2012 Volume 37 Issue 3 Pages 539-548
Bisphenol A (BPA) is known to be an endocrine disruptor that affects the development of reproductive system. The aim of the present study was to investigate a group of testicular genes dysregulated by prenatal exposure to BPA. Pregnant ICR mice were treated with BPA by subcutaneous administration on days 7 and 14 of pregnancy. Tissue and blood samples were collected from 6-week-old male offspring. Testes were subjected to gene expression analysis using a testis-specific microarray (Testis2), consisting of 2,482 mouse cDNA clones annotated with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms indicative of testicular components and functions. To interpret the microarray data, we used the MeSH terms significantly associated with the altered genes. As a result, MeSH terms related to androgens and Sertoli cells were extracted in BPA-treated groups. Among the genes related to Sertoli cells, downregulation of Msi1h, Ncoa1, Nid1, Hspb2, and Gata6 were detected in the testis of mice treated with BPA (twice administered 50 mg/kg). The MeSH terms associated with this group of genes may provide useful means to interpret the testicular toxicity of BPA. This article concludes that prenatal BPA exposure downregulates expression of genes associated with Sertoli cell function and affects the reproductive function of male offspring. Additionally, a method using MeSH to extract a group of genes was useful for predicting the testicular and reproductive toxicity of prenatal BPA exposure.