Bisphenol A Exposure Impairs Epididymal Development during the Peripubertal Period of Rats: Inflammatory Profile and Tissue Changes
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Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic non-steroidal oestrogen used in the production of plastics. BPA can cause alterations in the endocrine system of human beings and animals at varied stages of development. During puberty, altered morphological, sexual behaviour and completion of the epididymal development occur. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of BPA on epididymal development during the peripubertal period of rats. Male Wistar rats were treated with BPA via gavage at doses of 20 μg/kg or 200 μg/kg per day [post-natal day (PND] 36–66). The control group received the vehicles under the same conditions. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. On PND 67, the epididymis was removed, weighed, divided into caput/corpus and cauda sections. It was then used for sperm count determination; histopathological and stereological evaluation; inflammatory cell enzymatic profiling (myeloperoxidase activity – MPO; N-acetylglucosaminidase – NAG); immunohistochemistry for IL-6; and evaluation of superoxide anion levels and malondialdehyde (MDA). Exposure to BPA at 200 μg/kg caused a significant increase of MPO activity and immunoreactivity to IL-6 (interleukin-6) as well as remodelling of tissue components in the caput/corpus and cauda regions of the epididymis. Under these experimental conditions, it is concluded that BPA alters post-natal epididymal development.