Subchronic Hepatotoxicity Effects of 6:2 Chlorinated Polyfluorinated Ether Sulfonate (6:2 Cl-PFESA), a Novel Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) Alternative, on Adult Male Mice

Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Nov 6;52(21):12809-12818. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04368. Epub 2018 Oct 10.


The compound 6:2 chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonate (6:2 Cl-PFESA), an alternative to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) in the metal-plating industry, has been widely detected in various environmental matrices. However, its hepatotoxicity has yet to be clarified. Here, male mice were exposed to 0.04, 0.2, or 1 mg/kg/day of 6:2 Cl-PFESA for 56 days. Results demonstrated that relative liver weight increased significantly in the 0.2 and 1 mg/kg/day 6:2 Cl-PFESA groups, whereas liver lipid accumulation increased in all 6:2 Cl-PFESA groups. Serum enzyme activities of alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphatase were increased. Serum triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol both increased, whereas serum total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased following 6:2 Cl-PFESA exposure. A total of 264 differentially expressed proteins (127 up-regulated and 137 down-regulated), mainly involved in lipid metabolism, xenobiotic metabolism, and ribosome biogenesis, were identified by quantitative proteomics. Bioinformatics analysis highlighted the de-regulation of PPAR and PXR, which may contribute to the hepatotoxicity of 6:2 Cl-PFESA. Additionally, 6:2 Cl-PFESA induced both cell apoptosis and proliferation in the mouse liver. Compared to the overt toxicity of PFOS, 6:2 Cl-PFESA exhibited more-serious hepatotoxicity. Thus, caution should be exercised in the application of 6:2 Cl-PFESA as a replacement alternative to PFOS in industrial areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids*
  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury*
  • Ether
  • Ethers
  • Fluorocarbons*
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Mice


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Ethers
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Ether
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid