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Nanomaterials 2015, 5(3), 1147-1162; doi:10.3390/nano5031147

Nano-Sized Secondary Organic Aerosol of Diesel Engine Exhaust Origin Impairs Olfactory-Based Spatial Learning Performance in Preweaning Mice

1
Center for Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
2
Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
3
Center for Environmental Risk Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Tanguay
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 19 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Nanotoxicology)
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Abstract

The aims of our present study were to establish a novel olfactory-based spatial learning test and to examine the effects of exposure to nano-sized diesel exhaust-origin secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a model environmental pollutant, on the learning performance in preweaning mice. Pregnant BALB/c mice were exposed to clean air, diesel exhaust (DE), or DE-origin SOA (DE-SOA) from gestational day 14 to postnatal day (PND) 10 in exposure chambers. On PND 11, the preweaning mice were examined by the olfactory-based spatial learning test. After completion of the spatial learning test, the hippocampus from each mouse was removed and examined for the expressions of neurological and immunological markers using real-time RT-PCR. In the test phase of the study, the mice exposed to DE or DE-SOA took a longer time to reach the target as compared to the control mice. The expression levels of neurological markers such as the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits NR1 and NR2B, and of immunological markers such as TNF-α, COX2, and Iba1 were significantly increased in the hippocampi of the DE-SOA-exposed preweaning mice as compared to the control mice. Our results indicate that DE-SOA exposure in utero and in the neonatal period may affect the olfactory-based spatial learning behavior in preweaning mice by modulating the expressions of memory function–related pathway genes and inflammatory markers in the hippocampus. View Full-Text
Keywords: developmental neurotoxicity; diesel exhaust; secondary organic aerosol; olfactory-based learning; preweaning mice; hippocampus; nanotoxicity developmental neurotoxicity; diesel exhaust; secondary organic aerosol; olfactory-based learning; preweaning mice; hippocampus; nanotoxicity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Win-Shwe, T.-T.; Kyi-Tha-Thu, C.; Moe, Y.; Maekawa, F.; Yanagisawa, R.; Furuyama, A.; Tsukahara, S.; Fujitani, Y.; Hirano, S. Nano-Sized Secondary Organic Aerosol of Diesel Engine Exhaust Origin Impairs Olfactory-Based Spatial Learning Performance in Preweaning Mice. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 1147-1162.

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