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Toxicology. 2011 Jun 18;284(1-3):54-62. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2011.03.014. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Tissue distribution of ³⁵S-labelled perfluorooctane sulfonate in adult mice after oral exposure to a low environmentally relevant dose or a high experimental dose.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.


The widespread environmental pollutant perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), detected in most animal species including the general human population, exerts several effects on experimental animals, e.g., hepatotoxicity, immunotoxicity and developmental toxicity. However, detailed information on the tissue distribution of PFOS in mammals is scarce and, in particular, the lack of available information regarding environmentally relevant exposure levels limits our understanding of how mammals (including humans) may be affected. Accordingly, we characterized the tissue distribution of this compound in mice, an important experimental animal for studying PFOS toxicity. Following dietary exposure of adult male C57/BL6 mice for 1-5 days to an environmentally relevant (0.031 mg/kg/day) or a 750-fold higher experimentally relevant dose (23 mg/kg/day) of ³⁵S-PFOS, most of the radioactivity administered was recovered in liver, bone (bone marrow), blood, skin and muscle, with the highest levels detected in liver, lung, blood, kidney and bone (bone marrow). Following high daily dose exposure, PFOS exhibited a different distribution profile than with low daily dose exposure, which indicated a shift in distribution from the blood to the tissues with increasing dose. Both scintillation counting (with correction for the blood present in the tissues) and whole-body autoradiography revealed the presence of PFOS in all 19 tissues examined, with identification of thymus as a novel site for localization for PFOS and bone (bone marrow), skin and muscle as significant body compartments for PFOS. These findings demonstrate that PFOS leaves the bloodstream and enters most tissues in a dose-dependent manner.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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