Fluoride is capable of inducing neurotoxicity, but its mechanisms remain elusive. This study aimed to explore the roles of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy in sodium fluoride (NaF)-induced neurotoxicity, focusing on the regulating role of ER stress in autophagy. The in vivo results demonstrated that NaF exposure impaired the learning and memory capabilities of rats, and resulted in histological and ultrastructural abnormalities in rat hippocampus. Moreover, NaF exposure induced excessive ER stress and associated apoptosis, as manifested by elevated IRE1α, GRP78, cleaved caspase-12 and cleaved-caspase-3, as well as defective autophagy, as shown by increased Beclin1, LC3-II and p62 expression in hippocampus. Consistently, the in vitro results further verified the findings of in vivo study that NaF induced excessive ER stress and defective autophagy in SH-SY5Y cells. Notably, inhibition of autophagy in NaF-treated SH-SY5Y cells with Wortmannin or Chloroquine decreased, while induction of autophagy by Rapamycin increased the cell viability. These results were correlated well with the immunofluorescence observations, thus confirming the pivotal role of autophagic flux dysfunction in NaF-induced cell death. Importantly, mitigation of ER stress by 4-phenylbutyrate in NaF-treated SH-SY5Y cells inhibited the expressions of autophagy markers, and decreased cell apoptosis. Taken together, these data suggest that neuronal death resulted from excessive ER stress and autophagic flux dysfunction contributes to fluoride-elicited neurotoxicity. Moreover, the autophagic flux dysfunction was mediated by excessive ER stress, which provided novel insight into a better understanding of fluoride-induced neurotoxicity.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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