Renal excretion of perfluorooctanoic acid in male rats: Inhibitory effect of testosterone

John P. Vanden Heuvel, John W. Davis, Rebecca Sommers, Richard E. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


There is a marked sex difference in the whole‐body elimination of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in rats, with females excreting the perfluorinated acid much more rapidly (half life [t1/2] < 1 day) than males (t1/2=15 days). Our objective was to determine if androgens or estrogens are involved in causing this sex difference in PFOA elimination. Castration of males greatly increased the elimination of [1‐14C]PFOA (9.4 μmiol/kg, i.p.) in urine, demonstrating that a factor produced by the testis was responsible for the slow elimination of PFOA in male rats. Castration plus 17β‐estradiol had no further effect on PFOA elimination whereas castration plus testosterone replacement at the physiologic level reduced PFOA elimination to the same level as rats with intact testes. Thus, in male rats, testosterone exerts an inhibitory effect on renal excretion of PFOA. In female rats, neither ovariectomy nor ovariectomy plus testosterone affected the PFOA urinary elimination, demonstrating that the inhibitory effect of testosterone on PFOA renal excretion is a male‐specific response. Probenecid decreased the high rate of PFOA renal excretion in castrated males but had no effect on male rats with intact testes. We conclude that testosterone is a key determinant of the sex difference in PFOA elimination in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biochemical Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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