Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 1329–1335 | Cite as

Effect of long- and short-chain perfluorinated compounds on cultured thyroid cells viability and response to TSH

  • L. CroceEmail author
  • F. Coperchini
  • M. Tonacchera
  • M. Imbriani
  • M. Rotondi
  • L. Chiovato
Original Article



Perfluorinated chemicals are widespread pollutants persistent in the environment with links to some major health issues. The two main compounds, perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro-alkyl sulphonate (PFOS), were recently classified as carcinogenetic and thus their use has been restricted. Short-chain PFCs were recently developed as an alternative, but no data regarding the possible endocrine toxicities of these compounds are available. Aim of this study was to investigate whether short-chain PFCs could jeopardize thyroid cell viability and/or interfere with the functional effect TSH.


Fisher rat thyroid line-5 (FRTL-5) was treated with increasing concentrations of PFOA, PFOS, perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), pentafluoropropionic anhydride (PFPA), perfluoropentanoic acid (PFPeA) to evaluate modifications in cell viability and TSH-stimulated cAMP production.


Neither long nor short-chain PFCs affected cell viability (apart from PFOS 100 µM), or interfered with cAMP production.


The results of the present study demonstrate for the first time that short-chain PFCs have no acute cytotoxic effect on thyroid cells in vitro and that cAMP production is not modulated by any of the tested PFCs.


Perfluorinated compounds Thyroid FRTL-5 Endocrine disruptors PFOA PFOS 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Croce
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • F. Coperchini
    • 1
  • M. Tonacchera
    • 4
  • M. Imbriani
    • 5
  • M. Rotondi
    • 1
    • 3
  • L. Chiovato
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Unit of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Laboratory for Endocrine Disruptors, Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri IRCCSUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.PHD Course in Experimental Medicine, University of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine and TherapeuticsUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  4. 4.Endocrinology Section, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital of PisaUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic MedicineUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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