The effects of prenatal bisphenol A exposure on brain volume of children and young mice

Jing Zheng, Jess E. Reynolds, Madison Long, Curtis Ostertag, Tyler Pollock, Max Hamilton, Jeff F. Dunn, Jiaying Liu, Jonathan Martin, Melody Grohs, Bennett Landman, Yuankai Huo, Deborah Dewey, Deborah Kurrasch, Catherine Lebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic chemical used for the manufacturing of plastics, epoxy resin, and many personal care products. This ubiquitous endocrine disruptor is detectable in the urine of over 80% of North Americans. Although adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes have been observed in children with high gestational exposure to BPA, the effects of prenatal BPA on brain structure remain unclear. Here, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we studied the associations of maternal BPA exposure with children's brain structure, as well as the impact of comparable BPA levels in a mouse model. Our human data showed that most maternal BPA exposure effects on brain volumes were small, with the largest effects observed in the opercular region of the inferior frontal gyrus (ρ = −0.2754), superior occipital gyrus (ρ = −0.2556), and postcentral gyrus (ρ = 0.2384). In mice, gestational exposure to an equivalent level of BPA (2.25 μg BPA/kg bw/day) induced structural alterations in brain regions including the superior olivary complex (SOC) and bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) with larger effect sizes (1.07≤ Cohens d ≤ 1.53). Human (n = 87) and rodent (n = 8 each group) sample sizes, while small, are considered adequate to perform the primary endpoint analysis. Combined, these human and mouse data suggest that gestational exposure to low levels of BPA may have some impacts on the developing brain at the resolution of MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114040
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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