Differential effects of peripubertal exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid on mammary gland development in C57Bl/6 and Balb/c mouse strains

Chengfeng Yang, Ying S. Tan, Jack R. Harkema, Sandra Z. Haslam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a common and persistent industrial byproduct detected in human sera, has raised health concerns. PFOA is detrimental to lactational function and postnatal mammary gland development in CD-1 mice after gestational exposure. We have examined the peripubertal period (21 through 50 days of age) as an important window of mammary gland susceptibility to environmental exposures that may affect breast cancer risk later in life. The effects of PFOA (0.1-10 mg/kg BW) were examined in Balb/c and C57BL/6 mice. PFOA treatment caused hepatocellular hypertrophy and delayed vaginal opening in both mouse strains. While Balb/c mice exhibited only inhibition of mammary gland and uterine development (5, 10 mg/kg), C57BL/6 mice exhibited stimulatory effects in both organs at low dose (5 mg/kg) and inhibition at higher dose (10 mg/kg). This underscores the need for caution when drawing conclusions about the effects of PFOA and possibly other environmental pollutants on the basis of studies in a single mouse strain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Jianwei Xie for the statistical analyses. This work was supported by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Grant 1-UO1 ES/CA012800 01from the National Institute of Environment Health Science (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS or NCI, NIH.


  • Hepatocellular hypertrophy
  • Mammary gland
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Peripubertal exposure
  • Strain differences
  • Timing of vaginal opening
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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