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Perinatal bisphenol A exposure promotes dose-dependent alterations of the mouse methylome

Jung H Kim12, Maureen A Sartor2, Laura S Rozek13, Christopher Faulk1, Olivia S Anderson1, Tamara R Jones1, Muna S Nahar1 and Dana C Dolinoy1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

2 Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

3 Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-30

Published: 17 January 2014



Environmental factors during perinatal development may influence developmental plasticity and disease susceptibility via alterations to the epigenome. Developmental exposure to the endocrine active compound, bisphenol A (BPA), has previously been associated with altered methylation at candidate gene loci. Here, we undertake the first genome-wide characterization of DNA methylation profiles in the liver of murine offspring exposed perinatally to multiple doses of BPA through the maternal diet.


Using a tiered focusing approach, our strategy proceeds from unbiased broad DNA methylation analysis using methylation-based next generation sequencing technology to in-depth quantitative site-specific CpG methylation determination using the Sequenom EpiTYPER MassARRAY platform to profile liver DNA methylation patterns in offspring maternally exposed to BPA during gestation and lactation to doses ranging from 0 BPA/kg (Ctr), 50 μg BPA/kg (UG), or 50 mg BPA/kg (MG) diet (N = 4 per group). Genome-wide analyses indicate non-monotonic effects of DNA methylation patterns following perinatal exposure to BPA, corroborating previous studies using multiple doses of BPA with non-monotonic outcomes. We observed enrichment of regions of altered methylation (RAMs) within CpG island (CGI) shores, but little evidence of RAM enrichment in CGIs. An analysis of promoter regions identified several hundred novel BPA-associated methylation events, and methylation alterations in the Myh7b and Slc22a12 gene promoters were validated. Using the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, a number of candidate genes that have previously been associated with BPA-related gene expression changes were identified, and gene set enrichment testing identified epigenetically dysregulated pathways involved in metabolism and stimulus response.


In this study, non-monotonic dose dependent alterations in DNA methylation among BPA-exposed mouse liver samples and their relevant pathways were identified and validated. The comprehensive methylome map presented here provides candidate loci underlying the role of early BPA exposure and later in life health and disease status.

Bisphenol A; DNA methylation; Environmental epigenomics; MethylPlex