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