Fluoride Action Network


The purpose of the investigation is to reveal the influence of dietary calcium on fluorosis-induced brain cell apoptosis in rat offspring, as well as the underlying molecular mechanism. Sprague-Dawley (SD) female rats were randomly divided into five groups: control group, fluoride group, low calcium, low calcium fluoride group, and high calcium fluoride group. SD male rats were used for breeding only. After 3 months, male and female rats were mated in a 1:1 ratio. Subsequently, 18-day-old gestation rats and 14- and 28-day-old rats were used as experimental subjects. We determined the blood/urine fluoride, the blood/urine calcium, the apoptosis in the hippocampus, and the expression levels of apoptosis-related genes, namely Bcl-2, caspase 12, and JNK. Blood or blood/urine fluoride levels and apoptotic cells were found significantly increased in fluorosis rat offspring as compared to controls. Furthermore, the Bcl-2 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels significantly decreased, and caspase 12 mRNA levels significantly increased in each age group as compared to controls. Compared with the fluoride group, the blood/urine fluoride content and apoptotic cells evidently decreased in the high calcium fluoride group, Bcl-2 mRNA expression significantly increased and caspase 12 mRNA expression significantly decreased in each age group. All results showed no gender difference. Based on these results, the molecular mechanisms of fluorosis-induced brain cell apoptosis in rat offspring may include the decrease in Bcl-2 mRNA expression level and increase in caspase 12 mRNA expression signaling pathways. High calcium intake could reverse these gene expression trends. By contrast, low calcium intake intensified the toxic effects of fluoride on brain cells.