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Perfluorinated compounds affects neuronal function in vitro at environmentally relevant concentrations

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Tukker et al. used a combined approach to show that PFOS and PFOA inhibit human GABA-receptor function at (sub)micromolar concentrations. Interestingly, spontaneous neuronal network function in neuronal co-cultures appears much more resistant against modulation by perfluorinated compounds. Surprisingly, neuronal activity increased in rat primary cortical cultures, whereas it decreased in networks of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons, suggesting interspecies differences. Moreover, the differences in sensitivity of GABA-receptors and neuronal network activity for PFOS and PFOA suggests that additional mechanisms of action exist or that compensatory mechanisms are at play. As these effects are observed at levels that are within the range found in human serum and plasma, exposure to perfluorinated compounds presents a clear neurotoxic risk (Scientific Reports).