Adverse PFAS effects on mouse oocyte in vitro maturation are associated with carbon-chain length and inclusion of a sulfonate group

Jianan Feng, Edgar J. Soto-Moreno, Aashna Prakash, Ahmed Z. Balboula, Huanyu Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that are widely used in various products. PFAS are characterized by their fluorinated carbon chains that make them hard to degrade and bioaccumulate in human and animals. Toxicological studies have shown PFAS toxic effects: cytotoxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity. However, it is still unclear how the structures of PFAS, such as carbon-chain length and functional groups, determine their reproductive toxicity. Methods and Results: By using a mouse-oocyte-in-vitro-maturation (IVM) system, we found the toxicity of two major categories of PFAS, perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acid (PFCA) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid (PFSA), is elevated with increasing carbon-chain length and the inclusion of the sulfonate group. Specifically, at 600 μM, perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) reduced the rates of both germinal-vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and polar-body extrusion (PBE) as well as enlarged polar bodies. However, the shorter PFSA, perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), and all PFCA did not show similar adverse cytotoxicity. Further, we found that 600 μM PFHxS and PFOS exposure induced excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Cytoskeleton analysis revealed that PFHxS and PFOS exposure induced chromosome misalignment, abnormal F-actin organization, elongated spindle formation, and symmetric division in the treated oocytes. These meiotic defects compromised oocyte developmental competence after parthenogenetic activation. Conclusions: Our study provides new information on the structure-toxicity relationship of PFAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13353
JournalCell Proliferation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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