Fluoride exposure alters Ca2+ signaling and mitochondrial function in enamel cells

Francisco J. Aulestia, Johnny Groeling, Guilherme H.S. Bomfim, Veronica Costiniti, Vinu Manikandan, Ariya Chaloemtoem, Axel R. Concepcion, Yi Li, Larry E. Wagner, Youssef Idaghdour, David I. Yule, Rodrigo S. Lacruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluoride ions are highly reactive, and their incorporation in forming dental enamel at low concentrations promotes mineralization. In contrast, excessive fluoride intake causes dental fluorosis, visually recognizable enamel defects that can increase the risk of caries. To investigate the molecular bases of dental fluorosis, we analyzed the effects of fluoride exposure in enamel cells to assess its impact on Ca2+ signaling. Primary enamel cells and an enamel cell line (LS8) exposed to fluoride showed decreased internal Ca2+ stores and store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). RNA-sequencing analysis revealed changes in gene expression suggestive of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in fluoride-treated LS8 cells. Fluoride exposure did not alter Ca2+ homeostasis or increase the expression of ER stress–associated genes in HEK-293 cells. In enamel cells, fluoride exposure affected the functioning of the ER-localized Ca2+ channel IP3R and the activity of the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) pump during Ca2+ refilling of the ER. Fluoride negatively affected mitochondrial respiration, elicited mitochondrial membrane depolarization, and disrupted mitochondrial morphology. Together, these data provide a potential mechanism underlying dental fluorosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaay0086
JournalScience signaling
Issue number619
StatePublished - Feb 18 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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