Xeno-estrogenic activity of real-life mixtures of perfluoroalkylated substances in human placenta homogenates

Maria Wielsøe*, Jose-Manuel Molina-Molina, Andrea Rodríguez-Carrillo, Vicente Mustieles, Nicolas Olea, Mariana F Fernandez, Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Jørgensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Humans are simultaneously exposed to complex chemical mixtures, and its combined effect can affect human health. As part of the HBM4EU project, the actual mixture of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) in 25 human placenta samples was extracted by chromatographic methods and assessed for xeno-estrogenic activity using two in-vitro bioassays: the estrogen receptor transactivity and the E-Screen assay. Most of the PFAS extracts displayed xeno-estrogenic activity, in one or both assays. The xeno-estrogenic activities in the two bioassays were not correlated, but both assays showed an overall negative correlation with placenta concentrations of single PFAS. Xeno-estrogenic activities were significantly related to maternal characteristics; being higher in young, smokers and primiparous women, but not with fetal growth (birth weight, birth length, head circumference, gestational age, placenta weight). The presented extraction method can be used to study the combined effect of real-life mixtures of PFAS in relation to health outcomes in large-scale human biomonitoring studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108444
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Fluorocarbon
  • Xeno-estrogenic activity
  • Chemical mixtures
  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • HBM4EU
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Endocrine Disruptors/toxicity
  • Humans
  • Fluorocarbons/toxicity
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Placenta/chemistry


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