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Neuromolecular Med. 2014 Mar;16(1):94-105. doi: 10.1007/s12017-013-8260-z. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Low glucose utilization and neurodegenerative changes caused by sodium fluoride exposure in rat's developmental brain.

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Department of Environmental Health and MOE Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hangkong Road 13, Wuhan, 430030, Hubei, People's Republic of China.


Fluorine, a toxic and reactive element, is widely prevalent throughout the environment and can induce toxicity when absorbed into the body. This study was to explore the possible mechanisms of developmental neurotoxicity in rats treated with different levels of sodium fluoride (NaF). The rats' intelligence, as well as changes in neuronal morphology, glucose absorption, and functional gene expression within the brain were determined using the Morris water maze test, transmission electron microscopy, small-animal magnetic resonance imaging and Positron emission tomography and computed tomography, and Western blotting techniques. We found that NaF treatment-impaired learning and memory in these rats. Furthermore, NaF caused neuronal degeneration, decreased brain glucose utilization, decreased the protein expression of glucose transporter 1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein, and increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the rat brains. The developmental neurotoxicity of fluoride may be closely associated with low glucose utilization and neurodegenerative changes.

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