Perfluorononanoic acid impedes mouse oocyte maturation by inducing mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress
By Xiaofei Jiao, Ning Liu, Yiding Xu, and Huanyu Qiao
July 20, 2021
Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a member of PFAS, is frequently detected in human blood and tissues, even in follicular fluid of women. The exposure of PFNA, but not PFOA and PFOS, is positively correlated with miscarriage and increased time to pregnancy. Toxicological studies indicated that PFNA exposure is associated with immunotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, developmental toxicity, and reproductive toxicity in animals. However, there is little information regarding the toxic effects of PFNA on oocyte maturation. In this study, we investigated the toxic effects of PFNA exposure on mouse oocyte maturation in vitro. Our results showed that 600 μM PFNA significantly inhibited germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and polar body extrusion (PBE) in mouse oocytes. Our further study revealed that PFNA induced abnormal metaphase I (MI) spindle assembly, evidenced by malformed spindles and mislocalization of p-ERK1/2 in PFNA-treated oocytes. We also found that PFNA induced abnormal mitochondrial distribution and increased mitochondrial membrane potential. Consequently, PFNA increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, leading to oxidative stress, DNA damage, and eventually early-stage apoptosis in oocytes. In addition, after 14 h culture, PFNA disrupted the formation of metaphase II (MII) spindle in most PFNA-treated oocytes with polar bodies. Collectively, our results indicate that PFNA interferes with oocyte maturation in vitro via disrupting spindle assembly, damaging mitochondrial functions, and inducing oxidative stress, DNA damage, and early-stage apoptosis.
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