Gastric Mucus Secretion in Rats Administered Sodium Fluoride

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The influence of fluoride on the production and secretion of mucus by the surface mucous cells of the stomach was investigated in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given 0 ppm (control) or 150 ppm fluoride as sodium fluoride in their drinking water ad libitum for 70 days. Stomachs were removed; tissue blocks of the glandular portion occupied by fundic glands were prepared for light or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Paraffin-embedded sections were stained for neutral, acidic or sulfate-rich mucoid material. Staining of the mucous cells lining the gastric pits was similar to controls. However, while most of the surface mucous cells in control animals showed loss of mucus, most of the surface mucous cells from fluoride-treated rats had rounded luminal contours and apically located mucoid material. Observation by SEM also suggested a reduction in the apical expulsion of mucous granules in the surface mucous cells of fluoride-treated rats. The free surface of most cells was smooth to gently rugged with no perforations indicating no loss of secretory material. Although it appears that the ingestion of 150 ppm fluoride in the drinking water does not interfere with mucuc production, fluoride may interfere with the release of mucus into the lumen of the stomach.


Presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science, Malone College, Canton, OH.

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