Comparative effects of EtOH consumption and thiamine deficiency on cognitive impairment, oxidative damage, and β-amyloid peptide overproduction in the brain

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The effects of chronic EtOH consumption, associated or not with thiamine deficiency (TD), on cognitive impairment, oxidative damage, and β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide accumulation in the brain were investigated in male C57BL/6 mice. We established an alcoholic mouse model by feeding an EtOH liquid diet, a TD mouse model by feeding a thiamine-depleted liquid diet, and an EtOH treatment associated with TD mouse model by feeding a thiamine-depleted EtOH liquid diet for 7 weeks. The learning and memory functions of the mice were detected through the Y-maze test. Biochemical parameters were measured using corresponding commercial kits. The Aβ expression in the hippocampus was observed by immunohistochemical staining. Several results were obtained. First, EtOH significantly reduced cognitive function by significantly decreasing the Glu content in the hippocampus; increasing the AChE activity in the cortex; and reducing the thiamine level, and superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activities in both the hippocampus and cortex. The treatment also increased the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and nitric oxide (NO) and the activities of total nitric oxide synthase (tNOS), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). Furthermore, EtOH enhanced the expression levels of Aβ1–42 and Aβ1–40 in the hippocampus. Second, TD induced the same dysfunctions caused by EtOH in the biochemical parameters, except for learning ability, 8-OHdG content, and GPx, tNOS, and AChE activities in the cortex. Third, the modification of MDA, protein carbonyl and NO levels, and GPx, iNOS, ChAT, and MAO-B activities in the brain induced by chronic EtOH treatment associated with TD was greater than that induced by EtOH or TD alone. The synergistic effects of EtOH and TD on Aβ1–40 and Glu release, as well as on SOD activity, depended on their actions on the hippocampus or cortex. These findings suggest that chronic EtOH consumption can induce TD, cognitive impairment, Aβ accumulation, oxidative stress injury, and neurotransmitter metabolic abnormalities. Furthermore, the association of chronic EtOH consumption with TD causes dramatic brain dysfunctions with a severe effect on the brain.Graphical abstractHighlightsCognitive deficits induced by EtOH and thiamine deficiency (TD) were tested with a Y-maze.EtOH consumption associated with TD or each individual treatment induced Aβ overproduction and oxidative stress in the brain.EtOH and TD led to metabolic disorder of neurotransmitters in the brain.When associated with TD, EtOH consumption caused cognitive impairment and serious brain damage.

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