Fluoride Action Network


In rat exocrine pancreas cells, fluoride treatment causes autophagy resulting from intracisternal granule accumulation. Excessive autophagy might promote a type of programmed cell death different from apoptosis. To clarify how fluoride-induced autophagy and subsequent cell death occurs, we investigated morphological and biochemical changes in exocrine pancreas cells of rats subcutaneously injected with NaF saline solution at 20 mg/kg dose twice daily for 4 days. Intracisternal granule, excessive autophagy and ribosomal degranulation were observed in fluoride-exposed cells, occasionally with necrotic changes. Fluoride-induced rER-stress increased eIF-2alpha phosphorylation and CHOP expression, but did not affect GRP78. Spliced XBP-1 expression was decreased in damaged cells. These findings indicate that rER-stress by intracisternal granule accumulation lead to autophagy in exocrine pancreas cells without UPR, suggesting that signal process of autophagy differs from that of UPR-apoptosis. It is likely that intense degranulation is a turning point that damaged cells change over from autophagy, cell-protective process, to cell-death process.