Environmental estrogens such as bisphenol-A (BPA) cause reproductive disorders in many vertebrate species, especially fish. BPA is used extensively in the manufacture of plastic and plastic products, epoxy resins, and dental sealants. The presence of BPA in sewage and surface water raises a potential threat to aquatic populations. In the present study, we investigated the effects of BPA on ovarian histology and transcription of key genes involved in reproduction. Adult female Catla catla were exposed to graded concentrations of BPA (10, 100, 1000 µg/l) for 14 days. Ovary histology and expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (star), ovary aromatase (cyp19a), follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (fshr), and luteinizing hormone receptor (lhr) were evaluated in ovary of female fish after 14 days. Fish ovaries from the control and 10 µg/l BPA exposed groups included primary oocytes (POCs), while fish exposed to higher concentrations of BPA (100 and 1000 µg/l) contained tertiary and mature oocytes with increased numbers of atretic follicles. Significant increases in mRNA transcripts of star were observed in fish exposed to 100 and 1000 µg/l BPA. A 15-fold increase in the expression of ovary aromatase (cyp19a) was detected in fish exposed to 100 µg/l BPA. fshr increased in a dose-dependent manner. Increases in the expression of lhr, although not statistically significant, were observed in fish exposed to 100 and 1000 µg/l BPA when compared to control. The results of the present study indicate that BPA causes alterations in the expression patterns of genes involved in the reproductive pathway, which may lead to negative effects on the reproductive system in female fish.
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Vol. 34 • No. 5