Fluoride Action Network


Sodium fluoride was found to induce gene-locus mutations at the thymidine kinase (tk) and hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (hgprt) loci in human lymphoblastoid cells. A single, 28 hr exposure to up to 600 micrograms/ml sodium fluoride induced a concentration-dependent increase in mutant fraction at both gene loci and reduced cell survival to 12% relative to negative control cultures. When cells were exposed to sodium fluoride concentrations that were only minimally toxic using a 20 day treatment protocol, no detectable induction of mutation was ob-served at the hgprt locus, and induction of mutation was observed at the tk locus only for treatment with 65 micrograms/ml sodium fluoride; exposure to 50 and 35 micrograms/ml sodium fluoride did not induce detectable mutation. The assay protocol used was of sufficient statistical sensitivity to detect the level of mutation predicted based on a linear extrapolation of data obtained from a 28 hour exposure. The implications of these observations with regard to the extrapolability of mutagenicity data to low concentrations are discussed.