Maternal fluoride exposure during gestation and lactation decreased learning and memory ability, and glutamate receptor mRNA expressions of mouse pups
Previous investigations demonstrated that high fluoride (F) exposure may adversely affect the neurodevelopment and learning and memory ability. However, whether maternal F exposure during gestation and lactation can influence the learning, memory ability, and glutamate receptor expressions of offspring has not yet been elucidated. Hence, in the present study, maternal mice were exposed to F (25, 50, or 100 mg/L sodium fluoride (NaF) in drinking water) during gestation and lactation. Results showed that exposure to 100 mg/L NaF significantly enhanced the number of total arm entries and working memory errors of offspring in the radial arm maze test compared to the control group. However, no difference was observed in open-field behaviors. For the subtypes of glutamate receptors in hippocampus, expression of GluR2 mRNA was significantly reduced by 25, 50, and 100 mg/L NaF. Besides, F exposure also suppressed the expression of NR2A, NR2B, and mGluR2 mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner, where NR2A was significantly suppressed by 50 mg/L NaF and NR2B and mGluR2 by 100 mg/L NaF. However, no significant changes were observed in GluR1 and mGluR5 mRNA expression levels. Collectively, these findings suggested that F can pass through the cord blood and breast milk and may have deleterious impact on learning and memory of the mouse pups, which was mediated by reduced mRNA expression of glutamate receptor subunits.