Document Type


Date of Original Version



Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


PFOS is a chemical of nearly ubiquitous exposure in humans. Recent studies have associated PFOS exposure to adipose tissue-related effects. The present study was to determine whether PFOS alters the process of adipogenesis and regulates insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in mouse and human preadipocytes. In murine-derived 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, PFOS enhanced hormone-induced differentiation to adipocytes and adipogenic gene expression, increased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake at concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 μM, and enhanced Glucose transporter type 4 and Insulin receptor substrate-1 expression. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), NAD(P)H dehydrogenase, quinone 1 and Glutamate-cysteine ligase, catalytic subunit were significantly induced in 3T3-L1 cells treated with PFOS, along with a robust induction of Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) reporter in mouse embryonic fibroblasts isolated from ARE-hPAP transgenic mice by PFOS treatment. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays further illustrated that PFOS increased Nrf2 binding to ARE sites in mouse Nqo1 promoter, suggesting that PFOS activated Nrf2 signaling in murine-derived preadipocytes. Additionally, PFOS administration in mice (100 μg/kg/day) induced adipogenic gene expression and activated Nrf2 signaling in epididymal white adipose tissue. Moreover, the treatment on human visceral preadipocytes illustrated that PFOS (5 and 50 μM) promoted adipogenesis and increased cellular lipid accumulation. It was observed that PFOS increased Nrf2 binding to ARE sites in association with Nrf2 signaling activation, induction of Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α expression, and increased adipogenesis. This study points to a potential role of PFOS in dysregulation of adipose tissue expandability, and warrants further investigations on the adverse effects of persistent pollutants on human health.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.