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Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 12;5:11029. doi: 10.1038/srep11029.

Perfluorooctanoic acid exposure for 28 days affects glucose homeostasis and induces insulin hypersensitivity in mice.

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Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, P.R. China.
Shanxi Key Laboratory of Ecological Animal Science and Environmental Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, P.R. China.
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, P.R. China.


Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are widely used in many applications due to their unique physical and chemical characteristics. Because of the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndromes, including obesity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, concern has arisen about the roles of environmental pollutants in such diseases. Earlier epidemiologic studies showed a potential association between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and glucose metabolism, but how PFOA influences glucose homeostasis is still unknown. Here, we report on the modulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-serine/threonine protein kinase (PI3K-AKT) signaling pathway in the livers of mice after 28 d of exposure to PFOA. Compared with normal mice, PFOA exposure significantly decreased the expression of the phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) protein and affected the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in the liver. Tolerance tests further indicated that PFOA exposure induced higher insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in mice. Biochemical analysis revealed that PFOA exposure reduced hepatic glycogen synthesis, which might be attributed to gluconeogenesis inhibition. The levels of several circulating proteins were altered after PFOA exposure, including proteins potentially related to diabetes and liver disease. Our results suggest that PFOA affected glucose metabolism and induced insulin hypersensitivity in mice.

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