Since 2008, Bisphenol A (BPA) has seen more bad press than a big U.S. bank. The media blitz of studies linking BPA to a number of reproductive, immune and CNS disorders has led people to eye suspiciously everything from baby bottles to that cool REI water bottle you’ve been hiking with the last few years. A brand new study, showing that BPA can alter miRNA expression patterns in the placenta, gives us one more reason to think twice about drinking from those plastic water bottles sitting in your fridge.
The use of plastic food and beverage containers has caused an increase in BPA use and exposure over the last several years, leading researchers to question what happens when BPA leaches into what we eat and drink. Scientists from Brown University looked into how that exposure plays out at the miRNA level. The researchers teamed up with Invitrogen’s NCodeTM miRNA Profiling Services group to generate some microarray-based miRNA profiles for three different placental cell lines 3A, TCL-1, and HTR-8, with and without BPA treatment. After crunching the data and running some validation experiments they found:
- Several miRNAs were differentially expressed by microarray after treatment with BPA (25 in 3A, 60 in HTR-8 and none in TCL-1). 21 of these were common between 3A and HTR-8 cells.
- TCL-1 cells showed no differential miRNA patterns, which the authors chalk up to the TCL-1 cells lineage from 3rd trimester placenta (terminally differentiated), as opposed to 1st trimester placenta in 3A and HTR-8 lines. This suggests that developing tissues are especially at risk to BPA exposure.
- miR-146a was validated to be significantly upregulated (32-fold) after BPA treatment by qRT-PCR.
- miR-146a over-expression led to decreased cell proliferation , and increased sensitivity to bleomycin, a DNA damaging agent; both of which spell trouble for a developing fetus.
Check out how BPA seems to leak into everything at Reproductive Toxicology, May 2010.
Learn more about Invitrogen NCodeTM miRNA Products and Services.