3 years ago

Cadmium exposure impairs cognition and olfactory memory in male C57BL/6 mice.

Storm, Wang, Xia, Abel, Zhang
Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal of high interest to the Superfund Initiative. Recent epidemiology studies have suggested a possible association between Cd exposure and cognitive as well as olfactory impairments in humans. However, studies in animal models are needed to establish a direct causal relationship between Cd exposure and impairments in cognition and olfaction. This study aims to investigate the toxic effect of Cd on cognition and olfactory function in mice. One group of 8-week old C57BL/6 male mice was exposed to 3 mg/L Cd (in the form of CdCl2) through drinking water for 20 weeks for behavior tests and final blood Cd concentration analysis. The behavior tests were conducted before, during, and after Cd exposure to analyze the effects of Cd on cognition and olfactory function. Upon completion of behavior tests, blood was collected to measure final blood Cd concentration. Two additional groups of mice were similarly exposed to Cd for 5 or 13 weeks for peak blood Cd concentration measurement. The peak blood Cd concentration was 2.125-2.25 μg/L while the final blood Cd concentration was 0.18 μg/L. At this exposure level, Cd impaired hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in novel object location test, T-maze test, and contextual fear memory test. It also caused deficits in short-term olfactory memory and odor-cued olfactory learning and memory. Results in this study demonstrate a direct relationship between Cd exposure and cognitive as well as olfactory impairments in an animal model.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfx202

DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfx202

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