Perfluoroalkyl acids potentiate glutamate excitotoxicity in rat cerebellar granule neurons
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionToxicology. 2020, 445 1-10. 10.1016/j.tox.2020.152610
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent man-made chemicals, ubiquitous in nature and present in human samples. Although restrictions are being introduced, they are still used in industrial processes as well as in consumer products. PFAAs cross the blood-brain-barrier and have been observed to induce adverse neurobehavioural effects in humans and animals as well as adverse effects in neuronal in vitro studies. The sulfonated PFAA perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), has been shown to induce excitotoxicity via the N-methyl-Daspartate receptor (NMDA-R) in cultures of rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs). In the present study the aim was to further characterise PFOS-induced toxicity (1–60 μM) in rat CGNs, by examining interactions between PFOS and elements of glutamatergic signalling and excitotoxicity. Effects of the carboxylated PFAA, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, 300–500 μM) on the same endpoints were also examined. During experiments in immature cultures at days in vitro (DIV) 8, PFOS increased both the potency and efficacy of glutamate, whereas in mature cultures at DIV 14 only increased potency was observed. PFOA also increased potency at DIV 14. PFOSenhanced glutamate toxicity was further antagonised by the competitive NMDA-R antagonist 3-((R)-2-Carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP) at DIV 8. At DIV 8, PFOS also induced glutamate release (9–13 fold increase vs DMSO control) after 1− 3 and 24 h exposure, whereas for PFOA a large (80 fold) increase was observed, but only after 24 h. PFOS and PFOA both also increased alanine and decreased serine levels after 24 hexposure. In conclusion, our results indicate that PFOS at concentrations relevant in an occupational setting, may be inducing excitotoxicity, and potentiation of glutamate signalling, via an allosteric action on the NMDA-R or by actions on other elements regulating glutamate release or NMDA-R function. Our results further support our previous findings that PFOS and PFOA at equipotent concentrations induce toxicity via different mechanisms of action.