Studies show that perfluorinated compounds cause various toxicological effects; nevertheless, effects on immune function and developmental endpoints have not been addressed at length. This study examined the effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in white leghorn hatchlings on various developmental, immunological, and clinical health parameters. In addition, serum PFOS concentrations were determined by LC/MS/MS. Embryonic day (ED) 0 eggs were injected with either safflower oil/10% DMSO (control, 0 mg/kg egg wt) or PFOS in safflower oil/10% DMSO at 1, 2.5, or 5 mg/kg egg wt, and the chicks were grown to post-hatch day (PHD) 14. Treatment with PFOS did not affect hatch rate. Following in ovo exposure chicks exhibited increases in spleen mass at all treatment levels, in liver mass at 2.5 and 5 mg/kg egg wt, and in body length (crown-rump length) at the 5 mg/kg treatment. Right wings were shorter in all treatments compared to control. Increases in the frequency of brain asymmetry were evident in all treatment groups. SRBC-specific immunoglobulin (IgM and IgY combined) titers were decreased significantly at all treatment levels, while plasma lysozyme activity was increased at all treatment levels. The PHA skin test response decreased in relation to increasing PFOS dose. Serum concentrations where significant immunological, morphological, and neurological effects were observed at the lowest dose (1 mg/kg egg wt) averaged 154 ng PFOS/g serum. These concentrations fall within environmental ranges reported in blood samples from wild caught avian species; thereby, verifying that the environmental egg concentrations used for the injections do indeed relate to serum levels in hatchlings that are also environmentally relevant. These data indicate that immune alterations and brain asymmetry can occur in birds following in ovo exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of PFOS and demonstrates the need for further research on the developmental effects of perfluorinated compounds in various species. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.
Additional publication details
Developmental toxicity in white leghorn chickens following in ovo exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)