Developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), e.g., bisphenol A (BPA) or genistein (GEN), causes longstanding epigenome effects. MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate which mRNAs will be translated to proteins and thereby serve as the final checkpoint in epigenetic control. Scant amount is known, however, whether EDCs affect neural miRNA (miR) patterns. We aimed to test the hypothesis that developmental exposure of California mice (Peromyscus californicus) to GEN, BPA, or both chemicals influences hypothalamic miR/small RNA profiles and ascertain the extent such biomolecular alterations correlate with behavioral and metabolic changes. California mice were developmentally exposed to GEN (250 mg/kg feed weight, FW), GEN (250 mg/kg FW)+BPA (5 mg/kg FW), low dose (LD) BPA (5 mg/kg FW), or upper dose (UD) BPA (50 mg/kg FW). Adult offspring were tested in a battery of behavioral and metabolic tests; whereupon, mice were euthanized, brains were collected and frozen, small RNAs were isolated from hypothalamic punches, and subsequently sequenced. California mice exposed to one or both EDCs engaged in one or more repetitive behaviors. GEN, LD BPA, and UD BPA altered aspects of ultrasonic and audible vocalizations. Each EDC exposure led to sex-dependent differences in differentially expressed miR/small RNAs with miR7–2, miR146, and miR148a being increased in all female and male EDC exposed groups. Current findings reveal that developmental exposure to GEN and/or BPA affects hypothalamic miR/small RNA expression patterns, and such changes correlate with EDC-induced behavioral and metabolic alterations. miR146 is likely an important mediator and biomarker of EDC exposure in mammals, including humans.
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Small RNA
- Socio-communication behaviors
- Stereotypical behaviors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience