Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association

Effects of chronic manganese exposure on the learning and memory of rats by observing the changes in the hippocampal cAMP signaling pathway.

PMID 26164403


Chronic manganese exposure can produce cognitive deficits; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear; reliable peripheral biomarker of Mn neurotoxicity have not yet been fully developed. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the mechanism of Mn-induced cognitive deficits and the potential biomarker of Mn neurotoxicity in rats. Thirty-two male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into four groups; these groups received intraperitoneal injections of 0, 5, 10 and 20 mg Mn/kg once daily, five days/week for 18 weeks. Learning and memory were assessed via Morris water maze test. Hippocampal and plasma Mn concentrations were measured through graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The levels of plasma BDNF, hippocampal BDNF, cAMP, protein kinase A, and pCREB were assessed through ELISA or Western blot. Results showed that the Mn concentrations in the hippocampus and plasma of the Mn-treated rats were higher than those of the control rats. Mn exposure impaired the learning and memory of rats. Plasma BDNF levels and hippocampal BDNF, cAMP, protein kinase A, and pCREB levels were significantly lower in the Mn-treated rats than in the control rats. Plasma BDNF levels were negatively correlated with the escape latency and the hippocampal and plasma Mn concentrations. By contrast, plasma BDNF levels were positively correlated with the number of platform crossings and the hippocampal cAMP and BDNF levels. Therefore, Mn impaired learning and memory probably by inhibiting the hippocampal cAMP signaling pathway in rats. Plasma BDNF levels may also be a potential effect biomarker of Mn neurotoxicity.