Project 3: Endocrine Disruptors and Diet:
Effects on the Developing Cortex

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Significant Results


  • BPA during early development led to increases in neuron and glia number in the prefrontal cortex of male, but not female, rat offspring.


    • An increase in both neurons and glia in this brain region is characteristic of many human children diagnosed with autism.



    • This interesting finding is currently being followed up with more measures relevant to models of autism in the current study of early BPA exposure.


  • BPA exposure during adolescence changed the number of glia in adults such that exposed males had glia numbers more like control females and exposed females had glia numbers more like control males.
Immunohistochemistry of the Prefrontal cortex. Green cells= astrocytes. Red cells=microglia
A photograph illustrating neurons (N) and glia (G) at the high magnifi- cation used for counting cells. Note the distinguishing characteristics of size and shape.




Wise L. M., Sadowski R. N., Kim T., Willing J., Juraska J. M. Long-term effects of adolescent exposure to bisphenol A on neuron and glia number in the rat prefrontal cortex: Differences between the sexes and cell type. Neurotoxicology, 53: 186-192, 2016 PMID: 26828634 PMC4808356


Sadowski RN, Park P, Neese SL, Ferguson DC, Schantz SL, Juraska JM. (2014). Effects of perinatal bisphenol A exposure during early development on radial arm maze behavior in adult male and female rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 42:17-24.


Sadowski RN, Wise LM, Park PY, Schantz SL, Juraska JM. (2014). Early exposure to bisphenol A alters neuron and glia number in the rat prefrontal cortex of adult males, but not females. Neuroscience. 279C:122-131.