Perfluorooctanoic acid in indoor particulate matter triggers oxidative stress and inflammation in corneal and retinal cells.

By Peng-Tai Tien, Hui-Ju Lin, Yi-Yu Tsai, Yun-Ping Lim, Chih Sheng Chen, Ching-Yao Chang, Chao-Jen Lin, Jamie Jiin-Yi Chen, Shan-Mei Wu, Yuh-Jeen Huang, and Lei Wan
Sci Rep
September 29, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-72600-8

To investigate the particle size distribution of particulate matter and the concentration of specific perfluorinated compounds in indoor dust samples from several locations. Then, we used cell-based assays to investigate the effect of perfluorinated compounds on human corneal epithelial (HCEpiC), endothelial cells (HCEC) and retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE). Indoor dust samples were collected at five different locations and PM, PM, and PM were fractionized. The presence and levels of 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol, 10:2 fluorotelomer alcohol, and perfluorooctanoic acid were detected by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The effect of perfluorooctanoic acid on the activation of reactive oxygen species, transepithelial resistance as well as the expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 were determined. The basolateral media of human corneal epithelial or human corneal endothelial cells were used to treat human corneal endothelial or retinal pigment epithelial cells, respectively to indicate the potential of ocular surface inflammation may result in retinal inflammation. Among perfluorinated compounds, only perfluorooctanoic acid was detected in all indoor dust samples. Perfluorooctanoic acid had the highest concentration among all perfluorinated compounds in the samples. Exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid impaired tight junction sealing and increased the levels of reactive oxygen species in human corneal epithelial cells. In human corneal epithelial cells, secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 in both apical and basolateral media was promoted significantly by perfluorooctanoic acid treatment. Stimulation with the basolateral media from perfluorooctanoic acid-treated human corneal epithelial cells induced inflammation in human corneal endothelial cells. The treatment of retinal pigment epithelial cells with the basolateral media from stimulated human corneal endothelial cells also elicited the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. The results indicate that perfluorooctanoic acid exposure impaired the tight junction of corneal cells and caused inflammatory reactions in the retina. Exposure of the cornea to perfluorooctanoic acid contained in particulate matter might induce oxidative stress and inflammation in the retina and represent a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration.

View on PubMed