The Effects of Bisphenol-A on Vitellogenin Levels in Pimephales promelas

by Cassandra Pauley
Environmental Science
Faculty advisor: Dr. Melinda Coogan

Xenoestrogens have been shown to affect reproduction in wildlife and may have adverse effects on humans because of their ubiquitous presence in the environment, resistance to degradation, and potential for accumulation in lipids. Bisphenol A (BPA) (2,2-(4,4-dihydroxydipenyl) propane) is one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in industry today. Bisphenol A is found in electronic equipment, automobiles, sports safety equipment, reusable food and drink containers, and many other products. It poses problems because it can seep from hard plastics and enter into aquatic systems. Numerous studies have shown that animals exposed to low doses of BPA exhibited significant weight gain in both female and male offspring, advanced sexual maturation, disruption of the regularity of the estrous cycle in females, and altered sexual differentiation processes in exposed male fish, with resultant and varied levels of vitellogenin (Vtg), an egg yolk precursor. This study reports whole body male fathead minnow Vtg levels following three incremental six-day BPA exposure rates. Vitellogenin levels were assessed by using a biosense® Laboratories, Fathead Minnow Vtg ELISA kit. Exposure levels of BPA ranged from zero to 400 ppb with the following Vtg concentrations: control concentration of 0.126 ppb, Sample A concentration of 0.128 ppb at 50 ppb BPA level, Sample B concentration of 0.135 ppb at 100 ppb BPA level, and Sample C concentration of 0.236 ppb at 400 ppb BPA level. Results indicate increasing concentrations of Vtg production in response to increasing levels of BPA exposures.