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Parallel assessment of the effects of bisphenol A and several of its analogs on the adult human testis

Abstract : Study question - Are bisphenol A (BPA) and BPA analogs (BPA-A) safe for male human reproductive function? Summary answer - The endocrine function of human testes explants [assessed by measuring testosterone and insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3)] was impacted by exposure of the human adult testis explants to BPA/BPA-A. What is known already - The few epidemiologic studies performed suggest that bisphenols have potential endocrine disruptive properties, but they did not identify clear and direct patterns of endocrine disruption. Study design, size, duration - Adult human testis explants in culture were exposed to BPA and the analogs bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol E (BPE), bisphenol B (BPB) and bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE) at 10-9-10-5 M for 24 or 48 h. Participants/materials, setting, methods - Human adult testes were obtained from prostate cancer patients who had no hormone therapy, or from multiorgan donors. After ex vivo exposure to the investigated bisphenols, the measured outcomes were related to histopathology (gross morphology and germ cell viability determined by anti-caspase three immunohistochemistry), and the levels of testosterone, INSL3 and inhibin B were measured using immunoassays. The levels of mRNA encoding key enzymes of bisphenol biotransformation were investigated by quantitative PCR: UGT2B15 UDP (glucuronosyltransferase two family, polypeptide B15), GUSB (glucuronidase beta), SULT1A1 and 3 (sulfotransferase family 1 A member 1 and 3) and STS (steroid sulfatase). Main results and the role of chance - A significant dose-dependent inhibition was found between testosterone levels measured in the culture medium and concentrations of BPA (P = 0.00778 at 24 h and P = 0.0291 at 48 h), BPE (P = 0.039) and BPF (P = 0.00663). The observed BPA and BPA-A-induced inhibition of testosterone production varied according to duration of exposure and BPA/BPA-A concentrations. BPA (10-9 M; P < 0.05), BPB (10-9 M; P < 0.05), BPS (10-9 and 10-8 M; P < 0.05) and BADGE (10-5 M; P < 0.05) increased Leydig cell INSL3 production. By contrast, BPE dose dependently inhibited INSL3 (P = 0.0372). Conversely, Sertoli cell function (inhibin B) and germ cell viability were not significantly affected by either bisphenols. Large scale data - N/A. Limitations, reasons for caution - Environmental compounds cannot be deliberately administered to men, justifying the use of an ex vivo approach. A relatively low number of testes samples were available for analysis (n = 3, except for testosterone secretion with n = 5). The active concentrations of BPA and BPA-A used in the study were higher than those found in human biological fluids. Wider implications of the findings - Under our experimental conditions, direct exposure to BPA or BPA-A can result in endocrine disturbance in the adult human testis. Study funding/competing interest(s) - This study was funded by Inserm (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), EHESP-School of Public Health, University of Rennes1, by grants from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR; grant#ANR-13-CESA-0012-03 NEWPLAST) and Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'Alimentation, de l'Environnement et du Travail (ANSES; grant#EST-2010/2/046 (BPATESTIS)). All authors declare they have no current or potential competing financial interests.
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Christèle Desdoits-Lethimonier, Lauriane Lesné, Pierre Gaudriault, Daniel Zalko, Jean-Philippe Antignac, et al.. Parallel assessment of the effects of bisphenol A and several of its analogs on the adult human testis. Human Reproduction, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017, 32 (7), pp.1465--1473. ⟨10.1093/humrep/dex093⟩. ⟨hal-01578582⟩

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