A high-throughput assay for screening the abilities of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in inducing plasma kallikrein-like activity


The plasma consists of multiple functional serine zymogens, such as plasma kallikrein-kinin system (KKS), which are vulnerable to exogenous chemical exposure, and may closely relate to the deleterious effects. Testing whether the anthropogenic chemicals could increase the kallikrein-like activity in plasma or not would be of great help to understand their potentials in triggering the cascade activation of the plasma zymogens and explain the corresponding hematotoxicity. In this study, a novel high-throughput ex vivo assay was established to screen the abilities of emerging chemicals like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in inducing kallikrein-like activities on basis of using rat plasma as the protease zymogen source. Upon the optimization of the conditions in the test system, the assay gave sensitive fluorescent response to the stimulation of the positive control, dextran sulfate, and the dose-response showed a typical S-shaped curve with EC50 of 0.24 mg/L. The intra-plate and inter-plate relative standard deviations (RSDs) were less than 10% in the quantitative range of dextran sulfate, indicating a good reliability and repeatability of this newly-established assay. Using this method, several alternatives or congeners of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), including 6:2 chlorinated polyfluoroalkyl ether sulfonate (6:2 Cl-PFESA), Ag-PFOA, K-PFOA, Na-PFOA and ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate (APFO), were further screened, and their capabilities in inducing kallikrein-like activities were identified. The ex vivo assay newly-developed in the present study would be promising in high-throughput screening of the hematological effects of emerging chemicals of concern.

Authors: Qian S Liu, Yuzhu Zhang, Zhendong Sun, Yurou Gao, Qunfang Zhou, Guibin Jiang
; Full Source: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2022 Mar 4;234:113381. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113381.