Acute Toxicity and Trans-Generational Effects of Perfluorobutane Sulfonate (PFBS) in Caenorhabditis elegans

By Manjurul Islam Chowdhury, Tanmoy Sana, Logeshwaran Panneerselvan, Rajarathnam Dharmarajan, and Mallavarapu Megharaj
Environ Toxicol Chem
April 7, 2021
DOI: 10.1002/etc.5055

Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), due to its increasing use as an alternative to perfluooctane sulfonate (PFOS), is widely detected in humans and the environment necessitating the evaluation of its potential ecotoxicological risk. In this study, we assessed the toxicity and bioaccumulation potential of PFBS in Caenorhabditis elegans, using lethality, locomotion, reproduction, lifespan, growth, and chemotaxis behavior as the effect parameters. In addition, a total of six generations of exposed parent animals were monitored for locomotion, brood, and lifespan behaviors. Lifespan and brood size were significantly reduced in parent nematodes (P0) following exposure to ≥0.1 mM PFBS, but these negative effects did not transfer to the progeny. Although there was no remarkable effect on reproduction and lifespan in parent worms exposed to ≤0.01 mM PFBS, multi-generational exposure at 0.0005 mM significantly affected the F4 and F5 progeny. Furthermore, 0.01 to 2.0 mM of PFBS substantially retarded the locomotion behavior of P0 worms. At higher concentrations such as 1.0 mM, this negative effect on locomotion was transferred to the next generation F1 but later recovered from F2 progeny onwards. For the first time, our findings demonstrate that chronic exposure to PFBS at higher concentrations can cause behavioral toxicity and could be transferred to the progeny. These findings have significant implications for the environmental risk assessment of PFBS.

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