Bisphenol A (BPA) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) are widely used industrial chemicals, ubiquitously present in the environment. While BPA is a well-known endocrine disruptor and able to affect all levels of the teleost reproductive axis, information regarding TBBPA on this subject is very limited. Using primary cultures from Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), the present study was aimed at investigating potential direct effects of acute (72 h) BPA and TBBPA exposure on cell viability and the expression of reproductive-relevant genes in the pituitary. The results revealed that both bisphenols stimulate cell viability in terms of metabolic activity and membrane integrity at environmentally relevant concentrations. BPA had no direct effects on gonadotropin gene expression, but enhanced the expression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor 2a, the main gonadotropin modulator in Atlantic cod. In contrast, TBBPA increased gonadotropin transcript levels but had no effect on GnRH receptor mRNA. In conclusion, both anthropogenic compounds display endocrine disruptive properties and are able to directly interfere with gene expression related to reproductive function in cod pituitary cells at environmentally relevant concentrations in vitro.
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