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    Perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA) is a long-chain perfluoroalkyl substance, and its effect on the differentiation of fetal Leydig cells remains unclear. The objective of this study is to explore the effect of in utero PFTrDA exposure on the differentiation of fetal Leydig cells and investigate its underlying mechanisms. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley female rats were daily administered by gavage of PFTrDA at doses of 0, 1, 5, and 10 mg/kg from gestational day 14 to 21. PFTrDA had no effect on the body weight of dams, but significantly reduced the body weight and anogenital distance of male pups at birth at a dose of 10 mg/kg. PFTrDA significantly decreased serum testosterone levels as low as 1 mg/kg. PFTrDA did not affect fetal Leydig cell number, but promoted abnormal aggregation of fetal Leydig cells at doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg. PFTrDA down-regulated the expression of Insl3, Lhcgr, Scarb1, Star, Hsd3b1, Cyp17a1, Nr5a1, and Dhh as well as their proteins. PFTrDA lowered the levels of antioxidants (SOD1, CAT, and GPX1), induced autophagy as shown by increased levels of LC3II and beclin1, and reduced the phosphorylation of mTOR. In conclusion, PFTrDA inhibits the differentiation of fetal Leydig cells in male pups after in utero exposure mainly through increasing oxidative stress and inducing autophagy. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


    Changchang Li, Cheng Zou, Haoni Yan, Zengqiang Li, Yang Li, Peipei Pan, Feifei Ma, Yige Yu, Yiyan Wang, Zina Wen, Ren-Shan Ge. Perfluorotridecanoic acid inhibits fetal Leydig cell differentiation after in utero exposure in rats via increasing oxidative stress and autophagy. Environmental toxicology. 2021 Jun;36(6):1206-1216

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    PMID: 33683001

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