Lipidomic Profiling of PFOA-Exposed Mouse Liver by Multi-Modal Mass Spectrometry Analysis


Stoffels C.B.A., Angerer T.B., Robert H., Poupin N., Lakhal L., Frache G., Mercier-Bonin M., Audinot J.N.


Analytical Chemistry, vol. 95, n° 16, pp. 6568-6576, 2023


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a synthetic perfluorinated chemical classified as a persistent organic pollutant. PFOA has been linked to many toxic effects, including liver injury. Many studies report that PFOA exposure alters serum and hepatic lipid metabolism. However, lipidomic pathways altered by PFOA exposure are largely unknown and only a few lipid classes, mostly triacylglycerol (TG), are usually considered in lipid analysis. Here, we performed a global lipidomic analysis on the liver of PFOA-exposed (high-dose and short-duration) and control mice by combining three mass spectrometry (MS) techniques: liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI), and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Among all hepatic lipids identified by LC-MS/MS analysis, more than 350 were statistically impacted (increased or decreased levels) after PFOA exposure, as confirmed by multi-variate data analysis. The levels of many lipid species from different lipid classes, most notably phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholine (PC), and TG, were significantly altered. Subsequent lipidomic analysis highlights the pathways significantly impacted by PFOA exposure, with the glycerophospholipid metabolism being the most impacted, and the changes in the lipidome network, which connects all the lipid species together. MALDI-MSI displays the heterogeneous distribution of the affected lipids and PFOA, revealing different areas of lipid expression linked to PFOA localization. TOF-SIMS localizes PFOA at the cellular level, supporting MALDI-MSI results. This multi-modal MS analysis unveils the lipidomic impact of PFOA in the mouse liver after high-dose and short-term exposure and opens new opportunities in toxicology.



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