Fluoride Action Network


Chronic long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride leads to fluorosis, manifested by skeletal fluorosis and damage to internal organs, including kidneys, liver, parathyroid glands, and brain. Excess fluoride can also cause DNA damage, trigger apoptosis, and change cell cycle. The effect of fluoride may be exacerbated by lead (Pb), a potent inhibitor of many enzymes and a factor causing apoptosis, still present in the environment in excessive amounts. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) and/or lead acetate (PbAc) on development of apoptosis, cell vitality, and proliferation in the liver cell line HepG2. We examined hepatocytes from the liver cell line HepG2, incubated for 48 h with NaF, PbAc, and their mixture (NaF + PbAc), and used for measuring apoptosis, index of proliferation, and vitality of cells. Incubation of the hepatocytes with NaF or PbAc increased apoptosis, more when fluoride and Pb were used simultaneously. Vitality of the cells depended on the compound used and its concentration. Proliferation slightly increased and then decreased in a high fluoride environment; it decreased significantly after addition of Pb in a dose-dependent manner. When used together, fluoride inhibited the decreasing effect of Pb on cell proliferation.