Pregnant mice exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) causes neonatal death. Ten pregnant ICR mice per group were given 1, 10 or 20 mg/kg PFOS daily by gavage from gestational day (GD) 0 to the end of the study. Five dams per group were sacrificed on GD 18 for prenatal evaluation, the others were left to give birth. Additional studies were conducted for histopathological examination of lungs and heads of fetuses and neonates at birth. PFOS treatment (20 mg/kg) reduced the maternal weight gain and feed intake but increased the water intake. The liver weight increased in a dose-dependent manner accompanied by hepatic hypertrophy at 20 mg/kg. PFOS reduced the fetal body weight in a dose-dependent manner and caused a bilateral enlargement in the neck region in all fetuses at 20 mg/kg and mild enlargement in some fetuses at 10 mg/kg, in addition to skeletal malformations. Almost all fetuses at 20 mg/kg were alive on GD18 and showed normal lung structure; but at parturition, all neonates were inactive and weak, showed severe lung atelectasis and severe dilatation of intracranial blood vessel, and died within a few hours. At 10 mg/kg, all neonates were born alive, 27% showed slight lung atelectasis, all of them had mild to severe dilatation of the intracranial blood vessel, and 45% of neonates died within 24 hr. The cause of neonatal death in mice exposed to PFOS may be attributed either to the intracranial blood vessel dilatation or to respiratory dysfunction. The former might be a cause of the latter.
2008 The Japanese Society of Toxicology