The present study aims to examine the effect of early lactational perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) exposures on learning and memory in male mice and reveal the underlying mechanisms involved. PFOS solution was orally administered to dams from the postpartum days 1–14, so that pups would be exposed through breast milk. At 8–10 weeks of age, we performed object location test (OLT), object recognition test (ORT), and pairwise visual discrimination (VD) task. We also performed in vivo microdialysis, and mRNA and protein analysis of genes responsible for hippocampal development and function. In both OLT and ORT, the performance of mice in the PFOS-exposed group was significantly lower than those in the control group. In the VD task, the PFOS-exposed group learned significantly slower than the control group. Concentrations of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid in the dorsal hippocampus were significantly higher in the PFOS-exposed group than in the control group. No notable differences were shown in our mRNA and protein studies. The present study showed that lactational PFOS exposure has a profound, long-lasting neurotoxic effect in the hippocampus and consequently leads to learning and memory deficits.
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