Perfluorooctane sulfonate toxicity, isomer-specific accumulation, and maternal transfer in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Abstract

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS; C8F17SOmath image) bioaccumulation and toxicity have been demonstrated in both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. The majority of investigations have examined total PFOS concentrations in wildlife and in toxicity testing, but isomer-specific monitoring studies are less common, and no laboratory-based study of PFOS isomer accumulation in fish has been reported. The present study examined accumulation and maternal transfer of PFOS isomers in zebrafish and tissue-specific accumulation of PFOS isomers in trout parr. A median lethal dose (LC50) of 22.2 and 2.5 mg/L was calculated for adult zebrafish and trout parr, respectively. A two-week PFOS exposure resulted in tissue-specific PFOS accumulation in trout, with maximum concentrations identified in the liver tissue (>50 µg/g). Prior exposure to PFOS as alevin did not affect the accumulation of PFOS in tissues later in life. In both species, accumulation of branched PFOS isomers generally occurred to a lesser extent than linear PFOS, which may explain the relative deficiency of branched PFOS isomers in some aquatic species in the field. Analysis of exposed trout tissues indicated that isomer discrimination may occur at the level of elimination or uptake and elimination processes in the kidney or gill, respectively. When zebrafish underwent a reproductive cycle in the presence of PFOS, approximately 10% (wt) of the adult PFOS body burden was transferred to the developing embryos, resulting in a higher total PFOS concentration in eggs (116 ± 13.3 µg/g) than in the parent fish (72.1 ± 7.6 µg/g). The isomer profile in eggs was not significantly different from that of adults, suggesting that the maternal transfer of branched and linear PFOS isomers in fish is largely nonisomer specific. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:1957–1966. © 2010 SETAC

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