The mechanism of spatial memory impairment caused by long-term low-dose and high-fluoride exposure has been advanced

Recently, the latest research results of Professor Ni Xueqin’s team of the College of Veterinary Medicine of Sichuan Agricultural University “Long-term fluorine exposure induces spatial memory deficit and hippocampal dysfunction in mice by inhibiting microthermic shock protein 22” were published online in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, a well-known international journal in the field of environment.

The pollution caused by the regional accumulation of fluorine is considered to be a serious world environmental problem, and China has long had different types of high fluoride exposure such as drinking water, coal-fired and tea-drinking types, and is one of the countries with the most serious threat and the most widespread regional distribution of fluorine. Although proper doses of fluoride are essential for maintaining good health, numerous studies have shown that exposure to high fluoride can seriously endanger the health of the body, induce acute and chronic fluorosis, and cause bone tissue damage such as skeletal fluorosis and dental caries, as well as other organs and functions. After it was first revealed in October 2020 that changes in intestinal flora can affect spatial memory impairment caused by high fluoride in mice, this study further conducted an in-depth study of the mechanism of spatial memory damage caused by long-term low-dose high fluoride exposure.

Photo courtesy of College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University

It was found that long-term low-dose high-fluoride drinking water could cause damage to the mitochondrial structure and function of the hippocampus in mice, and the expression of Hsp22, a protein that regulates mitochondrial structure and function, was inhibited. The inhibition of the PGC-1α/TFAM-mtDNA signaling axis and NF-κβ/STAT3-mitochondrial enzyme activity signaling axis mediated by Hsp22-specific regulation of hippocampal Hsp22 expression in vivo confirmed to be an important potential mechanism of fluorine-induced spatial memory impairment. The results further shed light on the potential health risks of people living in areas exposed to high fluoride for a long time.

Xin Jinge, Ph.D. of the College of Veterinary Medicine of Sichuan Agricultural University, is the first author of the paper, and Ni Xueqin is the corresponding author. Professor Xu Peng, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, is the co-corresponding author of the paper. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Science Foundation of Sichuan Province. (Source: Zhang Qingdan, China Science News)

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