Fluoride Action Network


Endemic fluorosis is a serious problem in public health, affecting thousands of people. Abnormal proliferation and activation of osteoblasts in skeletal fluorosis lesions play a leading role and osteoblast proliferation is finely regulated by the cell cycle. There are a few reports on fluoride-induced DNA methylation. However, the role of DNA methylation of the cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)/cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) regulatory network in skeletal fluorosis has not been investigated. We used a population study and in vitro experiment to explore the relationship between the pathogenesis of skeletal fluorosis and methylation of Cyclin d1/CDK4/p21. The results showed a positive relationship between fluoride exposure and expression of Cyclin d1/CDK4, and a negative relationship between fluoride exposure and expression of P21. Hypermethylation of p21 was found in the fluoride-exposed population, and low expression of p21 attributed to promoter hypermethylation was confirmed in vitro. However, no changes in methylation levels of Cyclin d1 and CDK4 genes were observed in the population exposed to fluoride and NaF-treated osteoblasts. These results show that methylation of p21 gene has a significant impact on the proliferation of osteoblasts during the development of skeletal fluorosis. The present study was a first attempt to link the methylation of the Cyclin d1/CDK4/p21 regulatory network with osteoblast proliferation in skeletal fluorosis.