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Effects of bisphenol A treatment during pregnancy on kidney development in mice: a stereological and histopathological study

  • P. Nuñez (a1), T. Fernandez (a2), M. García-Arévalo (a3) (a4) (a5), P. Alonso-Magdalena (a3) (a4), A. Nadal (a3) (a4), C. Perillan (a1) and J. Arguelles (a1)...


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in plastics that resembles oestrogen in organisms. Developmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as BPA, increases the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases. Animal studies have reported a nephron deficit in offspring exposed to maternal diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prenatal BPA exposure effects on nephrogenesis in a mouse model that was predisposed to T2DM. This study quantitatively evaluated the renal structural changes using stereology and histomorphometry methods. The OF1 pregnant mice were treated with a vehicle or BPA (10 or 100 μg/kg/day) during days 9–16 of gestation (early nephrogenesis). The 30-day-old offspring were sacrificed, and tissue samples were collected and prepared for histopathological and stereology studies. Glomerular abnormalities and reduced glomerular formation were observed in the BPA offspring. The kidneys of the BPA10 and BPA100 female offspring had a significantly lower glomerular number and density than those of the CONTROL female offspring. The glomerular histomorphometry revealed a significant difference between the female and male CONTROL offspring for the analysed glomerular parameters that disappeared in the BPA10 and BPA100 offspring. In addition, the kidney histopathological examination showed typical male cuboidal epithelial cells of the Bowman capsule in the female BPA offspring. Exposure to environmentally relevant doses of BPA during embryonic development altered nephrogenesis. These structural changes could be associated with an increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases later in life.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: P. Nuñez, Departamento de Biología Funcional, Área de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, C/Julián Claveria 6, E-33006 Oviedo, Spain. (Email


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