Previous studies suggested that perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) could activate the estrogen receptor (ER). The present study examined the hypothesis that PFOA can activate ER using an in vivo uterotrophic assay in CD-1 mice and an in vitro reporter assay. Pre-pubertal female CD-1 mice fed an estrogen-free diet from postnatal day (PND)14 through weaning on PND18 were administered 0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.1, or 1mg/kg PFOA or 17β-estradiol (E2, 0.5mg/kg) from PND18-20. In contrast to E2, PFOA caused no changes in the relative uterine weight, the expression of ER target genes, or the morphology of the uterus/cervix and/or vagina on PND21. Treatment of a stable human cell line containing an ER-dependent luciferase reporter construct with a broad concentration range of PFOA caused no change in ER-dependent luciferase activity; whereas E2 caused a marked increase of ER-dependent luciferase activity. These data indicate that PFOA does not activate mouse or human ER.
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