Fluoride Action Network



  • NaF exposure can suppress spleen growth and development.
  • NaF exposure activate Ras downstream cascade reaction but fail to activate ERK.
  • The failure of ERK activation leads to the failure of cell proliferation signal to enter the nucleus.

Numerous studies have documented that excessive fluoride intake could cause pathological damage and functional disorder in organisms. Nevertheless, the systemic mechanism of fluorosis inhibiting the proliferation and development of splenic cell is still scarce. The preliminary studies have confirmed that high-dose NaF could inhibit splenic lymphocytes proliferation in vitro and cause toxic effects on spleen development in vivo. Here this study continued to explore the signaling pathway with the methods of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot (WB), revealing the mechanism of fluorosis in the growth system. Mice in 4 groups (control, 12 mg/kg, 24 mg/kg, 48 mg/kg) were gavage administrated with NaF solution continuously for 42 days. The results suggested that NaF more than 12 mg/kg slowed down the growth of mice, inhibited spleen growth and development, which was characterized by decreasing spleen volume, and inducing splenic cell apoptosis. For the Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signaling pathway, the mRNA and protein expression levels of Ras were significantly elevated, and the phosphorylated protein expression levels of Raf (B-Raf, C-Raf) were increased. Meanwhile, mice mRNA expression levels were increased in a time and dose-dependent manner on the 21st and 42nd days of the experiment. Additionally, the mRNA and protein levels of MEK1/2 were increased on the 21st day of the experiment, while reduced on the 42nd day. The ERK1/2 levels were significantly decreased at both 21st and 42nd days of the experiment. This study showed that NaF activated Ras to induce downstream Raf-MEK-ERK cascade reaction, but failed to activate ERK eventually, the proliferation signal from the cell surface could not transmit to the nucleus, interfering with the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, meiosis, and suppressed spleen development ultimately.

*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147651322006042?via%3Dihub