Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a degradation product of sulfonyl-based fluorochemicals that are used extensively in industrial and household applications. Humans and wildlife are exposed to this class of compounds from several sources. Toxicity tests in rodents have raised concerns about potential developmental, reproductive, and systemic effects of PFOS. However, the effect of PFOS on the neuroendocrine system has not been investigated thus far. In this study, adult female rats were injected intraperitoneally with 0, 1, or 10 mg PFOS/kg body weight (BW) for 2 weeks. Food and water intake, BW, and estrous cycles were monitored daily. At the end of treatment, PFOS levels in tissues were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) interfaced with electrospray mass spectrometry. Changes in brain monoamines were measured by HPLC with electrochemical detection, and serum corticosterone and leptin were monitored using radioimmunoassay. Treatment with PFOS produced a dose-dependent accumulation of this chemical in various body tissues, including the brain. PFOS exposure decreased food intake and BW in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with PFOS affected estrous cyclicity and increased serum corticosterone levels while decreasing serum leptin concentrations. PFOS treatment also increased norepinephrine concentrations in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. These results indicate that exposure to PFOS can affect the neuroendocrine system in rats.
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