Fluoride Action Network


At elevated levels, fluoride (F) exposure has been associated with adverse human health effects. In rodents, F exposure has been reported to induce deficits in motor performance and learning and memory. In this study, we examined Long-Evans hooded male rats maintained on a standard diet (20.5 ppm F) or a low F diet (3.24 ppm F) with drinking water exposure to 0, 10, or 20 ppm F from gestational day 6 through adulthood. At postnatal day 25, brain F levels were 0.048 or 0.081 ug/g and femur 235 or 379.8 ug/g for 10 and 20 ppm F, respectively. Levels increase with age and in adults, levels for plasma were 0.036 or 0.025 ug/ml; for the brain 0.266 or 0.850 ug/g; and for the femur, 681.2 or 993.4 ug/g. At these exposure levels, we observed no exposure-related differences in motor, sensory, or learning and memory performance on running wheel, open-field activity, light/dark place preference, elevated plus maze, pre-pulse startle inhibition, passive avoidance, hot-plate latency, Morris water maze acquisition, probe test, reversal learning, and Y-maze. Serum triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were not altered as a function of 10 or 20 ppm F in the drinking water. No exposure-related pathology was observed in the heart, liver, kidney, testes, seminal vesicles, or epididymides. Mild inflammation in the prostate gland was observed at 20 ppm F. No evidence of neuronal death or glial activation was observed in the hippocampus at 20 ppm F.