Fluoride Action Network



  • Water containing 25 mgF/Kg bw F provokes morphological changes and alters in several proteins in the jejunum and ileum;
  • Organism might not have had time to adapt to its toxic effect. Therefore, the loss of energy may have not been repaired.
  • Morphological changes in the gut, can be explained by alterations in VIP-IR and in proteins that regulate the cytoskeleton.

Fluoride (F) is largely employed in dentistry, in therapeutic doses, to control caries. However, excessive intake may lead to adverse effects in the body. Since F is absorbed mostly from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), gastrointestinal symptoms are the first signs following acute F exposure. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanistic events that lead to these symptoms. Therefore, the present study evaluated changes in the proteomic profile as well as morphological changes in the jejunum and ileum of rats upon acute exposure to F. Male rats received, by gastric gavage, a single dose of F containing 0 (control) or 25 mg/Kg for 30 days. Upon exposure to F, there was a decrease in the thickness of the tunic muscularis for both segments and a decrease in the thickness of the wall only for the ileum. In addition, a decrease in the density of HuC/D-IR neurons and nNOS-IR neurons was found for the jejunum, but for the ileum only nNOS-IR neurons were decreased upon F exposure. Moreover, SP-IR varicosities were increased in both segments, while VIP-IR varicosities were increased in the jejunum and decreased in the ileum. As for the proteomic analysis, the proteins with altered expression were mostly negatively regulated and associated mainly with protein synthesis and energy metabolism. Proteomics also revealed alterations in proteins involved in oxidative/antioxidant defense, apoptosis and as well as in cytoskeletal proteins. Our results, when analyzed together, suggest that the gastrointestinal symptoms found in cases of acute F exposure might be related to the morphological alterations in the gut (decrease in the thickness of the tunica muscularis) that, at the molecular level, can be explained by alterations in the gut vipergic innervation and in proteins that regulate the cytoskeleton.