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Prenatal Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) and Association between the Placental Transfer Efficiencies and Dissociation Constant of Serum Proteins–PFAS Complexes

Gao, Ke, Zhuang, Taifeng, Liu, Xian, Fu, Jianjie, Zhang, Jingxing, Fu, Jie, Wang, Liguo, Zhang, Aiqian, Liang, Yong, Song, Maoyong, Jiang, Guibin
Environmental science & technology 2019 v.53 no.11 pp. 6529-6538
binding proteins, blood serum, carboxylic acids, dissociation, human serum albumin, humans, in vitro studies, maternal exposure, perfluorocarbons, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, China
Information on placental transfer and adverse outcomes of short-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFASs) is limited, and factors responsible for PFAS placental transfer are still unclear. In the present study, concentrations of 21 PFASs were analyzed in 132 paired maternal and cord serum samples collected from residents in Beijing, China, and the placental transfer efficiency (PTE) of each PFAS was calculated. PTEs of short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), including PFBA (146%), PFBS (97%), PFPeA (118%), and PFHxA (110%), were first reported, and a complete U-shaped trend of PTEs from C4 to C13 of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) was obtained. Positive association between maternal weight and PTE of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) (p < 0.05) and negative association between maternal PFBA concentration and birth length (p < 0.01) were observed. Using in vitro experiments, we further determined equilibrium dissociation constants (Kds) of human serum albumin (HSA)–PFAS complexes (Kd₋HP), serum proteins–PFAS complexes (Kd₋SP), and liver-fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP)–PFAS complexes (Kd₋LP) and found that they were all significantly correlated with PTEs of PFASs. The correlation coefficient was 0.92, 0.89, and 0.86, respectively (p < 0.01 in all three tests), suggesting that Kds of protein (serum)–PFAS complexes can play an important role in trans-placental transfer of PFASs in human and Kd₋HP plays a pivotal role.