Effects of in Utero Exposure to Perfluorooctane Sulfonate on Placental Functions

Hin Ting Wan, Aman Yi Man Wong, Feng Shi, Chris Kong Chu Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a metabolic-disrupting chemical. There is a strong association between maternal and cord blood PFOS concentrations, affecting metabolism in early life. However, the underlying effects have not been fully elucidated. In this study, using the maternal-fetal model, we investigated the impact of gestational PFOS exposure on the placental structure and nutrient transport. Pregnant mice were oral gavaged with PFOS (1 or 3 μg PFOS/g body weight) from gestational day (GD) 4.5 until GD 17.5. Our data showed a significant reduction in fetal body weight at high dose exposure. There were no noticeable changes in placental weights and the relative areas of junctional and labyrinth zones among the control and exposed groups. However, a placental nutrient transport assay showed a significant reduction in maternal-fetal transport of the glucose and amino acid analogues. Western blot analysis showed a significant decrease in the expression levels of placental SNAT4 upon PFOS exposure. Moreover, in the high-dose exposed group, placenta and fetal livers were found to have significantly higher corticosterone levels, a negative regulator of fetal growth. The perturbation in the placental transport function and corticosterone levels accounted for the PFOS-induced reduction of fetal body weights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16050-16061
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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