Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Paul Heideman

Committee Members

Beverly Sher

Daniel Cristol

Randolph Coleman


Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a plasticizer and a known endocrine-disrupting chemical in mammals that can interfere with functions controlled by hormones, including reproduction. This study tested for genetic variation in the reproductive response to the environmental toxin BPA. We used a genetically variable wild-source population of Peromyscus leucopus, from which two genetically different selection lines have been developed. These artificial selection lines of P. leucopus have either a strong reproductive response to short photoperiod or a weak reproductive response to short photoperiod. To measure the response of the reproductive systems to doses of BPA (50 and 250 mg/kg body mass), we measured food intake, body mass, gonad mass, and luteinizing hormone levels. In a previous pilot study, the selection lines differed in reproductive response, food intake, and body mass when given BPA. There was a suggestion for genetic variation in this response: the non-responsive line had higher food intake and body mass, less GnRH staining, and increased tyrosine hydroxylase staining relative to the photoperiod responsive line. This new experiment tested two different doses of BPA administered in food for 3 weeks. The effect of BPA on reproductive organ size, body weight, food intake, and a reproductive hormone was did not differ significantly at any dose or between lines. My data provide no evidence that the lines neither responded to BPA nor differed in reproductive responses to this environmental toxin, suggesting there may be no functional impairment resulting from this endocrine disruptor at these doses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

On-Campus Access Only