Fluoride Action Network


Fluorine is reported to affect embryonic development, but the underlining mechanism is unclear. The modification of DNA methylation of the H19 and Peg3 genes is important in embryonic development. Therefore, the effect of fluorine on methylation of H19 and Peg3 during early mouse embryos was studied. It was shown that the H19 gene was significantly downmethylated in E2.5, E3.5, and E4.5 embryos from pregnant mice treated with 120 mg/l NaF in drinking water for 48 h. But methylation of both H19 and Peg3 genes was disrupted when the parent male mice were treated with NaF for 35 days. H19 DNA methylation decreased significantly, while Peg3 was almost completely methylated. However, when pregnant mice, mated with NaF-treated male mice, were again treated with NaF for 48 h, either H19 or Peg3 methylation in the embryos decreased significantly. In addition, the mRNA level of H19 considerably increased in E3.5 and E4.5 embryos from NaF-treated pregnant mice. Further, the expression of DNMT1 decreased significantly after NaF treatment. Conclusively, we demonstrated that fluorine may adversely affect early embryonic development by disrupting the methylation of H19 and Peg3 through downregulation of DNMT1.