Effect of gestational exposure to perfluorononanoic acid on neonatal mice testes.
By Shilpi Singh and Shio Kumar Singh
J Appl Toxicol
August 13, 2019
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are widely used in commercial products and are found in many goods of daily use. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) is one of the PFAAs that possesses endocrine disrupting properties and we have recently shown that PFNA affects testicular functions in Parkes mice. Exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors during fetal life is believed to affect gonadal development and they might produce reproductive abnormalities in males. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of gestational exposure to PFNA on the testes of neonatal mice offspring. Pregnant Parkes mice were orally administered PFNA (2 and 5 mg/kg body weight) or distilled water from gestational day 12 until parturition. Male pups were killed on postnatal day 3. PFNA treatment decreased testosterone biosynthesis by inhibiting expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, cytochrome P450scc, and 3β- and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; proliferation of testicular cells was also affected in treated mice. Furthermore, a marked decrease in expression of Wilms tumor 1, steroidogenic factor 1 and insulin-like factor 3 was noted in neonatal mice testes, indicating that the PFNA treatment may affect the development of the testis. Moreover, observation of the dose-related expression of anti-müllerian hormone and c-Kit in neonatal mice testes is also suggestive of an interference with gonadal development by PFNA exposure. In conclusion, the results suggest that the gestational exposure to PFNA decreased testosterone biosynthesis and altered the expression of critical factors involved in the development of the testis, thereby advocating a potential risk of PFNA to male reproductive health.