DOI: 10.3390/molecules29030617 ISSN: 1420-3049

High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Non-Targeted Detection of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)

Radmila Pavlovic, Susanna Draghi, Alberto Pellegrini, Claudia Fornesi Silva, Federica Di Cesare, Giulio Curone, Francesco Arioli, Marco Fidani
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Among wildlife species, roe deer stands out as a valuable indicator of environmental pollution due to its ecological significance and role as a game animal. The assessment of poly- and perfluoro substances (PFASs) bioaccumulation is of the utmost importance, relying on the liver and muscles as the main organs of interest. The study concerned the identification of 60 PFAS through a non-target workflow analysis based on HPLC Q-Exactive Orbitrap High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry in a homogeneous group of 18 female roe deer species. The developed strategy allowed us to individuate the 60 PFAS compounds with different levels of confirmation. Apart from seven PFASs identified via analytical standards, the remaining fifty-three features were identified with CL 2 or 3. Moreover, by applying a differential statistic approach, it was possible to distinguish the bioaccumulation patterns in the liver and muscle, identifying 12 PFAS upregulated in the muscle and 20 in the liver. The analysis reveals that specific PFAS compounds present exclusively in either the muscle or in the liver. The study emphasises the specificity of the liver and muscle as significant bioaccumulation sites for PFAS, raising questions about the underlying mechanisms of this process. In conclusion, the presented non-targeted PFAS analysis workflow evidenced promising and reliable results, successfully demonstrating its feasibility in the field of environmental research.

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