Epigenetic responses following maternal dietary exposure to physiologically relevant levels of bisphenol A

Olivia S. Anderson, Muna S. Nahar, Christopher Faulk, Tamara R. Jones, Chunyang Liao, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Caren Weinhouse, Laura S. Rozek, Dana C. Dolinoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Animal studies have linked perinatal bisphenol A (BPA) exposure to altered DNA methylation, but little attention is given to analyzing multiple physiologically relevant doses. Utilizing the viable yellow agouti (A vy) mouse, we examine the effects of developmental exposure through maternal diet to 50 ng BPA/kg (n = 14 litters), 50 μg BPA/kg (n = 9 litters), or 50 mg BPA/kg (n = 13 litters) on global and candidate gene methylation at postnatal day 22. Global methylation analysis reveals hypermethylation in tail tissue of a/a and A vy/a offspring across all dose groups compared with controls (n = 11 litters; P < 0.02). Analysis of coat color phenotype replicates previous work showing that the distribution of 50 mg BPA/kg A vy/a offspring shifts toward yellow (P = 0.006) by decreasing DNA methylation in the retrotransposon upstream of the Agouti gene (P = 0.03). Maternal exposure to 50 μg or 50 ng BPA/kg, however, results in altered coat color distributions in comparison with control (P = 0.04 and 0.02), but no DNA methylation effects at the Agouti gene are noted. DNA methylation at the CDK5 activator-binding protein (Cabp IAP) metastable epiallele shows hypermethylation in the 50 μg BPA/kg offspring, compared with controls (P = 0.02). Comparison of exposed mouse liver BPA levels to human fetal liver BPA levels indicates that the three experimental exposures are physiologically relevant. Thus, perinatal BPA exposure affects offspring phenotype and epigenetic regulation across multiple doses, indicating the need to evaluate dose effects in human clinical and population studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-342
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bisphenol A
  • DNA methylation
  • Developmental origins of disease
  • Epigenetics
  • Viable yellow agouti (A ) mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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