Acute exposure to bisphenol A and cadmium causes changes in the morphology of gerbil ventral prostates and promotes alterations in androgen-dependent proliferation and cell death
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Bisphenol A (BPA) and cadmium (Cd) are environmental pollutants that are implicated in potential reproductive effects, including damage to the prostate gland. Their action during puberty requires analysis to determine the relationship of these compounds with the testosterone peak that occurs during this phase. This study evaluated whether exposure to BPA and Cd during puberty can cause changes in the morphology, proliferation and cell death and androgen receptor (AR) immunostaining of the ventral prostates of normal and castrated male gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), considering an acute exposure to the chemicals and evaluation after short (52d) and long (120d) periods. Generally, morphometric-stereological results demonstrated that administration of BPA and Cd (individually or in combination) increased epithelial height, smooth muscle layer (SML) thickness and nuclear area and perimeter, and that these parameters were reduced in castrated animals. In addition, these groups showed important inflammatory processes but not prostate lesions. The proliferation/death rates of prostatic cells obtained by PCNA and TUNEL immunostaining demonstrated increased cell death in the 52d groups; in contrast, the gland acquired a more proliferative nature in the 120d groups. AR immunostaining showed that BPA and Cd compounds interact with ARs in different ways depending on the evaluated period and the hormonal profile of the animal. We conclude that BPA and cadmium are important agents in changing the morphology, proliferation and death of prostatic cells, in addition to interacting with ARs in different patterns. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 48–61, 2017.