The new generation PFAS C6O4 does not produce adverse effects on thyroid cells in vitro

By Coperchini, F., L. Croce, P. Pignatti, G. Ricci, D. Gangemi, F. Magri, M. Imbriani, M. Rotondi, and L. Chiovato
J Endocrinol Invest
December 22, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s40618-020-01466-4

Purpose: Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl-substances (PFASs) are synthetic compounds that raised concern due to their potential adverse effects on human health. Long-chain PFAS were banned by government rules in many states, and thus, new emerging PFAS were recently introduced as substitutes. Among these, Perfluoro{acetic acid, 2-[(5-methoxy-1,3-dioxolan-4-yl)oxy]}, ammonium salt (C6O4) was recently introduced to produce a range of food contact articles and literature data about this compound are scanty. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro effects of exposure to C6O4, compared with PFOA and PFOS on thyroid cells.

Methods: FRTL5 rat-thyroid cell lines and normal human thyroid cells (NHT) were incubated with increasing concentrations of C6O4 for 24, 48, 72, and 144 h to assess cell viability by WST-1. Cell viability was confirmed by AnnexinV/PI staining. Long-chain PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) were used at same concentrations as positive controls. The proliferation of cells exposed to C6O4, PFOA, and PFOS was measured by staining with crystal violet and evaluation of optical density after incubation with SDS. Changes in ROS production by FRTL5 and NHT after exposure to C6O4 at short (10, 20, and 30 min) and long-time points (24 h) were evaluated by cytofluorimetry.

Results: C6O4 exposure did not modify FRTL5 and NHT cell viability at any concentration and/or time points with no induction of necrosis/apoptosis. At difference, PFOS exposure reduced cell viability of FRTL5 while and NHT, while PFOA only in FRTL5. FRTL5 and NHT cell proliferation was reduced by incubation with by PFOA and PFOS, but not with C6O4. ROS production by NHT and FRTL5 cells was not modified after C6O4 exposure, at any time/concentration tested.

Conclusions: The present in vitro study constitutes the first evaluation of the potential adverse effects of the new emerging PFAS C6O4 in cultured rat and human thyroid cells, suggesting its safety for thyroid cells in vitro.


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