Fluoride and Human Lung Cell Toxicity

Ying J, Xu J, Shen L, Mao Z, Liang J, Lin S, Yu X, Pan R, Yan C, Li S, Bao Q, Li P. The Effect of Sodium Fluoride on Cell Apoptosis and the Mechanism of Human Lung BEAS-2B Cells In Vitro. Biological trace element research. 2017 Jan 22. doi: 10.1007/s12011-017-0937-y.

Sodium fluoride (NaF) is a source of fluoride ions used in many applications. Previous studies found that NaF suppressed the proliferation of osteoblast MC3T3 E1 cells and induced the apoptosis of chondrocytes. However, little is known about the effects of NaF on human lung BEAS-2B cells. Therefore, we investigated the mode of cell death induced by NaF and its underlying molecular mechanisms. BEAS-2B cells were treated with NaF at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mmol/L. Cell viability decreased and apoptotic cells significantly increased as concentrations of NaF increased over specific periods of time. The IC50 of NaF was 1.9 and 0.9 mM after 24 and 48 h, respectively. The rates of apoptosis increased from 4.8 to 37.7% after NaF exposure. HE staining, electron microscopy, and single cell gel electrophoresis revealed that morphological changes of apoptosis increased with exposure concentrations. RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to detect the apoptotic pathways. The expressions of bax, caspase-3, caspase-9, p53, and the cytoplasmic CytC of the NaF groups increased, while bcl-2 and mitochondrial CytC decreased compared with that of the control group (P < 0.05). Further, the fluorescence intensities of ROS in the NaF groups were higher than those in the control group, and the membrane potential of mitochondria in the NaF group was significantly lower than that of the control group (P < 0.05). These findings suggested that NaF induced apoptosis in the BEAS-2B cells through mitochondria-mediated signal pathways. Our study provides the theoretical foundation and experimental basis for exploring the mechanisms of human lung epithelial cell damage and cytotoxicity induced by fluorine.

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