Fetal Myocardial Expression of GLUT1: Roles of BPA Exposure and Cord Blood Exosomes in a Rat Model

Leonardo Ermini, Maurizio Mandalà, Laura Cresti, Sofia Passaponti, Laura Patrussi, Luana Paulesu, Kent Thornburg, Francesca Ietta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Dietary exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical present in food containers, affects nutrient metabolism in the myocardium of offspring during intrauterine life. Using a murine model, we observed that fetal hearts from mothers exposed to BPA (2.5 μg/kg/day) for 20 days before mating and for all of the gestation had decreased expression of glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1), the principal sugar transporter in the fetal heart, and increased expression of fatty acid cluster of differentiation 36 transporter (CD36), compared to control fetuses from vehicle-treated mothers. We confirmed the suppression of GLUT1 by exposing fetal heart organotypic cultures to BPA (1 nM) for 48 h but did not detect changes in CD36 compared to controls. During pregnancy, the placenta continuously releases extracellular vesicles such as exosomes into fetal circulation. These vesicles influence the growth and development of fetal organs. When fetal heart cultures were treated with cord blood-derived exosomes isolated from BPA-fed animals, GLUT1 expression was increased by approximately 40%. Based on our results, we speculate that exosomes from cord blood, in particular placenta-derived nanovesicles, could contribute to the stabilization of the fetal heart metabolism by ameliorating the harmful effects of BPA on GLUT1 expression.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number3195
    Issue number20
    StatePublished - Oct 2022


    • BPA
    • GLUT1
    • exosomes
    • fetal heart
    • placenta

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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