OBJECTIVE: To study the differential expression of bax, bcl-2 and osteopontin by fluoride in the renal tubular cells in vitro.
METHODS: The renal tubular cells were cultured and exposed to sodium fluoride (NaF) in 1, 5, 7.5, 12.5 mg F-/L level. The transcription level of bax, bcl-2 and osteopontin were investigated by reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
RESULTS: The expression of bax mRNA in 7.5 and 12.5 mgF-/L groups (optical absorption ratio value was 2.37 +/- 0.18 and 2.64 +/- 0.19 respectively) was significantly increased (P < 0.01). On the contrary, the level of bcl-2 obviously decreased (5 mg F-/L group optical absorption ratio value, 0.80 +/- 0.22, P < 0.05; 7.5 mg F-/L group optical absorption ratio value 0.71 +/- 0.22, P < 0.01). The expression mRNA of osteopontin was significantly increased when cells were exposed to fluoride at 7.5 mg F-/L (optical absorption ratio value 2.01 +/- 0.40 P < 0.01), in that group the tubular cell apoptotic trend was obvious.
CONCLUSION: NaF might induce tubular cell apoptosis via activation of bax expression and bcl-2 suppression. Osteopontin might protect the tubule against apoptosis in a lower fluoride level, but the function should be decreased in higher fluoride level.