Immunometabolism-modulation and immunotoxicity evaluation of perfluorooctanoic acid in macrophage

Jinglin Tian, Yanjun Hong*, Zhenchi Li, Zhiyi Yang, Bo Lei, Jianjun Liu*, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is one of the most commonly used perfluorinated chemicals in industry. Wide concerns of PFOA toxicity are increased in recent years. However, report on immunotoxicity of PFOA was quite limited. This study aimed to investigate the immunotoxicity of PFOA exposure on macrophage RAW264.7. We assessed the effects of PFOA exposure on macrophage cell viability, cell apoptosis and cellular ROS level, and detected prominent cytokines release by RAW264.7. The results indicated that the cell viability of macrophage RAW264.7 was decreased by PFOA in dose- and time-dependent manners. Specifically, the exposure of 200 μM PFOA significantly increased apoptosis and ROS generation in macrophage, and thus caused cell damage. The ELISA results displayed that 100 μM PFOA exposure induced macrophage activation and enhanced cytokines secretion, including TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and IL-12. We also conducted nontargeted metabolomics based on LC-MS/MS and unveiled the perturbed metabolic pathways in macrophages induced by sublethal doses of PFOA (10 μM and 100 μM). Remarkably, global metabolomics results displayed that 10 μM PFOA exposure affected glutamine related pathways and the exposure at 100 μM conspicuously changed glutathione and fatty acid oxidation metabolism. These findings showed that 10 μM PFOA exposure could impel metabolic reprogramming of macrophage to trigger inflammatory response, although such dose displayed no obvious effect on cell viability, cellular ROS or apoptosis events of macrophage RAW264.7.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112128
Number of pages10
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Early online date24 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Immunotoxicity
  • Macrophage
  • Metabolomics
  • PFOA


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