In Brief: Bisphenol A causes sterility in roundworm

November 9, 2010

Bisphenol A can cause sterility and embryo death in a laboratory roundworm, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Long debated to cause an array of ailments, including , diabetes, and miscarriages, bisphenol A, found widely in plastics, lines most packaging for food and drink. A handful of states in the United States have banned the chemical in children's products, but nearly everyone is exposed to it.

Patrick Allard and Monica P. Colaiacovo tested the effects of bisphenol A on the cellular processes underlying the generation of sperm and eggs from their precursors in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, an experimental model for molecular research.

The authors found that bisphenol A impairs certain DNA repair processes in sex cell precursors known to be essential for the formation of sperm and eggs. Further, exposure to bisphenol A damaged chromosomal integrity, triggered cells' damage surveillance systems, and led to .

Whereas controls appeared normal, the authors found frayed, fragmented, and aggregated chromosomes in egg cell precursors exposed to bisphenol A that ultimately led to embryo death and a drop in the worms' brood size.

The findings suggest a potential mechanism for the effect of on human reproduction, according to the authors.

More information: "Bisphenol A impairs the double-strand break repair machinery in the germline and causes chromosome abnormalities," by Patrick Allard and Monica P. Colaiacovo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. www.pnas.org/

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Artificial beta cells

December 8, 2016

Researchers led by ETH Professor Martin Fussenegger at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel have produced artificial beta cells using a straightforward engineering approach.

Key regulator of bone development identified

December 8, 2016

Loss of a key protein leads to defects in skeletal development including reduced bone density and a shortening of the fingers and toes—a condition known as brachydactyly. The discovery was made by researchers at Penn State ...

Researchers question lifelong immunity to toxoplasmosis

December 8, 2016

Medical students are taught that once infected with Toxoplasma gondii—the "cat parasite"—then you're protected from reinfection for the rest of your life. This dogma should be questioned, argue researchers in an Opinion ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.