Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid-Induced Toxicity on Zebrafish Embryos in the Presence or Absence of the Chorion

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2021 Mar;40(3):780-791. doi: 10.1002/etc.4899. Epub 2020 Dec 14.


Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a perfluorinated compound used in many industrial and consumer products. It has been linked to a broad range of adverse effects in several species, including zebrafish (Danio rerio). The zebrafish embryo is a widely used vertebrate model to elucidate potential adverse effects of chemicals because it is amenable to medium and high throughput. However, there is limited research on the full extent of the impact the chorion has on those effects. Results from the present study indicate that the presence of the chorion affected the timing and incidence of mortality as well as morphometric endpoints such as spinal curvature and swim bladder inflation in zebrafish embryos exposed to PFOS. Furthermore, removal of the chorion prior to exposure resulted in a lower threshold of sensitivity to PFOS for effects on transcriptional expression within the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) nuclear signaling pathway. Perturbation of PPAR pathway gene expression can result in disruption of metabolic signaling and regulation, which can adversely affect development, energy availability, and survival. It can be concluded that removal of the chorion has significant effects on the timing and incidence of impacts associated with PFOS exposure, and more research is warranted to fully elucidate the protective role of the chorion and the critical timing of these events. Environ Toxicol Chem 2021;40:780-791. Published 2020. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.

Keywords: Chorion; Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances; Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor; Zebrafish embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids* / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Chorion
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / toxicity
  • Zebrafish


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid