Long-term Behavioral and Reproductive Consequences of Embryonic Exposure to Low-dose Toxicants.
J Vis Exp. 2018 Mar 6(133). Epub 2018 Mar 6. PMID: 29578512
Mahlet D Mersha
Bisphenols, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) are polymerizing agents widely used in the production of plastics and numerous everyday-use products. Based on their chemical structure and estradiol-like biological properties, they have been classified as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC). Long-term exposure to EDCs, even at low doses, has been linked to various health defects including cancer, behavioral disorders and infertility, with greater vulnerability indicated during early developmental periods. Cellular and molecular studies with the genetically tractable nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans have demonstrated that exposure to BPA causes apoptosis, embryonic lethality and disruption in the DNA repair mechanisms. We have previously reported that exposure of C. elegans embryos to low doses of different bisphenols decreases fecundity. In addition, we have shown that the effects of exposure during the very early stages of development persist into adulthood as assayed by quantifying habituation behavior, a form of non-associative learning. Here, we provide detailed protocols for embryonic exposure to low-dose EDCs as well as the associated fecundity and anterior touch habituation assays, along with representative results.