Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances exposure and its influence on the intestinal barrier: An overview on the advances

By Jiaoyang Li, Lei Wang, Xin Zhang, Peng Liu, Zhuoma Deji, Yudong Xing, Yan Zhou, Xia Lin, and Zhenzhen Huang
Sci Total Environ
August 30, 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158362

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of artificially synthetic organic compounds that are hardly degraded in the natural environment. PFAS have been widely used for many decades, and the persistence and potential toxicity of PFAS are an emerging concern in the world. PFAS exposed via diet can be readily absorbed by the intestine and enter the circulatory system or accumulate directly at intestinal sites, which could interact with the intestine and cause the destruction of intestinal barrier. This review summarizes current relationships between PFAS exposure and intestinal barrier damage with a focus on more recent toxicological studies. Exposure to PFAS could cause inflammation in the gut, destruction of the gut epithelium and tight junction structure, reduction of the mucus layer, and induction of the toxicity of immune cells. PFAS accumulation could also induce microbial disorders and metabolic products changes. In addition, there are limited studies currently, and most available studies converge on the health risk of PFAS exposure for human intestinal disease. Therefore, more efforts are deserved to further understand potential associations between PFAS exposure and intestinal dysfunction and enable better assessment of exposomic toxicology and health risks for humans in the future.

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