2011 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 201-210
In previous studies, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), an environmental organic compound, was reported to cause hepatotoxicity and hypolipidemia in rodents. However, the low dose toxicity of PFOS and the toxic mechanisms involved remain to be determined. To clarify the low dose toxicity and action mechanism in the target organ toxicity, Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were orally administered with PFOS at the doses of 0, 1.25, 5, 10 mg/kg/day for 28 days. As a result, no death or abnormal symptoms were observed in all groups. The significant loss of mean body weight was observed in female rats treated with 10 mg/kg PFOS and the relative liver weight of 10 mg/kg PFOS-treated group was significantly greater compared to control. Histopathological examination revealed that fatty change was evident in the liver of male rats treated with PFOS (5 and 10 mg/kg) and hypertrophy and cellular swellings in females at the dose of 10 mg/kg, which showed different pattern of pathological lesions. In addition, we demonstrated the expression induction of hepatic caspase-3 and cytochrome P450 4A1 (CYP4A1) related with apoptosis and lipid metabolism, respectively. This study suggested that no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of PFOS was 1.25 mg/kg in 28-day repeated toxicity study and, however, the toxic response showed gender differences. The possible toxic mechanism of PFOS was the induction of apoptosis and altering lipid metabolism which resulted in hepatotoxicity.