University of Oulu

Koskela, A., Koponen, J., Lehenkari, P., Viluksela, M., Korkalainen, M., & Tuukkanen, J. (2017). Perfluoroalkyl substances in human bone: concentrations in bones and effects on bone cell differentiation. Scientific Reports, 7(1).

Perfluoroalkyl substances in human bone: concentrations in bones and effects on bone cell differentiation

Saved in:
Author: Koskela, A.1; Koponen, J.2; Lehenkari, P.1;
Organizations: 1Institute of Cancer Research and Translational Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2National Institute for Health and Welfare, Chemicals and Health Unit, Kuopio, Finland
3Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-09-16


Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including two most commonly studied compounds perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are widely distributed environmental pollutants, used extensively earlier. Due to their toxicological effects the use of PFAS is now regulated. Based on earlier studies on PFOA’s distribution in bone and bone marrow in mice, we investigated PFAS levels and their possible link to bone microarchitecture of human femoral bone samples (n = 18). Soft tissue and bone biopsies were also taken from a 49-year old female cadaver for PFAS analyses. We also studied how PFOA exposure affects differentiation of human osteoblasts and osteoclasts. PFAS were detectable from all dry bone and bone marrow samples, PFOS and PFOA being the most prominent. In cadaver biopsies, lungs and liver contained the highest concentrations of PFAS, whereas PFAS were absent in bone marrow. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) was present in the bones, PFOA and PFOS were absent. In vitro results showed no disturbance in osteogenic differentiation after PFOA exposure, but in osteoclasts, lower concentrations led to increased resorption, which eventually dropped to zero after increase in PFOA concentration. In conclusion, PFAS are present in bone and have the potential to affect human bone cells partly at environmentally relevant concentrations.

see all

Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Article number: 6841
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07359-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit