Immunotoxicity of PFOA to the Marine Bivalve Species Ruditapes philippinarum

By Fengling Li, Zhiyu Liu, Lin Yao, Yanhua Jiang, Meng Qu, Yongxing Yu, Xiuqiong Gong, Zhijun Tan, and Zhaojie Li
Environ Toxicol Chem
December 21, 2021
DOI: 10.1002/etc.5263

Polyfluorinated alkylated substances are recognized as an important class of pollutants in marine environments. Bivalves are good model organisms for evaluating the toxicity of pollutants and monitoring marine environments. Here, immunotoxicity of perfluorooctanoate acid (PFOA) was investigated by measuring biomarkers of the immune profile of Ruditapes philippinarum. In bivalves, hemocytes are an important component of the immune system. Thus, the hemocyte proliferation, phagocytosis, cell viability, and immune enzyme activities, which have been applied as marine pollution bio-indicators, were identified and observed for changes after exposure to PFOA in R. philippinarum. Based on the integrated biomarker responses method, we selected five biomarkers to evaluate PFOA risk at multi-biomarker level. In addition, the histopathological alterations of hemocytes in bivalves were used as indexes of the response to environmental stress. The sub-cellular structure of the hemocytes in R. philippinarum changed significantly with PFOA exposure, including hemocyte and nucleus morphological changes, organelle dissolution, cytomembrane and karyotheca swelling, and cytoplasm vacuolization. The present work verifies PFOA immunotoxicity to R. philippinarum at different levels and the integerated assessment of stress level caused by PFOA in marine environment. Our results will provide new insights into evaluating adverse effects of PFOA and monitoring marine ecosystem. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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