Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Neurotoxicity in Sentinel and Non-Traditional Laboratory Model Systems: Potential Utility in Predicting Adverse Outcomes in Human Health.
By Rachel Foguth, Maria S Sepúlveda, and Jason Cannon
June 25, 2020
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals that were widely used in manufacturing and are now present in the environment throughout the world. It is known that various PFAS are quantifiable in human in blood, but potential adverse health outcomes remain unclear. Sentinel and non-traditional model species are useful to study potential toxicity of PFAS in order to understand the relationship between environmental and human health. Here, we present a critical review of studies on the neurotoxicity of PFAS in sentinel and non-traditional laboratory model systems, including (nematode), (planarian), (frogs), and (fish), and (polar bears). PFAS have been implicated in developmental neurotoxicity in non-traditional and traditional model systems as well as sentinel species, including effects on neurotransmitter levels, especially acetylcholine and its metabolism. However, further research on the mechanisms of toxicity needs to be conducted to determine if these chemicals are affecting organisms in a similar manner. Overall, findings tend to be similar among the various species, but bioaccumulation may vary, which needs to be taken into account in future studies by quantifying target organ concentrations of PFAS to better compare different species. Furthermore, data on the majority of PFAS is lacking in neurotoxicity testing, and additional studies are needed to corroborate findings thus far.