Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid (PFBS) Induces Fat Accumulation in HepG2 Human Hepatoma

By Weipeng Qi,John M. Clark,Alicia R. Timme-Laragy &Yeonhwa Park
Tox. & Env. Chem.
August 18, 2020
DOI: 10.1080/02772248.2020.1808894

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, especially perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, have been extensively used for over 50 years. A growing body of evidence has emergeddemonstrating the potential adverse effects of these substances, including its effect on the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases. Nonetheless, there is no report of effects of perfluorobutanesulfonic acid, the major replacement for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Therefore, the effects of perfluorobutanesulfonic acid exposure on fat accumulation in a human hepatoma cell line were examined. Cells were exposed to perfluorobutanesulfonic acid with or without 300 μmol/L fatty acid mixture (oleic acid:palmitic acid =2:1) conjugated by bovine serum albumin as an inducer of steatosis for 48 hours. Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid at 200 μmol/L significantly increased the triglyceride level in the presence of fatty acid compared to the control, but not without fatty acid, which was abolished by a specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonist. Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid upregulated key genes controlling lipogenesis and fatty acid uptake. Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid treatment also promoted the production of reactive oxygen species, an endoplasmic reticulum stress marker and cytosolic calcium. In conclusion, perfluorobutanesulfonic acid increased fat accumulation, in part, via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-mediated pathway in hepatoma cells.

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