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  • Developmental exposure to a mixture of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) affects the thyroid hormone system and the bursa of Fabricius in the chicken.

Developmental exposure to a mixture of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) affects the thyroid hormone system and the bursa of Fabricius in the chicken.

Scientific reports (2019-12-26)
Anna Mattsson, Sofia Sjöberg, Anna Kärrman, Björn Brunström
ABSTRACT

Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants and eggs and nestlings of raptors and fish-eating birds often contain high levels of PFAAs. We studied developmental effects of a mixture of ten PFAAs by exposing chicken embryos to 0.5 or 3 μg/g egg of each compound in the mixture. Histological changes of the thyroid gland were noted at both doses and increased expression of mRNA coding for type III deiodinase was found at 0.5 μg/g egg. Serum concentrations of the free fraction of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) were reduced by the PFAA mixture at 3 µg/g egg, which is in line with a decreased synthesis and increased turnover of thyroid hormones as indicated by our histological findings and the decreased mRNA expression of type III deiodinase. The relative weight of the bursa of Fabricius increased at a dose of 3 μg/g egg in females. The bursa is the site of B-cell development in birds and is crucial for the avian adaptive immune system. Analysis of plasma and liver concentrations of the mixture components showed differences depending on chain length and functional group. Our results highlight the vulnerability of the thyroid hormone and immune systems to PFAAs.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluoroundecanoic acid, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorodecanoic acid, 98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Tricosafluorododecanoic acid, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorononanoic acid, 97%
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorotetradecanoic acid, 96%
Supelco
Perfluoroundecanoic acid, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Undecafluorohexanoic acid, ≥97.0% (T)
Sigma-Aldrich
Tridecafluorohexane-1-sulfonic acid potassium salt, ≥98.0% (T)