A Critical Review on Transplacental Transfer of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Prenatal Exposure Levels, Characteristics, and Mechanisms

By Donghui Ma, Yao Lu, Yong Liang, Ting Ruan, Juan Li, Chunyan Zhao, Yawei Wang, and Guibin Jiang
Environ Sci Technol
June 29, 2021
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c01057

Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has aroused public concerns as it can pose multiple health threats to pregnant women and cause adverse birth outcomes for fetuses. In previous studies, the prenatal exposure levels and transplacental transfer efficiencies (TTE) of PFASs have been reported and discussed. Specifically, the binding affinities between PFASs and some transporters were determined, demonstrating that the TTE values of PFASs are highly dependent on their binding behaviors. To summarize primary findings of previous studies and propose potential guidance for future research, this article provides a systematic overview on levels and characteristics of prenatal exposure to PFASs worldwide, summarizes relationships between TTE values and structures of PFASs, and discusses possible transplacental transfer mechanisms, especially for the combination between PFASs and transporters. Given the critical roles of transporters in the transplacental transfer of PFASs, we conducted molecular docking to further clarify the binding behaviors between PFASs and the selected transporters. We proposed that the machine learning can be a superior method to predict and reveal behaviors and mechanisms of the transplacental transfer of PFASs. In total, this is the first review providing a comprehensive overview on the prenatal exposure levels and transplacental transfer mechanisms of PFASs.

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