Glucose and lipid homeostasis in adult rat is impaired by early-life exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate

Environ Toxicol. 2013 Sep;28(9):532-42. doi: 10.1002/tox.20747. Epub 2011 Aug 24.


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which belongs to the degradation product of many perfluorinated compounds, is on the list of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and is currently detected in both wildlife and humans. The consequence of gestational and lactational exposure to PFOS on prediabetes effect in offspring was investigated in rats in the present study. Maternal rats were treated with vehicle, 0.5 mg/kg/day or 1.5 mg/kg/day PFOS respectively from gestation day 0 to postnatal day 21. The glucose and lipid metabolism effects were investigated on the offspring in adulthood. The gestational and lactational exposure to PFOS led to low body weight from birth to weaning, and evoked signs of a prediabetic state, with elevated fasting serum insulin and leptin level, impaired glucose tolerance, though the fasting serum glucose and glycosylated serum protein level were normal. Abnormal lipid homeostasis was also observed by the phenomenon of hepatic steatosis and increased gonadal fat pad weight. However, the circulating serum level of fasting triglyceride and cholesterol level were no different from controls. Our results suggested that developmental exposure to PFOS may contribute to glucose and lipid metabolic disorder in adulthood.

Keywords: developmental exposure; diabetes; energy metabolism; low birth weight; perfluorooctane sulfate.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Intolerance
  • Homeostasis
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lactation*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / metabolism*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
  • Glucose