Discipline: Biological Sciences
Christian Reynald Laurent - University of Georgia
Co-Author(s): Elyssa Jacob, Thomas Rudi, Jared Spivey, Diane Tran, Celexus Cambric, Djemila McCray, P.S. MohanKumar, and Sheba M.J. MohanKumar, University of Georgia
Metabolic and cardiovascular diseases affect a significant segment of the U.S. population. Epidemiological studies clearly provide evidence for higher exposure rates to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in ‘at-risk’ populations such as Hispanic, African American, American Indian, and Alaskan Native communities. Several recent studies have also provided evidence linking early exposure to EDCs during pregnancy that can “program” offspring, making them vulnerable to diseases in adulthood when they are exposed to other challenges such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise etc. We hypothesized that prenatal exposure to EDCs would interfere with organ development in the fetus, making them prone to developing metabolic and other disorders in later life when they are challenged with a high fat diet. In this experiment, Sprague-Dawley dams were treated orally with saline, bisphenol A (BPA; 5µg/Kg BW), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP; 7.5mg/Kg BW), or a combination of BPA and DEHP (BD) from day 6-21 of gestation. The offspring were weaned on to a chow diet and when they were 12 weeks old, they were placed on chow or a high fat (HF)diet (45% calories from fat) for 2 weeks. At the end of this period, offspring were sacrificed and organs were weighed to see if there was an effect on the organ development due to the prenatal EDC exposure. Results indicate that exposure to DEHP increases right ventricular mass in females and BPA+HF increased heart mass in males. BPA+HF increased pituitary weight in females and BD+HF reduced thymus weight in females. Exposure to BD increased testis weight in males. These results indicate that prenatal exposures to EDCs produced gender-specific effects on organ development. Moreover, these EDCs produce specific effects on different organs and these effects are exacerbated by HF diet exposure in adulthood.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): University of Georgia Research Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sheba M.J. MohanKumar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Before the organs were analyzed, I was part of the team that helped raise the rats and recorded their water and food intake. Once they reached a certain age, the research team and I extracted the organs from the rats once they were properly sacrificed. After recording the weights of the organs, I performed a one way ANOVA test through StatView software to test for any significant difference.