Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is an increasingly important environmental pollutant that is pervasive in the environment. A number of studies have focused on the toxicological effects of PFOS on model fish species (zebrafish and medaka), but little is known about the impact of PFOS on commercially important marine fish. Thus, the present study examined transcriptome responses to PFOS exposure in the liver of juvenile Cynoglossus semilaevis, an important farmed flatfish in China. Then, in response to PFOS challenges, 1695 and 5244 genes were identified as significantly increased and depressed, respectively. Significant expression changes were observed in immune-related genes (cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, T-helper [Th]17 cell differentiation, and the chemokine nuclear factor-kappa B and T-cell receptor signaling pathways), indicating that immunotoxicity is a key aspect of the effects of PFOS on C. semilaevis. Exposure to PFOS also altered the gene expression levels of hormones (inhibin, insulin, somatostatin, and glucagon), which could lead to severe metabolic and endocrine dysfunction. As expected from previous studies, several phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes were significantly up-regulated, which could facilitate the biotransformation and detoxification of PFOS in C. semilaevis. The present study provides new insights into the molecular toxicology of PFOS in a commercially important fish species. Environ Toxicol Chem 2020;39:556-564. © 2019 SETAC.
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