Controlled uptake of PFOA in adult specimens of Paracentrotus lividus and evaluation of gene expression in their gonads and embryos

By Dario Savoca, Andrea Pace, Vincenzo Arizza, Marco Arculeo, and Raffaella Melfi
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
November 9, 2022
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-022-23940-7

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been largely used in the manufacturing industry but a few years ago it turned out to be a dangerous pollutant which is now of concern for terrestrial and aquatic environments. Here, we investigated the bioaccumulation of PFOA in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus after exposure to different concentrations of the pollutant for 28 days. We observed rapid uptake of PFOA in the coelomic fluid collected weekly during the exposure period and high bioaccumulation in gonads at the end of the experiment. Interestingly, animals were also able to fast depurate when relocated to a clean environment. In addition, to assess the effect of PFOA on sea urchins' physiological pathways, we analysed the expression profile of some marker genes both in the gonads and in the embryos obtained from parents exposed to PFOA. Our results suggest that PFOA is a persistent, bioaccumulative compound that adversely affects the health of the exposed organisms and their offspring by causing significant changes in the expression of some key target genes and the occurrence of developmental anomalies in the embryos.

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