Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride-induced immunotoxicity has been documented in vivo, but limited reports have focused on the effects of fluoride on lymphocytes in vitro. Therefore, we have examined the suppressive effects of sodium fluoride on cultured splenic lymphocytes in mice. CD3+ T lymphocytes, CD19+ B lymphocytes, cytokines, and cell-cycle markers were analyzed through the use of a cell-counting kit, western blot, and flow cytometery. Splenic lymphocytes were isolated from 3-week-old male ICR mice and exposed to sodium fluoride (0, 100, 500, and 1000 ?mol/L) for 24 h. The percentages of CD3+, CD3+CD4+, CD3+CD8+ T lymphocytes and CD19+ B lymphocytes were decreased (P<0.05 or P<0.01) in the sodium fluoride-exposed cells. This finding was correlated with the alterations in expression levels of cytokine proteins and with evidence of cell-cycle arrest. Thus, protein expression levels of IL-2, TNF-?, IFN-?, TGF-? were decreased (P<0.05 or P<0.01), and IL-10 protein expression levels were increased (P<0.05 or P<0.01). The percentage of lymphocyte in G1 phase was significantly increased (P<0.05 or P<0.01), while expression levels of cyclin E/D and CDK2/4 were markedly decreased (P<0.05 or P<0.01). These findings demonstrate that sodium fluoride exposure suppresses splenic lymphocyte proliferation, which is represented by reducing populations and activation of splenic T and B lymphocytes. Alterations of cytokine protein expression and cell cycle arrest are the molecular basis of the sodium fluoride-suppressed splenic lymphocyte proliferation, while reduction of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes is the explanation of sodium fluoride-decreased splenic immune function in vitro.