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The immunotoxicity of perfluorinated compounds: Recent developments



Jennifer M. Lynch, Jamie DeWitt, M.M. Peden-Adams, Dori Germolec


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are environmentally widespread, persistent, and bioaccumulative chemicals with multiple toxicities reported in experimental models and wildlife, including immunomodulation. The two most commonly detected compounds, which also generally occur in the highest concentrations in environmentally-exposed organisms, are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFOA and PFOS have been reported to alter inflammatory responses, production of cytokines, and adaptive and innate immune responses in rodent models, avian models, reptilian models, and in mammalian and non-mammalian wildlife. Mounting experimental animal evidence suggests that immune effects in laboratory models occur at serum concentrations below, within the reported range, or just above those reported for highly exposed humans and wildlife. Thus, the risk of immune effects for humans and wildlife exposed to PFCs cannot be discounted, especially when bioaccumulation and exposure to multiple PFCs is considered. This review contains brief descriptions of current and recently published work exploring immunomodulation by PFOA, PFOS, and other PFCs in rodent models, alternative laboratory models, and wildlife.
Toxicologic Pathology


environmental contaminants, immune system, perfluorinated compounds


Lynch, J. , DeWitt, J. , Peden-Adams, M. and Germolec, D. (2012), The immunotoxicity of perfluorinated compounds: Recent developments, Toxicologic Pathology, [online], (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created March 19, 2012, Updated January 27, 2020