[Frontiers in Bioscience E4, 1724-1730, January 1, 2012]

Endocrine disruptors in utero cause ovarian damages linked to endometriosis

Pietro G. Signorile1, Enrico P. Spugnini2, Gennaro Citro2, Rosa Viceconte1, Bruno Vincenzi3, Feliciano Baldi4, Alfonso Baldi1,4

1Fondazione Italiana Endometriosi, Rome, Italy; 2 SAFU Department, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy; 3Department of Oncology, Campus Biomedico University, Rome, Italy 5 Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Sect. Pathology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Materials and methods
3.1. Animals and treatment
3.2. Tissue collection and histology
3.3. Statistical analysis
4. Results
4.1. Effects on ovarian tissues caused by pre-natal exposure to BPA
4.2. Correlation between endometriosis-like phenotype and ovarian alterations
5. Discussion
6. Acknowledgment
7. References


Timed pregnant Balb-C mice were treated from day 1 of gestation to 7 days after delivery with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol a (BPA) (100, or 1,000 g/kg/day). After delivery, pups were hold for three months; then, ovaries were analyzed in their entirety. We found that in the ovaries of BPA-treated animals the number of primordial follicles and of developing follicles was significantly lower than in the untreated animals. Moreover, the number of atretic follicles was significantly higher in the treated animals. Finally, we found that the animals displaying endometriosis-like phenotype had a more severe impairment of the ovaries in term of number of primordial and developing follicles in comparison with the other mice exposed to BPA. In conclusion, we describe for the first time a complex phenotype in mice, elicited by pre-natal exposition to BPA, that includes ovarian lesions and endometriosis. Considering the high incidence of endometriosis and of the premature ovarian failure associated to infertility in these patients, the data showed prompt a thoroughly reconsideration of the pathological framing of these lesions.