Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the commonest Endocrine Disruptor Compounds worldwide. It interferes with vertebrate reproduction, possibly by inducing deregulation of epigenetic mechanisms. To determine its effects on female reproductive physiology and investigate whether changes in the expression levels of genes related to reproduction are caused by histone modifications, BPA concentrations consistent with environmental exposure were administered to zebrafish for three weeks. Effects on oocyte growth and maturation, autophagy and apoptosis processes, histone modifications, and DNA methylation were assessed by Real-Time PCR (qPCR), histology, and chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with qPCR analysis (ChIP-qPCR). The results showed that 5 μg/L BPA down-regulated oocyte maturation-promoting signals, likely through changes in the chromatin structure mediated by histone modifications, and promoted apoptosis in mature follicles. These data indicate that the negative effects of BPA on the female reproductive system may be due to its upstream ability to deregulate epigenetic mechanism.
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