The neurotoxicity of arsenic is a serious health problem, especially for children. DNA epigenetic change may be an important pathogenic mechanism, but the molecular pathway remains obscure. In this study, the weaned male Sprague-Dawly (SD) rats were treated with arsenic trioxide via drinking water for 6 months, simulating real developmental exposure situation of children. Arsenic exposure impaired the cognitive abilities, and altered the expression of neuronal activity-regulated genes. Total arsenic concentrations of cortex and hippocampus tissues were significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner. The reduction in 5-methylcytosine (5 mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) levels as well as the down-regulation of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and ten–eleven translocations (TETs) expression suggested that DNA methylation/demethylation processes were significantly suppressed in brain tissues. S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) level wasn't changed, but the expression of the important indicators of oxidative/anti-oxidative balance and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle was significantly deregulated. Overall, arsenic can disrupt oxidative/anti-oxidative balance, further inhibit TETs expression through TCA cycle and alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG) pathway, and consequently cause DNA methylation/demethylation disruption. The present study implies oxidative stress but not SAM depletion may lead to DNA epigenetic alteration and arsenic neurotoxicity.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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