The impact of exposure to environmental contaminant on hepatocellular lipid metabolism

Gene. 2017 Jul 30;622:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2017.04.024. Epub 2017 Apr 19.


Increasing evidences show that ubiquitous perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a representative environmental pollutant, is found to be linked to lipid dysmetabolism. However, the biological mechanism behind this outcome remains uninvestigated. In the present study, we established the PFOA-injured liver in mice to explore the underlying mechanism associated with PFOA-induced lipid disturbance in the liver via a group of biochemical and molecular assays. As results, PFOA-exposed mice showed increased transaminase (ALT), reduced triglyceride and free fatty acid contents in serum, as well as elevated level of hepatic triglyceride. Morphologically, PFOA-exposed mice displayed visible vacuolation in cytoplasm and abnormal cytoarchitecture in liver. In addition, PFOA-exposed liver showed up-regulated expressions of lipid-uptake associated mRNA of hepatic lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and fatty acid translocase (CD36) and down-regulated expression of lipid-uptake associated mRNA of apolipoprotein-B100 (APOB). Moreover, validated data from immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting found that hepatocellular LPL and CD36 proteins were increased dose-dependently, and lowered expression of hepatic APOB was observed. In conclusion, our current findings reveal that PFOA-induced lipid dysmetabolism in the liver is involved to dysregulation of fatty acid trafficking.

Keywords: Homeostasis; Lipid; Liver; PFOA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins B / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins B / metabolism
  • CD36 Antigens / genetics
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism
  • Caprylates / pharmacology
  • Caprylates / toxicity*
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacology
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fluorocarbons / pharmacology
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Transaminases / blood
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vacuoles / drug effects
  • Vacuoles / pathology


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • CD36 Antigens
  • Caprylates
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Triglycerides
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • Transaminases
  • Lipoprotein Lipase