Chronic folate deficiency induces glucose and lipid metabolism disorders and subsequent cognitive dysfunction in mice.
PLoS One. 2018 ;13(8):e0202910. Epub 2018 Aug 28. PMID: 30153273
Previous studies have shown that folate levels were decreased in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and further lowered in T2D patients with cognitive impairment. However, whether folate deficiency could cause T2D and subsequent cognitive dysfunction is still unknown. The present study aimed to explore the effects of chronic folate deficiency (CFD) on glucose and lipid metabolism and cognitive function in mice. Seven-week-old mice were fed with either a CFD or control diet for 25 weeks. Serum folate was significantly reduced, whereas serum total homocysteine was significantly increased in the CFD group. Moreover, CFD induced obesity after a 6-week diet treatment, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance after a 16-week-diet treatment. In addition, CFD reduced the hepatic p-Akt/Akt ratio in response to acute insulin administration. Moreover, CFD increased serum triglyceride levels, upregulated hepatic Acc1 and Fasn mRNA expression, and downregulated hepatic Cd36 and ApoB mRNA expression. After a 24-week diet treatment, CFD induced anxiety-related activities and impairment of spatial learning and memory performance. This study demonstrates that folate deficiency could induce obesity, glucose and lipid metabolism disorders and subsequent cognitive dysfunction.