Fluoride Action Network


Excessive fluoride intake may be harmful for health, producing dental and skeletal fluorosis, and effects upon neurobehavioral development. Studies in animals have revealed effects upon the gastrointestinal, renal and reproductive systems. Some of the disorders may be a consequence of immune system alterations. In this study, an in vitro evaluation is made of fluoride immunotoxicity using the RAW 264.7 murine macrophage line over a broad range of concentrations (2.5-75mg/L). The results show that the highest fluoride concentrations used (50-75mg/L) reduce the macrophage population in part as a consequence of the generation of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species and consequent redox imbalance, which in turn is accompanied by lipid peroxidation. A decrease in the expression of the antiinflammatory cytokine Il10 is observed from the lowest concentrations (5mg/L). High concentrations (50mg/L) in turn produce a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokines Il6 and Mip2 from 4h of exposure. In addition, cell phagocytic capacity is seen to decrease at concentrations of ?20mg/L. These data indicate that fluoride, at high concentrations, may affect macrophages and thus immune system function – particularly with regards to the inflammation autoregulatory processes, in which macrophages play a key role.