Fluoride Action Network



  • Honokiol attenuated fluoride-induced cognitive deficits in mice.
  • Honokiol prevented neuronal/synaptic injury in the hippocampus of fluoride-treated mice.
  • Honokiol inhibited oxidative stress and mitochondrial abnormalities following fluoride challenge.
  • The AMPK-PGC-1?-Sirt3 pathway was involved in the honokiol’s positive effects on fluoride-induced mitochondrial dysfunction.

Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute greatly to fluoride-induced cognitive impairment and behavioural disorders. Honokiol, a natural biphenolic compound, possesses antioxidant and mitochondrial protective properties. The present study investigated the protective actions of honokiol on NaF-elicited cognitive deficits and elucidated the possible mechanism of honokiol-mediated protection. The results demonstrated that honokiol administration markedly attenuated fluoride-induced cognitive impairments and neural/synaptic injury in mice. Moreover, honokiol elevated the activity and expression of SOD2 and promoted mtROS scavenging through Sirt3 activation in NaF-treated mice and SH-SY5Y cell lines. Meanwhile, honokiol substantially lowered mtROS production by enhancing Sirt3-mediated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transcription, thereby leading to significant increases in ATP synthesis and complex I activity. Further studies revealed that honokiol activated AMPK and upregulated the PGC-1? and Sirt3 protein expression in vivo and in vitro. Intriguingly, the protective actions of honokiol on oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction were abolished by AMPK shRNA or Sirt3 shRNA. Notably, AMPK knockdown prevented the increase in PGC-1? and Sirt3 expression induced by honokiol, while Sirt3 shRNA suppressed Sirt3 signaling without significant effects on p-AMPK and PGC-1? expression. In conclusion, our findings indicate that honokiol mitigates NaF-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction by regulating mtROS homeostasis, partly via the AMPK/PGC-1?/Sirt3 pathway, which ultimately contributes to neuronal/synaptic injury and cognitive deficits.