Fluoride Action Network



    • Osteocytes endured high dose of fluoride exposure.• Fluoride inhibited expression of SOST/Sclerostin in osteocytes.• Fluoride modulated ratio of RANKL/OPG in osteocytes.• Fluoride regulated Wnt/?-catenin signaling in osteocytes.• PTH(1–34) participated in fluoride-modulating SOST and RANKL expression in osteocytes.

Exposure to fluoride from environmental sources remains an overlooked, but serious public health risk. In this study, we looked into the role osteocytes play on the mechanism underlying fluoride induced osteopathology. We analyzed bone formation and resorption related genes generated by osteocytes that were exposed to varied doses of fluoride with and without PTH in vitro. Correspondingly, osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis related genes were also investigated in rats exposed to fluoride for 8 weeks, and the PTH(1–34) was applied at the last 3 weeks to observe its role in regulating bone turnover upon fluoride treatment. The data in vitro indicated that fluoride treatment inhibited Sost expression of mRNA and protein and stimulated RANKL mRNA protein expression as well as the RANKL/OPG ratio in the primary osteocytes. Single PTH treatment played the similar role on expression of these genes and proteins. The PTH combined administration enhanced the action of fluoride treatment on RNAKL/OPG and SOST/Sclerostin. The up-regulation of RANKL and decreasing of Sost induced by fluoride and/or PTH treatment was validated in vivo and suggests that osteocytes are a major source of RANKL and Sost, both of which play essential roles in fluoride affecting osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. Expression of Wnt/?-catenin was up-regulated in both in vitro osteocytes treated with high dose of fluoride and bone tissue of rats in the presence of fluoride and PTH. In vivo, fluoride and single PTH stimulated bone turnover respectively, furthermore, PTH combined with low dose of fluoride treatment reinforced the osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis genes expression, however, co-treatment of PTH reversed the effect of high dose of fluoride on osteogenesis and osteoclastogenensis related factors. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that osteocytes play a key role in fluoride activated bone turnover, and PTH participates in the process of fluoride modulating SOST/Sclerostin and RANKL expression.