Alteration of neuro-dopamine and steroid hormone homeostasis in wild Bank voles in relation to tissue concentrations of PFAS at a Nordic skiing area

By Randi Grønnestad, Daniel Schlenk, Åse Krøkje, Veerle L B Jaspers, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Scott Coffin, Luísa Becker Bertotto, Marissa Giroux, Jan L Lyche, and Augustine Arukwe
Sci Total Environ
December 9, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143745

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are contaminants that are applied in a wide range of consumer products, including ski products. The present study investigated the neuro-dopamine (DA) and cellular steroid hormone homeostasis of wild Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from a skiing area in Norway (Trondheim), in relation to tissue concentrations of PFAS. We found a positive association between brain DA concentrations and the concentration of several PFAS, while there was a negative association between PFAS and dopamine receptor 1 (dr1) mRNA. The ratio between DA and its metabolites (3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid: DOPAC and homovanillic acid: HVA) showed a negative association between DOPAC/DA and several PFAS, suggesting that PFAS altered the metabolism of DA via monoamine oxidase (Mao). This assumption is supported by an observed negative association between mao mRNA and PFAS. Previous studies have shown that DA homeostasis can indirectly regulate cellular estrogen (E2) and testosterone (T) biosynthesis. We found no association between DA and steroid hormone levels, while there was a negative association between some PFAS and T concentrations, suggesting that PFAS might affect T through other mechanisms. The results from the current study indicate that PFAS may alter neuro-DA and steroid hormone homeostasis in Bank voles, with potential consequences on reproduction and general health.

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