An endocrine disruptor, bisphenol A, affects development in the protochordate Ciona intestinalis : Hatching rates and swimming behavior alter in a dose-dependent manner

Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used industrially to produce polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Numerous studies document the harmful effects caused by low-dose BPA exposure especially on nervous systems and behavior in experimental animals such as mice and rats. Here, we exposed embryos of a model chordate, Ciona intestinalis, to seawater containing BPA to evaluate adverse effects on embryonic development and on the swimming behavior of subsequent larvae. Ciona is ideal because its larva develops rapidly and has few cells. The rate of larval hatching decreased in a dose-dependent manner with exposures to BPA above 3 μM; swimming behavior was also affected in larvae emerging from embryos exposed to 1 μM BPA. Adverse effects were most severe on fertilized eggs exposed to BPA within 7 h post-fertilization. Ciona shares twelve nuclear receptors with mammals, and BPA is proposed to disturb the physiological functions of one or more of these.

Ayami Matsushima, Kerrianne Ryan, Yasuyuki Shimohigashi, Ian A. Meinertzhagen, Environmental Pollution, Volume 173, Pages 257–263, February 2013

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