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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Humans experience ubiquitous exposures to estrogenic environmental chemicals from food, personal care products, and other industrial and consumer goods. Bisphenol A (BPA), a well-studied xenoestrogen, is known to alter development of estrogen-sensitive organs including the brain, reproductive tract, and mammary gland. Bisphenol S (BPS), which has a similar chemical structure to BPA, is also used in many consumer products, but its effects on estrogen-sensitive organs in mammals has not been thoroughly examined. In our study, pregnant CD-1 mice were orally exposed to BPS or ethinyl estradiol (EE2, a positive control for estrogenicity) from gestational day 9 through postnatal day (PND) 2, the period when many estrogen-sensitive organs are developing. After weaning, the offspring were administered either oil (vehicle) or an estrogen challenge (1 μg EE2/kg/day) for ten days starting at PND21 (prior to puberty), PND80 (early adulthood), or PND260 (later adulthood). Timing of puberty was evaluated in females by noting the date on which vaginal opening occurred. After the 10 day estrogen challenge, we evaluated the response of endocrine sensitive organs through measurements of organ weight, tissue morphology, and gene expression in both males and females. We observed dose- and sex-specific effects of BPS and EE2 treatment, as well as alterations in the responses of males and females to the estrogen challenge. This study sheds light on the effects of low dose xenoestrogen exposures on estrogen-sensitive organs including the reproductive tract and mammary gland. Furthermore, it improves our understanding of the influence of environmental chemicals on secular trends of earlier age of puberty in girls reported over the past few decades.


First Advisor

Laura N. Vandenberg