Mattsson A, Kärrman A, Pinto R, Brunström B
PLoS ONE 10 (12) e0143780 [2015-12-01; online 2015-12-01]
Untargeted metabolic profiling of body fluids in experimental animals and humans exposed to chemicals may reveal early signs of toxicity and indicate toxicity pathways. Avian embryos develop separately from their mothers, which gives unique possibilities to study effects of chemicals during embryo development with minimal confounding factors from the mother. In this study we explored blood plasma and allantoic fluid from chicken embryos as matrices for revealing metabolic changes caused by exposure to chemicals during embryonic development. Embryos were exposed via egg injection on day 7 to the environmental pollutant perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and effects on the metabolic profile on day 12 were compared with those caused by GW7647 and rosiglitazone, which are selective agonists to peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor α (PPARα) and PPARγ, respectively. Analysis of the metabolite concentrations from allantoic fluid by Orthogonal Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA) showed clear separation between the embryos exposed to GW7647, rosiglitazone, and vehicle control, respectively. In blood plasma only GW7647 caused a significant effect on the metabolic profile. PFOA induced embryo mortality and increased relative liver weight at the highest dose. Sublethal doses of PFOA did not significantly affect the metabolic profile in either matrix, although single metabolites appeared to be altered. Neonatal mortality by PFOA in the mouse has been suggested to be mediated via activation of PPARα. However, we found no similarity in the metabolite profile of chicken embryos exposed to PFOA with those of embryos exposed to PPAR agonists. This indicates that PFOA does not activate PPAR pathways in our model at concentrations in eggs and embryos well above those found in wild birds. The present study suggests that allantoic fluid and plasma from chicken embryos are useful and complementary matrices for exploring effects on the metabolic profile resulting from chemical exposure during embryonic development.