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Metabolites 2013, 3(3), 718-740; doi:10.3390/metabo3030718

1H NMR-Based Metabolomic Analysis of Sub-Lethal Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Exposure to the Earthworm, Eisenia fetida, in Soil

1 Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4, Canada 2 Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 125 Resources Road, Toronto, Ontario M9P 3V6, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 15 July 2013 / Accepted: 19 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Response to Environment and Stress Metabolism)
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1H NMR-based metabolomics was used to measure the response of Eisenia fetida earthworms after exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in soil. Earthworms were exposed to a range of PFOS concentrations (five, 10, 25, 50, 100 or 150 mg/kg) for two, seven and fourteen days. Earthworm tissues were extracted and analyzed by 1H NMR. Multivariate statistical analysis of the metabolic response of E. fetida to PFOS exposure identified time-dependent responses that were comprised of two separate modes of action: a non-polar narcosis type mechanism after two days of exposure and increased fatty acid oxidation after seven and fourteen days of exposure. Univariate statistical analysis revealed that 2-hexyl-5-ethyl-3-furansulfonate (HEFS), betaine, leucine, arginine, glutamate, maltose and ATP are potential indicators of PFOS exposure, as the concentrations of these metabolites fluctuated significantly. Overall, NMR-based metabolomic analysis suggests elevated fatty acid oxidation, disruption in energy metabolism and biological membrane structure and a possible interruption of ATP synthesis. These conclusions obtained from analysis of the metabolic profile in response to sub-lethal PFOS exposure indicates that NMR-based metabolomics is an excellent discovery tool when the mode of action (MOA) of contaminants is not clearly defined.
Keywords: PFOS; metabolic profiling; mode of action; PFAAs; earthworms PFOS; metabolic profiling; mode of action; PFAAs; earthworms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lankadurai, B.P.; Furdui, V.I.; Reiner, E.J.; Simpson, A.J.; Simpson, M.J. 1H NMR-Based Metabolomic Analysis of Sub-Lethal Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Exposure to the Earthworm, Eisenia fetida, in Soil. Metabolites 2013, 3, 718-740.

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