Seminars & Events
Thursday, September 11, 2014: Dr. Bevil Conway (Wellesley College) will speak on his research in visual neuroscience and color at 4:30 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 27, 2014: Dr. Todd Gould (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Genes to behaviors to treatments in bipolar disorder" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.Friday, December 5, 2014: Dr. Brian Mathur (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Braking bad: Aberrant inhibitory neurotransmission in addiction" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Bernstein, Julie (2011). Perinatal exposure to bisphenol-A: alterations in adult behavior and dopaminergic functioning. (Mentor: A.M. Brady)
Bisphenol-A (BPA) in an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptor widely used in the production of plastics. Under certain conditions, BPA can leach from plastic containers into food or drink, and enter the body. Due to its lipid solubility, BPA can cross the placental barrier and interfere with development. Estrogen plays a vital role in sexual differentiation and dopaminergic gene transcription during gestation and lactation; BPA is predicted to interfere with these processes. In particular perinatal exposure to low-dose BPA is expected to: expedite puberty onset in females, alter development weight gain, reduce sex differences in measures of anxiety in the elevated plus maze, impair learning and memory in the Morris water maze, alter social interaction, produce hyperlocomotion, alter drug-induced locomotion, reduce TH-positive cell counts in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area, and reduce TH fiber density levels in the nucleus accumbens. We administered the E.P.A.’s safe daily limit, 50 µg/kg/day BPA, from embryonic day (ED) 14 – postnatal day (PD) 20 by maternal oral exposure and measured behavior in adult offspring after PD 56. Females exposed to BPA showed trends of earlier pubertal onset and impaired weight development in both males and females. BPA was seen to increase social behavior and produce hyperlocomotion in both sexes, yet blunted amphetamine-induced locomotion only in males. Although BPA did not alter TH levels, further analysis should be done to account for variability. Overall, perinatal exposure to a considered safe BPA dose is seen to produce developmental and behavioral impairments in offspring.