High salt diet impairs memory-related synaptic plasticity via increased oxidative stress and suppressed synaptic protein expression

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Abstract

Scope

A high salt (HS) diet is detrimental to cognitive function, in addition to having a role in cardiovascular disorders. However, the method by which an HS diet impairs cognitive functions such as learning and memory remains open.

Methods and results

In this study, we found that mice on a 7 week HS diet demonstrated disturbed short-term memory in an object-place recognition task, and both 4 week and 7 week HS treatments impaired long-term memory, as evidenced in a fear conditioning test. Mechanistically, the HS diet inhibited memory-related long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, while also increasing the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in hippocampal cells and downregulating the expression of synapsin I, synaptophysin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in specific encephalic region.

Conclusion

This suggests that oxidative stress or synaptic protein/neurotrophin deregulation was involved in the HS diet-induced memory impairment. Thus, the present study provides novel insights into the mechanisms of memory impairment caused by excessive dietary salt, and underlined the importance of controlling to salt absorb quantity.

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