Bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) that can mimic the action of oestrogens by interacting with hormone receptors, is potentially able to influence reproductive functions in vertebrates and invertebrates. The freshwater pulmonate Physa acuta is a sensitive organism to xenobiotics appropriate for aquatic toxicity testing in environmental studies. This study was conducted to explore the effects of BPA on the Gastropoda endocrine system. The effects following a range of exposure times (5–96h) to BPA in P. acuta were evaluated at the molecular level by analysing changes in the transcriptional activity of the endocrine-related genes oestrogen receptor (ER), oestrogen-related receptor (ERR), and retinoid X receptor (RXR), as well as in genes involved in the stress response, such as hsp70 and hsp90. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that BPA induced a significant increase in the mRNA levels of ER, ERR, and RXR, suggesting that these receptors could be involved in similar pathways or regulation events in the endocrine disruptor activity of this chemical at the molecular level in Gastropoda. Additionally, the hsp70 expression was upregulated after 5 and 72h of BPA exposures, but hsp90 was only upregulated after 5h of BPA exposure. Finally, we assessed the glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity after BPA treatment and found that it was affected after 48h. In conclusion, these data provide, for the first time, evidences of molecular effects produced by BPA in the endocrine system of Gastropoda, supporting the potential of ER, ERR and RXR as biomarkers to analyse putative EDCs in ecotoxicological studies. Moreover, our results suggest that P. acuta is an appropriate sentinel organism to evaluate the effect of EDCs in the freshwater environment.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2018
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