reported till date. BALB/c mice were exposed to BPA via the drinking water for different time periods including pregnancy and breastfeeding. To induce an asthma phenotype, mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA), followed by an intrapulmonary allergen challenge. BPA exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding had no significant effect on asthma development in the offspring. In contrast, lifelong exposure from birth until the last antigen challenge clearly increased eosinophilic inflammation in the lung, airway hyperreactivity and antigen-specific serum IgE levels in OVA-sensitized adult mice compared to mice without BPA exposure. Surprisingly, BPA intake during the sensitization period significantly reduced the development of allergic asthma. This effect was reversed in the presence of a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. Our results demonstrate that the impact of BPA on asthma risk is strongly age-dependent and ranges from asthma-promoting to asthma-reducing effects. This could explain the diversity of results from previous studies regarding the observed health impact of BPA.