Effects of the xenoestrogen bisphenol A on expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the rat

Xinghua Long, Kathleen A. Burke, Robert M. Bigsby, Kenneth P. Nephew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is used to produce polymers for production of polycarbonate and epoxy resins that are used in food containers and dental appliances. BPA binds to estrogen receptors and induces estrogenic activity in a number of biological systems. We recently reported that although Fisher 344 (F344) and Sprague-Dawley (S-D) rat strains exhibit different sensitivities to BPA at the level of vaginal epithelial cell proliferation, there was no difference in immediate early proto-oncogene expression between the two animal strains. In the present study we investigated the effects of BPA on expression of another estrogen-target gene, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in the uterus, vagina, and pituitary of F344 and S-D rats. Adult rats were ovariectomized and treated with BPA by intraperitoneal injection at concentrations of 0.02 to 150 mg/kg body wt. Expression of VEGF was monitored by RNase protection assay at 2 hr after treatment. There was a significant effect of dose of BPA on the type of VEGF isoform expressed in the uterus, vagina, and pituitary. BPA induced greater (P < 0.01) levels of VEGF164 and VEGF120+188 than VEGF110 levels. The lowest BPA dose that had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on VEGF expression compared with vehicle treatment was 37.5 mg/kg body wt.; dose-response curves did not differ between strains. This is the first report that the primary response of the uterus, vagina, and pituitary to BPA includes rapid induction of VEGF expression. Due to the capacity of VEGF to engage pleiotropic signaling pathways in other cellular systems, we suggest that modulation of VEFG may play a role in establishing the response of estrogen-target organs to estrogenic xenobiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bisphenol A
  • Pituitary
  • Rat
  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Xenoestrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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