A new study has found that exposure to a ubiquitous environmental chemical during pregnancy may impair reproductive capacity of female offspring.
Fertility decreased over time in female mice that had been exposed during fetal and neonatal (perinatal) development to doses of bisphenol-A (BPA) that were lower than or equal to human environmental exposure levels.
"Mice exposed to BPA in the womb and during nursing subsequently had fewer successful pregnancies and delivered fewer pups over the course of the study," reported one of the study's co-senior authors, Ana M. Soto, professor of anatomy and cellular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) and member of the cell, molecular and developmental biology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
At the highest of three doses tested, only 60pc of the BPA-exposed mice had four or more deliveries over a 32-week period, compared with 95pc in the unexposed control group.
Decline of the reproductive capacity of the female mice in this study was not obvious at first pregnancy, when the animals were very young, but manifested later in life with a decline in number of pups born per delivery.
The study has been published online in advance of print on December 2 in Environmental Health Perspectives.