Perfluoroalkylated Substance Effects in Xenopus laevis A6 Kidney Epithelial Cells Determined by ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy and Chemometric Analysis

Chem Res Toxicol. 2016 May 16;29(5):924-32. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.6b00076. Epub 2016 Apr 25.


The effects of four perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs), namely, perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were assessed in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells by attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and chemometric analysis. Principal component analysis-linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA) was used to visualize wavenumber-related alterations and ANOVA-simultaneous component analysis (ASCA) allowed data processing considering the underlying experimental design. Both analyses evidenced a higher impact of low-dose PFAS-treatments (10(-9) M) on A6 cells forming monolayers, while there was a larger influence of high-dose PFAS-treatments (10(-5) M) on A6 cells differentiated into dome structures. The observed dose-response PFAS-induced effects were to some extent related to their cytotoxicity: the EC50-values of most influential PFAS-treatments increased (PFOS < PFNA < PFOA ≪ PFBS), and higher-doses of these chemicals induced a larger impact. Major spectral alterations were mainly attributed to DNA/RNA, secondary protein structure, lipids, and fatty acids. Finally, PFOS and PFOA caused a decrease in A6 cell numbers compared to controls, whereas PFBS and PFNA did not significantly change cell population levels. Overall, this work highlights the ability of PFASs to alter A6 cells, whether forming monolayers or differentiated into dome structures, and the potential of PFOS and PFOA to induce cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Fluorocarbons