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A possible relationship between telomere length and markers of neurodegeneration in rat brain after welding fume inhalation exposure
  • Published Date:

    November 05 2019

  • Source:
    Environ Res. 180:108900
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  • Alternative Title:
    Environ Res
  • Description:
    Inhalation of welding fume (WF) can result in the deposition of toxic metals, such as manganese (Mn), in the brain and may cause neurological changes in exposed workers. Alterations in telomere length are indicative of cellular aging and, possibly, neurodegeneration. Here, we investigated the effect of WF inhalation on telomere length and markers of neurodegeneration in whole brain tissue in rats. Male Fischer-344 (F-344) rats were exposed by inhalation to stainless steel WF (20 mg/m| x 3 h/d x 4 d/wk x 5 wk) or filtered air (control). Telomere length, DNA-methylation, gene expression of Trf1, Trf2, ATM, and APP, protein expression of p-Tau, α-synuclein, and presenilin 1 and 2 were assessed in whole brain tissue at 12 wk after WF exposure ended. Results suggest that WF inhalation increased telomere length without affecting telomerase in whole brain. Moreover, we observed that components of the shelterin complex, Trf1 and Trf2, play an important role in telomere end protection, and their regulation may be responsible for the increase in telomere length. In addition, expression of different neurodegeneration markers, such as p-Tau, presenilin 1-2 and α-synuclein proteins, were increased in brain tissue from the WF-exposed rats as compared to control. These findings suggest a possible correlation between epigenetic modifications, telomere length alteration, and neurodegeneration because of the presence of factors in serum after WF exposure that may cause extra-pulmonary effects as well as the translocation of potentially neurotoxic metals associated with WF to the central nervous system (CNS). Further studies are needed to investigate the brain region specificity and temporal response of these effects.
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