Journal Article

Neonatal Exposure to PFOS and PFOA in Mice Results in Changes in Proteins which are Important for Neuronal Growth and Synaptogenesis in the Developing Brain

Niclas Johansson, Per Eriksson and Henrik Viberg

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 108, issue 2, pages 412-418
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfp029
Neonatal Exposure to PFOS and PFOA in Mice Results in Changes in Proteins which are Important for Neuronal Growth and Synaptogenesis in the Developing Brain

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Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) belong to the family of perfluorinated compounds. They are used in industrial and consumer applications, e.g., clothing fabrics, carpets, and food packaging. PFOS and PFOA are present in the environment and are found in dust and human milk, which implies that newborns and toddlers can be directly exposed to these agents during brain development. Recently, we reported that PFOS and PFOA can cause neurobehavioral defects and changes in the cholinergic system, in the adult animal, when given directly to neonatal mice, and thereby showing similarities with other investigated persistent organic pollutants, such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethan, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). In recent studies, we have also seen that highly brominated PBDEs can affect the levels of proteins that are important for neuronal growth and synaptogenesis in the neonatal mouse brain. The present study shows that a single oral dose of either 21 μmol PFOS or PFOA/kg body weight (11.3 or 8.70 mg), given directly to the neonatal mice on postnatal day 10, significantly increased the levels of CaMKII, GAP-43, and synaptophysin in the hippocampus of the neonatal mouse. Both compounds significantly increased the levels of synaptophysin and tau in cerebral cortex, and PFOA also increased the levels of tau in hippocampus. These proteins are important for normal brain development, and altered levels of these proteins during a critical period of the brain growth spurts could be one of the mechanisms behind earlier reported behavioral defects.

Keywords: PFCs; neurotoxicity; CaMKII; GAP-43; synaptophysin; tau

Journal Article.  5159 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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