The role of mouse and human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α in modulating the hepatic effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate in mice

Shengzhong Su, Laura J. Billy, Sue Chang, Frank J. Gonzalez, Andrew D. Patterson, Jeffrey M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a stable environmental contaminant that can activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). In the present work, the specific role of mouse and human PPARα in mediating the hepatic effects of PFOS was examined in short-term studies using wild type, Ppara-null and PPARA-humanized mice. Mice fed 0.006 % PFOS for seven days (∼10 mg/kg/day), or 0.003 % PFOS for twenty-eight days (∼5 mg/kg/day), exhibited higher liver and serum PFOS concentrations compared to controls. Relative liver weights were also higher following exposure to dietary PFOS in all three genotypes as compared vehicle fed control groups. Histopathological examination of liver sections from mice treated for twenty-eight days with 0.003 % PFOS revealed a phenotype consistent with peroxisome proliferation, in wild-type and PPARA-humanized mice that was not observed in Ppara-null mice. With both exposures, expression of the PPARα target genes, Acox1, Cyp4a10, was significantly increased in wild type mice but not in Ppara-null or PPARA-humanized mice. By contrast, expression of the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) target gene, Cyp2b10, and the pregnane X receptor (PXR) target gene, Cyp3a11, were higher in response to PFOS administration in all three genotypes compared to controls for both exposure periods. These results indicate that mouse PPARα can be activated in the liver by PFOS causing increased expression of Acox1, Cyp4a10 and histopathological changes in the liver. While histopathological analyses indicated the presence of mouse PPARα-dependent hepatic peroxisome proliferation in wild-type (a response associated with activation of PPARα) and a similar phenotype in PPARA-humanized mice, the lack of increased Acox1 and Cyp4a10 mRNA by PFOS in PPARA-humanized mice indicates that the human PPARα was not as responsive to PFOS as mouse PPARα with this dose regimen. Moreover, results indicate that hepatomegaly caused by PFOS does not require mouse or human PPARα and could be due to effects induced by activation of CAR and/or PXR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number153056
StatePublished - Jan 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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