Recent studies showed that perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) affects the mammalian immune system at levels reportedly found in the general human population. It has been demonstrated that exposure to immunotoxic chemicals may diminish the host resistance of animals to various pathogenic challenges and enhance mortality. Therefore, the current study was carried out to characterize the effect of a 21 day pre-administration of zero, 5, or 25 μg PFOS/kg bw/day in female B6C3F1 mice on host resistance to influenza A virus infection. At the end of PFOS exposure, body/organ weights did not significantly change whereas PFOS distribution in blood plasma, spleen, thymus and lung was dose-dependently increased. PFOS exposure in mice resulted a significant increase in emaciation and mortality in response to influenza A virus. The effective plasma concentrations in female mice were at least several fold lower than reported mean blood PFOS levels from occupationally exposed humans, and fell in the upper range of blood concentrations of PFOS in the normal human population and in a wide range of wild animals. Hence, it should be important to clarify the precise mechanism(s) for excess mortality observed in the high dose group.
2009 The Japanese Society of Toxicology