- Maternal fluoride exposure enhanced the expressions of miR-124 and miR-132 in hippocampus of mouse offspring.
- Fluoride-induced decrease in CREB in mouse hippocampus could result from up-regulation of miR-124.
- In the feedback loop, fluoride decreased MeCP2 and increased miR-132 in the hippocampus of offspring.
To investigate the effects of perinatal fluoride exposure on learning and memory ability of mouse offspring, ICR female mice were received different doses of sodium fluoride (0, 25, 50, 100 mg/L NaF) from pregnant day 7 to lactational day 21. Pups were exposed to fluoride through the cord blood and breast milk. Open field test showed that compared to the control group, perinatal fluoride exposure significantly decreased the number of entries into the center zone in 100 mg/L NaF group. In the eight-arm maze test, the number of working memory errors, reference memory errors, and the total arm entries were significantly increased in fluoride treatment groups, compared to the control group. Additionally, 100 mg/L NaF significantly elevated the expression levels of miR-124, miR-132, and DiGeorge syndrome chromosomal region 8 (DGCR8) in hippocampus of mouse pups at postnatal day (PND) 21. Contrarily, methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) were dramatically reduced in 50 and 100 mg/L NaF groups, while cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) mRNA level was significantly decreased in all fluoride groups. These findings suggested that the impairment of learning and memory in mouse offspring induced by perinatal fluoride exposure may partly result from the enhanced miR-124 and miR-132 and the alterations of their target genes.